By Matt Young, West Virginia Press Association
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Dr. Rollan Roberts II announced — on Friday during a press conference at the West Virginia State Capitol — that he will be seeking the Republican nomination for the presidency of the United States.
A West Virginia native and current resident of Kentucky, Roberts is the son of W.Va. State Senator Rollan A. Roberts, R-Raleigh.
“I am running for president, not to take us backwards to the way things used to be, and not to reset humanity to some ideology,” Roberts II said. “But through principled and disciplined leadership – sound wisdom grounded in truth, and with respect for all people – to lead America in solving the great issues of our day in a way that lays the foundation for our leadership and excellence in the 22nd century.”
Described on his website as “an American businessman, (and) government advisor,” Roberts was introduced by his father, who said, “The Republican party needs to put forth candidates with the appropriate skill sets that are necessary for the particular office they seek.”
“It gives me great pleasure to introduce my son to you today,” Sen Roberts said, prior to Roberts II beginning his remarks. “He has an announcement to make that will change the course of his life, challenge his stamina and fiber, and culminate in success because he is following God’s will.”
In addition to his father, joining Roberts II for the announcement was his mother, Deborah, and wife, Rebecca – who, according to rollanroberts.com, is pregnant with the couple’s first child. Roberts II is also the father of two daughters from a previous marriage.
Approximately halfway through Roberts II address, Rebecca Roberts collapsed. After being briefly attended to by medical personnel, Roberts II asked: “Can we give a hand to the medical team for their assistance?”
“She (Rebecca) is five months pregnant,” Roberts added. “Her blood pressure is fine, so we thank the lord for this.”
“This has not been something I aspired to,” Roberts II began. “It is not something I thought I would ever do because of the nastiness of American politics, and for the sake of my dear wife who is pregnant with our first son.”
Roberts II then spoke of growing up on a farm in West Virginia, with a father who was a pastor and a mother who was a school teacher. His childhood taught him that “when you wrestle with pigs, you both get dirty.”
“I prefer a simple, quiet, God-fearing life with my family,” Roberts added. “But God had a different plan for me. I did not come from money. I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I had to go to a regular college – not a fancy one – and I had to pay my own way through school and work.”
Roberts explained that he “knows what it’s like” to struggle financially, saying, “I have lived the pain that many Americans feel on a daily basis.”
“My administration will make life better for every American that helps themselves,” Roberts II added. “God has prospered these United States for 247 years because he promised that righteousness exalts a nation, and blessed is the nation whose God is the lord. Despite our many problems, differences, and personal shortcomings, God governs in the affairs of mankind.”
While having held no previous elected office, according to rollanroberts.com, Roberts II, “has extensive experience with good governance, infrastructure, foreign affairs, education, and diplomacy.”
As further stated on his website, Roberts II, “has created entrepreneurship programs, women’s empowerment and vocational training, and individual mentorship programs while celebrating people, not dividing them.”
“America is the greatest nation on Earth,” Roberts II added. “I have visited many other countries and I can tell you – there is no place on Earth like the United States of America.”
In conclusion, Roberts II told those in attendance, “I am not beholden to any lobbyist or corporation, or outside interest. I answer only to God and the American people – that is why I’m running.”
“If you want to walk boldly into the future with America leading the way – in a noble, dignified, honorable way – then I humbly ask for your support and vote to elect me as your next President of the United States,” Roberts II said. “May we once more be one nation, under God.”
In response to a media question regarding his choice to make his announcement in West Virginia, Roberts II said, “This is the place that instilled the character and values that I hope to share with the rest of America.”
Roberts II now hopes to join John W. Davis, the 1924 Democratic presidential nominee, as the only other native West Virginian to receive a major party nomination for president.