By Krzysztof Lesiak
The following was originally published on IPR on July 21, 2013.
Robby Wells (center), with SSU officials and then fiance Nicole Miller, left (photo from November 2011)
On July 17, 2013, Robby Wells, an independent presidential candidate running in 2016, hosted a conference call that lasted just over an hour. In it, he first devoted a substantial segment of time to discussing an article that was published July 15th by Joshua Fauver entitled Robby Wells, Faux of the Liberty Movement? In the article, Fauver, who had just resigned from his post as the Southeast Regional Coordinator for the Wells campaign, blasted Wells on his controversial football coaching career and reasons for resigning from Savannah State University as well as Well’s colorful 2012 presidential run, in which he ran as an independent as well as sought the nomination of three parties. Among other developments, Wells claimed to have 700 pledged delegates for the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, which proved to be untrue and was sharply criticized by Fauver. The article has received over 200 views on the website it was originally published on, IACR.
In the conference call, Wells attempted to “clear the air” of the accusations that were made against him as a football coach, which included negligence, an attitude of only being concerned with himself, and even an accusation that Wells is a “pathological liar”.
The following is a partial transcript of the call:
“Let me just say this straight up front; I am just like 99.6% of the people in this population. I am considered to be middle class or below, I’m a middle class guy, I’m not a multi-millionaire that’s running for president. I truly believe it’s time for one of “We the People” to step forward. In order for a real person to step forward, that means that a real person who’s gone through real-life experiences, he’s had ups, he’s had downs, he’s had mountain top experiences, he’s had some valleys. And I’ve been there. I’ve been through all of it, just like millions of people across this country that wonder how they’re going to provide for their family everyday when they wake up. I wonder the same thing. I’m feeling like my American dream has been stolen from me and replaced with an economic nightmare.So with that being said, I would just like to go ahead and clear the air before I talk to you about some great things that are going on. When you start making noise as a candidate, then it’s obvious that you’re going to get attacked. And this past week, were were attacked. And we were attacked by someone that infiltrated this camp, we’ve come to learn a lot since this person left the camp. But this person dug up a lot of stuff from my football coaching career. Just to make a brief statement about it: I was the first black head football coach to ever be…I’m the only white head football coach to this day to coach at Savannah State.On January 28, 2010, which was way in the past, if you ask me it seems like fifteen years ago, because everything’s gone in a completely different direction with my political career, but I was forced to resign..I was forced to resign, after a senior vice president on campus told me that I would never be able to relate to the alumni of Savannah State because I was white, and that I would never be able to relate to the people at Savannah because I was white and my then-fiance was black. She and I are unfortunately not together now. I was then told that I could either resign or that I could be terminated that day. To make a long story short, it was six days before national signing day. I was given the word that every kid that had decided to come to Savannah State would be given a scholarship on Sunday but that I would no longer be the coach. That was correct, except for five kids, those kids had one thing in common – and that was me. They were all Caucasian.So, if it had just been about me I probably would have gone along and gone quietly into the night and just gone on and continued down my path of pursuing the White House. But, I knew that that had to be cleaned up because the kids and their families got hurt, so I took a stand, and filed suit and the state of Georgia of course came in and did a whole investigation. Well, whenever you file a suit against someone on racial discrimination they’re not going to admit, ‘yeah, we discriminated.’ They’re going to give every other reason in the book, which they did. After the state of Georgia did their investigation, they saw that I was telling the truth, they cleaned house.After they cleaned house, they called my legal team wanting to know what it was going to take for me to settle. After that phone call was made, we met in federal court for a federal judge presided over a settlement hearing and this judge strictly acted as a mediator. In that hearing, the judge ordered Savannah State to pay me financially for the wrongdoings. The judge also ordered – and this is more important to me than anything else – ordered that Savannah State apologize for the negative things that they had put out about me that were untrue, that we had documented proof of them being untrue, and ordered them to do it in a joint press conference. That press conference was held on campus at Savannah State University. They welcomed me back on campus with open arms, in that state the new athletic director stated that they were sorry for the statements made against me, that I never broke any NCAA rules, and that I was the most successful coach that they had had in over a decade…actually approaching two decades, right now, that I’m the most successful coach that they have ever had. With that being said, we hugged again, said our goodbyes, and went our separate ways, which each ended well.And from that moment on, I have never looked back, but I did need to clear the air because in today’s world, you take everybody over a Google search but obviously, this young man did not…or at least he says he did not. So I wanted to clear the air with everyone, let everybody know, yes I’ve been through some valleys, but I stood up for what I knew was right, and if I had to do it again, I’d do it again. Because right is right and wrong is wrong. With that being said, I’m not going to take any questions on it, I’m going to turn this back over to Aaron [Aaron Lyles, Wells' co-campaign manager and Constitution Party of Virginia vice-chairman -KL] for a few minutes.”
Further on in the conference call, the new Southeast Regional Coordinator for the Wells campaign gave an update on her activities. Lyles emphasized after she spoke about how rich the Southeast is in terms of Electoral College votes and said “with the Southeast, I firmly believe we can win the White House.”
Later in the call, Wells spoke about the endorsements he says he has received:
“I’ve been endorsed by Liberty Candidates. I’ve actually been endorsed by three presidential candidates from 2012. The candidates are Virgil Goode, Constitution Party nominee, Susan Ducey and John Mealer. I actually got endorsed by John Mealer in the very last presidential debate we had that year. And at the very end of the debate he actually dropped out of the race and endorsed me. I don’t think that’s ever happened in a presidential debate but that was it.”
Sources have told IPR that Goode, a former Virginia congressman, will be addressing his alleged “endorsement” of Wells in the coming days.
Afterwards, the floor was opened up and several callers questioned Wells on a variety of topics, including education, in which Wells expressed opposition to “Common Core,” the subject of “fair trade,” in which he called for increasing tariffs, repealing Obamacare, the importance of the Tenth Amendment, and the George Zimmerman case. With regards to the case, Wells said that now there is a “mob rule” trying to get the Justice Department to prosecute Zimmerman and that in his view this is unconstitutional. A caller also asked about human trafficking. Wells mentioned that he had partnered up with an organization called Rise Up Ministries (same name as his campaign slogan) to combat the issue and mentioned that 1 million people are trafficked annually in the United States, and that worldwide that figure is 17 million. He said his intention was to bring attention to the issue and to stop it through means like safety education.
Wells also said that he wasn’t yet sure whether he would stay on as an independent candidate because, according to him, “the Republican Party has actually been courting us a little bit as well, so, you know we could actually do that.” [emphasis added].
At the end of the call, campaign manager Aaron Lyles thanked all those who listened and participated and said that the campaign’s next conference call will be held next week.