Ron Paul’s Unholy Pact with Mitt Romney
Tonight was the last debate of the Republican Primary for this election cycle. While there will be much proliferation of punditry, there’s one terribly important observation to be made that makes certain what many people have theorized before:
Ron Paul has whored himself out to Mitt Romney.
Ron Paul has made some very impressive gains this year, mostly due to the volatility of the race. It seems. however, that contrary to his and his followers’ insistence of his purist principles, Ron Paul is throwing his hat into the establishment corner, and helping Mitt Romney to win the nomination.
What’s the evidence? I’ll admit it’s mostly circumstantial and anecdotal.
UPDATE: Here’s a video I put together of the attacks Ron Paul made on Santorum, with text detailing the obvious opportunities he had to slap Mitt around as well, and didn’t:
Watch the debates over again. Early on when Tim Pawlenty seemed to have a chance, people were surprised that he was more animated at attacking Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann, letting Romney skate along. After he dropped out, Michelle Bachmann seemed to take up the job of blocking for Mitt, as she attacked Santorum and Newt. Once she dropped out, and for the last few debates, Ron Paul has mercilessly attacked Newt and Santorum. In this last debate, he especially went after Santorum, who is the biggest threat to Mitt.
Look at this exchange where Ron Paul goes after Santorum, calling him a “fake”:
Now, he characterizes Santorum as a flip flopper, but doesn’t ever challenge Mitt Romney on the matter. Further, he never mentions RomneyCare during the entire debate, even though it’s exactly the kind of top-down statist solutions that he usually rails against. Mitt Romney is much more susceptible to the accusation of being fake, after flip flopping on so many issues. So why does Ron go after Santorum when Mitt is still ostensibly the front-runner?
Here again, he slams Santorum on “playing for the sake of the team”, when Mitt Romney has shown that he won’t even do that – he’ll seek after liberal policies just for the sake of gaining political power. So Santorum is savaged by Ron, while he lets Mitt off scott-free.
Ron Paul has made some pretty intensive and well-made commercials against Santorum, and against Gingrich. He has not done so against Mitt Romney. As far as I could find, he had this radio ad against Romney, with criticisms that, to my remembrance, were not aired during any debate against Romney:
In fact, the only time he mentions Mitt Romney is when he’s hitting all the other candidates at once, as in this ad.
Now maybe that won’t convince you. If you’re a Paulestinian and are so enthralled with the crazy doctor that you couldn’t ever imagine him making a deal with the establishment, elite GOP, then nothing will convince you. If you are willing to give the idea a chance, consider this – the Washington Post reported on a strategic alliance between Paul and Romney 2 weeks ago:
Romney’s aides are “quietly in touch with Ron Paul,” according to a Republican adviser who is in contact with the Romney campaign and spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss its internal thinking. The two campaigns have coordinated on minor things, the adviser said — even small details, such as staggering the timing of each candidate’s appearance on television the night of the New Hampshire primary for maximum effect.
What Paul and his supporters would demand, and what Romney would offer, are subjects of some speculation. One Paul adviser, speaking on the condition of anonymity to talk freely, said prime-time speaking slots for Paul and his son Rand, the junior senator from Kentucky, are obvious goals.
Now after the debate, the news comes out that Rand has mentioned being open to a Vice President slot:
Kentucky’s junior senator says it would be an honor to be considered as a possible running mate for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
… After a speech in Louisville today, [Sen. Rand] Paul held that door firmly open, saying he wants to be part of the national debate.
… “I don’t know if I can answer that question, but I can say it would be an honor to be considered,” he said.
Certainly after this debate, Santorum saw what many of us noticed:
‘You have to ask Congressman Paul and Governor Romney what they’ve got going together,’ Santorum told reporters in the spin room in Mesa, Arizona. ‘Their commercials look a lot alike and so do their attacks.’
In Reno, regional coordinator Wayne Terhune used a slide show on a recent weeknight to teach volunteers how to participate in a Republican precinct meeting to help Paul win delegates in the state’s caucuses on Saturday.
In a tiny conference room with a water cooler and two dogs on the floor, Terhune told the volunteers not to allow paper ballots out of their sight once votes take place — and to dress neatly and inconspicuously, so fellow Republicans won’t be disinclined to elect them as caucus delegates.
A common refrain is to “cover your tattoos and cut your hair,” said Paul’s campaign manager, Jesse Benton, who often tells coordinators to “dress for business, because we mean business.”
So, maybe Paul’s game is to stall the nomination process, force a brokered convention, and then have his sleeper cell Paulbot delegates vote for him, once they’re released from voting for the nominee that brought them to the dance. As a hedge on his bets, he can assure himself that Rand would get a Vice President slot, just in case the GOP delegate organization out-scams his designs.
Let’s hope I’m just being paranoid.