The Daily Caller: Fred Karger: Anti-Romney long shot?

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It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a gay Republican running for president! Fred Karger to the rescue?

As GOP voters wait for Superman to rescue the presidency, Republican presidential candidate Fred Karger presents himself as the ultimate not-Mitt Romney candidate.

“There is still this desperation for an alternative to Romney,” Karger told The Daily Caller.

“We need to do what is in the best interest of this nation, and I’m not convinced that the other Republicans running are doing that.”

Karger is a retired California businessman who served as senior consultant to the presidential campaigns of Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Gerald Ford.

In recent years, Karger has worked as a gay rights activist. He founded Californians Against Hate, a non-profit that has drawn attention to major donors behind California’s Proposition 8 campaign.

“It’s more of a moderate, centrist, Republican message that I bring,” Karger explained.

“And that is to try and bring back some of the many Republicans who have left the Republican party … because they are very unhappy with the far rightward tilt of the Republican party.”

Karger says his campaign is targeting a new demographic for Republicans: voters age 25 and under.

He spent most of his Michigan campaign in Lansing and on the East Lansing campus of Michigan State University.

“I’m hoping there can be a Republican message that is not all hung up on these social issues,” Karger continued, “and that they can put those aside and come in for our economic and fiscal responsibility issues, our smaller government and our strong national defense — core Republican values.”

With 1,219 tallied votes in Michigan, Karger all too aware of his minor role in the GOP race: His campaign motto is “Fred Who?”

But Karger insists that will all change when he reaches his first goal: getting into a nationally televised debate.

“I know it’s a stretch for someone who has never run for office before in his life to be elected president the first time around,” Karger said. “But if I can get in one debate and people would judge me based on that performance and what I had to say, then I could of course catapult into that first year.”

But Fox News denied Karger his chance to participate in an early Iowa debate, he said, even though he satisfied the requirement of registering 1-percent support in five national polls.

Fox disagreed, declaring that each of the polls Karger cited were either online, interactive or out of date.

Lack of exposure isn’t Karger’s only handicap.

I have a very limited budget, most of which I’m funding myself,” Karger told TheDC.

“I don’t like asking people for money. There are certain obligations when people do give you money which I’m uncomfortable with.”

While most supporters are family and friends, Karger has received many donations through his campaign fundraiser called “5 for Fred.”

Karger’s “Jobs Now” plan calls for bringing outsourced jobs back to the U.S. and either penalizing or offering tax inducements to companies “that continue to send jobs overseas by the millions.”

In addition, Karger intends to set up a private trust to repatriate funds placed in overseas banks by tax-avoiding U.S. corporations.

“We need to do what America does best — create a whole new generation of entrepreneurs,” Karger said. “And that’s the future of our country.”

But is the country ready for a gay Republican president?

“The world is changing,” Karger pointed out. “We have an openly gay Prime Minister of Belgium. Hopefully Barack Obama may come out for gay marriage one day.”