Politics

Ron Paul Urges Supporters to Stay With GOP While Rand Paul Backs Romney

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: June 11, 2012 3:55 AM
 Gage Skidmore - Flickr

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Mitt Romney and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas

With former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts winning enough delegates to clinch the Republican presidential nomination after sweeping a series of primaries on Tuesday, his sole surviving major opponent -- U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas -- hinted this week that he would remain politically active even as he retires from Congress after the November elections.

Paul sent out a campaign update to supporters late on Wednesday in which he crowed about bringing “200 bound delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa” which “shatters the predictions of the pundits and talking heads and shows the seriousness of our movement.”

But Paul also insisted that he will have “several hundred additional supporters to Tampa who, while bound to Romney, believe in our ideas of liberty, constitutional government, and a common-sense foreign policy” leading to “as many as 500 supporters as delegates on the convention floor.”

The Texas congressman noted “this total is not enough to win the nomination; it puts us in a tremendous position to grow our movement and shape the future of the GOP!”

There has been speculation that Paul would bolt the GOP to support third-party candidates -- like he did in 2008 -- or launch a bid of his own, as he did in 1988 when he was the Libertarian Party’s nominee. However, Paul hinted that he would remain within the Republican fold.

Paul insisted to his supporters that they “never had this kind of opportunity" to “force the Republican Party to listen to the voice of liberty” and he plans to support like-minded candidates, naming three in particular -- U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., Kurt Bills who is running for the Senate in Minnesota and Thomas Massie who is running for Congress in Kentucky.

The Texas congressman predicted there would be “hundreds” of his supporters in Tampa “who will be ready and willing to push the Republican Party back to its limited government, liberty roots ... our delegates’ presence must be felt both in Tampa and in years to come.”

Calling his backers the “future of the party and of the country,” Paul showed no signs of abandoning the fight -- or the Republican Party.

Paul’s ties to the Republican Party were also shown late Thursday when his son -- U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., announced that he was backing Romney for the presidency.

“My first choice had always been my father,” Rand Paul said in an appearance on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News on Thursday night. “I campaigned for him when I was 11 years old. He's still my first pick. But now that the nominating process is over, tonight, I'm happy to announce that I'm going to be supporting Governor Mitt Romney."

Romney praised the freshman senator whose name has garnered some buzz as a possible running mate on the Republican ticket.

 “I am honored to have earned the endorsement of Rand Paul,” Romney said in a statement. “Senator Paul has been a leading voice in the effort to scale back the size and reach of government and promote liberty. Over the past three and a half years, President Obama has made government more and more of a presence in our lives, and Americans can’t afford four more years of the same failed policies. As president, I will reform the federal government and make it smaller, simpler, and smarter. I am grateful for Senator Paul’s support and look forward to working with him to get America back on the right track.”



Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859.

Comments (2)

AlexB
7:04AM JUN 11TH 2012
TOGETHER WE CAN BEAT Debbie-Wasserman-Schultz and Obama!

VOTE Gineen Bresso for Congress!

WIN WITH GIN!
andrewnappi
3:58AM JUN 11TH 2012
The roots of the Republican party are not in limited government. Indeed, the roots of the GOP are in cronyism and government being a tool of big business. The expansion of the federal government began with the Lincoln administration and has never been halted by any GOP president.
The romantic history of the GOP may sound good but the reality is both parties shift their positions based on reacting to their opponent's agenda in order to offer the illusion of choice.
If you want to support Republicans go ahead but don't buy into the revisionist history they are selling.

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