If Mitt Romney loses Virginia, Virgil Goode says it won't be his fault -- and, should Goode's unlikely presidential bid siphon enough votes to hand the commonwealth to President Obama, the state's former GOP congressman doesn't seem too worried about it anyway.
"The assumption that they're all from Romney is incorrect," Goode said of the people who might vote for him. "The guy that runs the service station right near my house said, 'Virgil, if you get on the ballot, I'm going to vote for you, and that'll take a vote away from Obama' ...
"A lot of disgruntled Democrats that don't like Obama -- old-line Democrats, some of them even conservative -- will never vote for a Republican ticket, but they will vote for me as an independent," he said.
An immigration hard-liner and Obama birth-certificate skeptic, Goode has been out of Congress since 2009, but suddenly he's a busy man.
Running for president as the Constitution Party's nominee, last week Goode qualified for the ballot in Virginia, despite a petition-fraud investigation by the Republican state attorney general.
On Tuesday, Goode traveled from his home base in southern Virginia, which he represented in Congress for 12 years -- first as a Democrat, then as an independent, then as a Republican -- to New York City, where he was scheduled to film two national TV interviews.
"I'm not sure," Goode said of the exact number of states where his name will appear on ballots. Goode has qualified in 25 to 30 states, he said, and may appear in 40.
"Nebraska's up in the air, Alabama, we just turned in. Rhode Island we just turned in," he said.
The main plank in Goode's campaign platform is less immigration, legal or illegal.
"The key factor is we need to be focusing on the job issue in a way that's different from what Obama and Romney are doing," he said. "I'm the only candidate in the field, and the Constitution Party is the only party that truly recognizes that we need to preserve jobs for American citizens first.
"I have called for a near moratorium on green-card admissions until unemployment is under 5 percent," he said.
Goode was known in Congress as an immigration hard-liner, particularly, upon his exit, for a letter he sent criticizing Rep. Keith Ellison's use of the Quran during his ceremonial swearing-in to Congress.
"The Muslim representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens don't wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Quran," Goode wrote of the newly elected congressman in 2007.
The letter earned him widespread condemnation, and it preceded his re-election loss in 2008. Goode stood by it then, and he stands by it now.
"What irritated CAIR and the Muslim groups wasn't what I said about religion," Goode said. "I think having so much immigration is a negative for the United States. ... I'm sure the Muslim groups like diversity visas. So many come in -- it's just a lottery system, you can jump to the head of the line with diversity visas."
Nor does he like what he's heard from Romney or Obama on immigration.