(WASHINGTON) — Ron Paul’s ability to accumulate an outsized number of delegates at state conventions has many observers wondering if the Texas congressman will embarrass Romney at the GOP national convention.
“That is against my plan so I don’t like that even being a suggestion,” said Paul during an interview on CNN.
The congressman, who has been very persistent on the need for dramatic fiscal reform, didn’t offer any specifics on his convention ambitions other than reiterate that he’s passionate about changing the direction of the Republican Party.
Rumors have swirled that Paul plans to muscle his delegate heft into a major primetime speaking role at the convention. Paul says that’s simply not true.
“Giving a speech for the sake of giving a speech that is edited doesn’t have much appeal to me,” said Paul.
“But moving an agenda is very important and to do that we need to maximize the number of delegates that we have.”
Paul and his well-organized network of faithful supporters are using gatherings of conservative voters at state party conventions to peel away delegates that were awarded to Romney during the primaries and caucuses.
In Nevada, Paul picked up 22 of the state’s 25 delegates despite Romney winning the state’s caucuses Feb. 4.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal chronicled the convention’s sometimes-testy confrontations involving Paul backers and a similar story in Maine where the congressman picked up at least 13 delegates, which would be a majority of those chosen for the national convention.
The congressman will arrive in Tampa not having won a single state election contest. Holding an outsized number of delegates, Paul will be far from the number needed to give him a real shot at the nomination on the first ballot.
As ABC News’ Christopher Goode noted, when the delegates are not voting on the nominee, they can do whatever they want at the convention, regardless of whether or not they’re bound to vote for Romney.
Paul can push hard to be included in the platform debates, shaping the party’s official platform on the Federal Reserve, Iraq and Afghanistan and drug policy, which is different from that of Romney.
The Texas congressman still hasn’t said whether he intends to support likely nominee Mitt Romney for president, citing concerns over the former governor’s position on the Federal Reserve and commitment to cutting spending.
“I mean, I can beat Obama, too,” Paul said. “I think that I could beat him, and every Republican that’s run would have a pretty good chance of beating the president.”
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