Ron Paul: Winding Down, But Not Out
(WASHINGTON) — Ron Paul’s long-shot presidential campaign started winding down Monday — done in by the candidate’s lack of funds, senior aides admit.
“It was a financial consideration definitely,” campaign spokesman Gary Howard said.
The 76-year-old Texas congressman’s coffers have dried up recently, and actively campaigning in the 11 states yet to hold primaries would have thrown the campaign into debt — something Paul strongly opposes.
But beyond the financial considerations, senior aides concede that Paul was nervous that the actions of his supporters at state conventions threatened to tarnish the long-term viability of the movement he spent decades building.
On Saturday, Mitt Romney’s son Josh was booed off the stage by Paul supporters in Arizona and at the Oklahoma State Convention last weekend, Paul supporters booed both Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty when they urged the state convention delegates to support Romney this fall.
“The fact is that all of this fighting makes Ron Paul nervous,” senior Paul adviser Doug Wead wrote on his blog Monday night. “Shouting people down is not Ron Paul’s way.”
Campaign sources said that the bigger fear is that hostilities will affect Paul’s son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who is widely expected to seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.
Ron Paul will arrive in Tampa not having won a single state election contest, but holding an outsized number of delegates.
In Nevada, Paul picked up 22 of the state’s 25 delegates despite Romney winning the state’s caucuses Feb. 4.
In Romney’s home state of Massachusetts, Paul supporters defeated more than half of Romney’s 27 chosen delegates — including the woman who served as Romney’s lieutenant governor.
Paul’s plans going forward include continuing to work the convention circuit.
The campaign confirms that the congressman will fly to Minnesota this weekend for the state GOP convention and he’s also committed to speak at the upcoming Texas, Iowa, and Washington State GOP conventions.
Campaign manager Jesse Benton is scheduled to host a conference call on Tuesday morning to discuss Paul’s convention strategy and what the campaign hopes to accomplish, but he already confirms that Paul will use his delegate muscle to influence the party platform at the convention.
Benton has been in discussion with likely nominee Romney’s campaign over incorporating Paul’s priorities — including prohibiting indefinite detention for American citizens, protecting Internet freedom and limiting the power of the Federal Reserve — into the GOP platform.
Benton said the Paul and Romney teams have not yet spoken about a speaking slot for the congressman during the convention, though that is something Paul said in a recent interview “doesn’t have much appeal” to him.
Paul announced Monday that he will no longer actively campaign in the remaining primary states, but told supporters in an email that he would continue to accumulate delegates to the Republican National Convention in August in Tampa, Fla.
Paul still hasn’t said whether he intends to support Romney for president, citing concerns over the former governor’s position on the Federal Reserve and about his commitment to cutting spending.
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