Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Romney and Paul: a strategic alliance between establishment and outsider

Has Ron Paul aligned himself with the most leftist of the Republican candidates? - Reggie

By Amy Gardner / The Washington Post
Published: February 02. 2012 4:00AM PST

RENO, Nev. — The remaining candidates in the winnowed Republican presidential field are attacking one another with abandon, with each day bringing fresh headlines of accusations and outrage.

But Mitt Romney and Ron Paul haven’t laid a hand on each other. They never do.

Despite deep differences on a range of issues, Romney and Paul became personal friends in 2008, the last time both ran for president. So did their wives, Ann and Carol. The former Massachusetts governor compliments the Texas congressman during debates, praising Paul’s religious faith during the last one, in Jacksonville, Fla. Immediately afterward, as is often the case, the Pauls and the Romneys gravitated toward each other to say hello.

The Romney-Paul alliance is more than a curious connection. It is now a strategic partnership: for Paul, an opportunity to gain a seat at the table if his long-shot bid for the presidency fails; and for Romney, a chance to gain support from one of the most vibrant subgroups within the Republican Party.

“It would be very foolish for anybody in the Republican Party to dismiss a very real constituency,” one senior Republican aide in Washington familiar with both camps said said. “Ron Paul plays a very valuable part in the process and brings a lot of voters toward the Republican Party and ultimately into the voting booth, and that’s something that can’t be ignored.”

To ensure they are heard — not just now but after election day — Paul and his followers are working to gain a permanent foothold in the Republican Party nationwide. One state at a time, Paul’s followers are seating themselves at county committee meetings, standing for election as state officers and convention delegates, all to make sure that Paul’s libertarian vision is taken into account. The goal is a lasting voice for an army of outsiders who have long felt ignored but see the nation headed to ruin if that doesn’t change.

That is just fine with the Romney campaign, which would be happy to bring Paul’s constituency — perhaps the most intense and loyal in the country — into the fold.

Romney aides are “quietly in touch with Ron Paul,” according to a Republican adviser who is in touch with the Romney campaign and requested anonymity to discuss the campaign’s internal thinking. The Paul and Romney campaigns have “coordinated” on minor things, the adviser said (even on small details, such as staggering the timing of each candidate’s appearance on television the night of the New Hampshire primary for maximum effect).

One advantage for Romney in Paul’s continued presence in the race is to keep the GOP field fractured. But there is also a growing recognition that Paul plans to stay in the race over the long term anyway — and that accommodating him and his supporters could help unify the Republican electorate in the fall election against President Barack Obama.

“Ron Paul wants a presence at the convention,” the adviser said — and Romney, if he is the nominee, would grant it.

What Paul and his supporters would demand, and what Romney would offer, is the subject of some speculation. One Paul adviser who requested anonymity to speak freely said a prime-time speaking slot for Paul and for his son, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., are obvious goals. On the policy front, Paul’s top priorities are reforming the Federal Reserve and reducing federal spending. So a promise to audit the Fed, and to tackle deficit reduction seriously, could appease Paul and his supporters, the adviser said.


Anonymous said...

I find this article a major stretch. This is another perfect example of the media trying so hard to discredit Dr. Paul.

This is just a junk article.

Evidently you media are not watching the interviews that Paul has recently had where he calls Mitt a flip flopper and a man that constantly changes his mind.

Evidently they don't watch Dr. Paul's own campaign ads. Misinformed or intentional?

Ron Paul Ad: http://youtu.be/jSVi45vfA6o

Tim said...

If this is true it would be about the same as Palin endorsing McCain. Look at all the negative he is doing to the country.