Will Ron Paul Endorse Mitt Romney To Beat Obama?

Could Ron Paul endorse Mitt Romney?

Anti-tax advocate (fanatic? champion? crusader?) Grover Norquist says that a Ron Paul endorsement of Romney could make or, if he withheld it, break Romney’s presidential chances.  ”Ron Paul is the only candidate for the Republican nomination whose endorsement will matter to Mitt Romney,” he writes. “It is the only endorsement that will bring votes and the only endorsement, if withheld, that could cost Romney the general election. If Ron Paul speaks at the GOP convention (as he was not invited to do in 2008), the party will be united and Romney will win in November 2012. If Ron Paul speaks only at his own rally in Tampa, Florida (as happened at the 2008 GOP convention in Minnesota) the party will not be at full strength.”

Conor Friedersdorf runs through three possible scenarios in which Paul endorses Romney: 1) he gets some big concession from Romney; 2) he does it for his son, Rand whose own presidential ambitions may depend on Ron Paul’s allegiance to the party; or 3) beating Obama is just that important.

On point one, Conor points out that nobody can trust Romney so this is a very unlikely reason Paul would have to endorse him. However, this is the only of the scenarios that is at all likely. “If we don’t pull it off, and we’re not in first place, yes, that would be a good goal,” Paul said, before the New Hampshire vote. “I run to win, and I have won a lot, but we also want to help direct the party and the country in a certain way, so that would be a very positive strategy to have an influence in the party.” What will this mean? In what way does Paul plan on brokering out his influence?
 On point two, I find it unlikely that Rand Paul’s success in a future election would depend on Ron Paul’s allegiance whatsoever. He’s already supported candidates from other parties, endorsing the Constitution Party candidate, Chuck Baldwin. Paul is so far outside the mainstream of his party, up until now they’ve likely preferred he endorses someone else. And finally, on point three I agree entirely with Conor. On the issues that matter to Paul it’s not at all clear whether Romney would be any better and he could possibly be much worse than the current president.

So no, Ron Paul isn’t going to endorse Romney unless he has some trick up his sleeve that we aren’t privy to. Not only that, but Paul would risk seriously upsetting his own base and support with the endorsement of someone like Romney. Since he’ll have a bunch of delegates by the time the convention roles around, this will make for some really intense politics in the coming months. Only Paul has the national organization and war chest to go toe-to-toe with Romney for the long haul. That he’s the sort of Republican who can at once run a close second, maybe even better, and not be likely to endorse the guy that wins is a pretty big deal. We certainly don’t see elections like this every year (or four, as the case may be.)

Of course, it’s possible he’ll endorse Gary Johnson if Johnson takes the Libertarian party nomination. But the question of how much influence Paul wants over his own party makes me wonder. If Paul really does want to steer the Republican ship, it’s possible Johnson is just very much out of luck.

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Gary Johnson comes out against Family Leader Pledge

Just another reason to support Gary Johnson in 2012:

July 9, 2011, Las Vegas, Nevada – Presidential candidate and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson charged today in a formal statement through his campaign that the Family Leader “pledge” Republican candidates for President are being asked to sign is “offensive to the principles of liberty and freedom on which this country was founded”.  Governor Johnson also plans to further state his position against the Family Leader pledge this afternoon in Las Vegas, NV at a speech he will deliver at the Conservative Leadership Conference.

Johnson went on to state that “the so-called ‘Marriage Vow” pledge that FAMILY LEADER is asking Republican candidates for President to sign attacks minority segments of our population and attempts to prevent and eliminate personal freedom.   This type of rhetoric is what gives Republicans a bad name.

“Government should not be involved in the bedrooms of consenting adults. I have always been a strong advocate of liberty and freedom from unnecessary government intervention into our lives. The freedoms that our forefathers fought for in this country are sacred and must be preserved. The Republican Party cannot be sidetracked into discussing these morally judgmental issues — such a discussion is simply wrongheaded. We need to maintain our position as the party of efficient government management and the watchdogs of the “public’s pocket book”.

“This ‘pledge’ is nothing short of a promise to discriminate against everyone who makes a personal choice that doesn’t fit into a particular definition of ‘virtue’.

While the Family Leader pledge covers just about every other so-called virtue they can think of, the one that is conspicuously missing is tolerance. In one concise document, they manage to condemn gays, single parents, single individuals, divorcees, Muslims, gays in the military, unmarried couples, women who choose to have abortions, and everyone else who doesn’t fit in a Norman Rockwell painting.

The Republican Party cannot afford to have a Presidential candidate who condones intolerance, bigotry and the denial of liberty to the citizens of this country. If we nominate such a candidate, we will never capture the White House in 2012. If candidates who sign this pledge somehow think they are scoring some points with some core constituency of the Republican Party, they are doing so at the peril of writing off the vast majority of Americans who want no part of this ‘pledge’ and its offensive language.