Fred Karger, a retired political consultant and former adviser to three Republican presidents, has announced his first ever run for political office — for the GOP nomination for President of the United States.
The announcement makes Karger the first openly gay Republican ever to run for President, as well as the first GOP candidate to officially declare he is running for the 2012 race.
Karger issued this statement:
After spending 35 years in politics behind the scenes, I want to be a participant and help shape the debate in the Republican Party and our nation.
While I intend to talk about many important issues, I dedicate today to the 6 teenagers who took their lives this past fall because they were bullied for who they were. They could not go on living for even one more day.
There is no place for hatred and bigotry in this country. We must all learn to respect each other and our differences. [...]
During the months ahead, I will propose some bold new ideas on a wide array of issues, and I want to help bring back optimism like my old boss Ronald Reagan did 30 years ago.
I know that I will not be invited to participate in some of the debates and forums that will be held during the next year. Some will not include me because I am an outsider, others because I am gay. I will fight to get into each and every debate, so that my ideas and my voice may be heard.
I want to send a loud and clear message to anyone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer, that you can do anything you want to do in this country. You can even run for President of the United States.
Karger calls himself an “outsider” with “political experience.” He has served as an adviser to Presidents Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.