During his bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas did far better than he had when he sought the job in 2008. But on Monday the maverick congressman sent out strong signals that he is cutting back on his bid.
In an email to supporters, Paul looked back on his 2012 campaign while announcing that he is planning to scale back his activities in states that still hold primaries -- including the two largest delegate prizes on the map, California and Texas. After Oregon and Nebraska hold primaries Tuesday, nine states -- including the Golden State and Pauls home base of Texas -- are scheduled to hold contests.
As I reflect on our 2012 presidential campaign, I am humbled by the supporters who have worked so hard and sacrificed so much, Paul noted in an email to supporters on Monday. And I am so proud of what we have accomplished. We will not stop until we have restored what once made America the greatest country in human history.
Paul looked back on his campaign. While he outlasted better-funded and more established rivals in the GOP race, Paul did not carry any state in terms of winning the popular vote, though he did well in the delegate count. Paul also placed second in the important early contests in Iowa and New Hampshire. In 2008, Paul took 5.6 percent of the popular vote in the Republican contests and garnered less than 2 percent of the delegates at stake in them. In 2012, Paul won more delegates than other candidates in Minnesota and Maine and pulled almost 11 percent of the total vote.
This campaign fought hard and won electoral success that the talking heads and pundits never thought possible, Paul wrote in the email. But, this campaign is also about more than just the 2012 election. It has been part of a quest I began 40 years ago and that so many have joined. It is about the campaign for liberty, which has taken a tremendous leap forward in this election and will continue to grow stronger in the future until we finally win.
While he indicated that he would scale back his campaign, Paul showed no signs of pulling out of the Republican race on Monday, leaving him as the only major alternative to former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts. He indicated that his team would continue trying to make inroads at the state level -- which has paid some political dividends to Paul in states like Maine, Minnesota and Louisiana where he has already picked off some delegates.
Our campaign will continue to work in the state convention process, insisted Paul. We will continue to take leadership positions, win delegates, and carry a strong message to the Republican National Convention that liberty is the way of the future.
But Paul also maintained that he would be doing less in the days to come in states that are still, on paper, up for grabs.
Moving forward, however, we will no longer spend resources campaigning in primaries in states that have not yet voted, Paul wrote supporters on Monday.Doing so with any hope of success would take many tens of millions of dollars we simply do not have. I encourage all supporters of liberty to make sure you get to the polls and make your voices heard, particularly in the local, state, and congressional elections, where so many defenders of freedom are fighting and need your support.
Nor did the Texas congressman sound ready to completely pull the plug on his presidential bid on Monday. Paul indicated that his team would, in the coming days ... lay out our delegate strategy.
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com or at (850) 727-0859.