Ron Paul Spokesman: Candidate Unlikely To Ever Endorse Romney | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Ron Paul Spokesman: Candidate Unlikely To Ever Endorse Romney

Presidential candidate Ron Paul is not expected to ultimately endorse presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, Paul's chief strategist said Tuesday.

"Never say never, but I don't believe that's likely," said Jesse Benton, during a half-hour-plus give-and-take with reporters.

And there's also no chance, he said, that Paul, who is remaining in the race in an effort to collect delegates to the Republican National Convention, will endorse Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. Or that he would endorse anyone outside the Republican Party, he said. Unless his supporters are treated badly.

During the call, in what appeared to be a direct message to Paul supporters, Benton repeatedly emphasized that the campaign expects its delegates to the national convention to act with "decorum and respect."

"Our supporters are going to get an excessive amount of blame for problems that arise in heated moments" during the August convention in Tampa, Fla., he said, calling for "respect and civility" among those participating.

"They're going to be under a microscope," Benton said.

The Paul campaign estimates that it already has secured about 100 national convention delegates committed to Paul, a Texas congressman.

On Monday, Paul announced that his campaign would no longer invest in presidential primary states, and Benton said the campaign had turned down the Republican National Committee's offer to set up a joint general election fundraising committee, as it has with Romney.

But Paul is expecting to pick up additional national convention delegates this weekend at the Minnesota state GOP convention, and in coming party conventions in Washington, Missouri, Louisiana and Iowa, Benton said.

The delegates are serving as Paul's leverage to influence the party's convention platform and party rules going forward. Benton said the campaign has been in contact with Romney campaign officials about the platform, and they've "agreed to be helpful."

Paul's platform focus includes Federal Reserve transparency and accountability, monetary reform, Internet freedom and opposition to indefinite detention.

"There have been no discussions [about] whether Ron will speak or not speak" at the convention, he said.

As to whether Paul supporters would get behind Romney once he secures the nomination, Benton had this to say: "I think that's still up for grabs. The ball is in the court of the Republican Party, and in the court of Mitt Romney."

It depends, he said, on whether Paul supporters and their ideas are treated "seriously and with respect."

"In a nutshell, we want to do things that open up the party," he said, and that prevent the party establishment from "locking the party down and benefiting the people who are already inside the tent."

Is Paul concerned that if he doesn't endorse Romney, the expected GOP nominee might lose to President Obama?

"That is not going to figure into Dr. Paul's calculus," Benton replied.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

No Small Feat: The NBA's Shortest Player Never Gave Up

At 5 foot 3, Muggsy Bogues holds the record as shortest player in NBA history. Criticism of his height started on the basketball courts of the Baltimore projects, and continued well into his career.
NPR

Tracing A Gin-Soaked Trail In London

Around the world, new gin distilleries are popping up like mushrooms after a rain. NPR traces the boom to its historic roots in London, which once had 250 distilleries within the city limits alone.
NPR

Ranting And Throwing Papers: An Angry Candidate Runs For Congress

State Rep. Mike Bost's rants on the Illinois House floor are the stuff viral dreams are made of. Bost says he has good reason to be upset, and wants voters to share his anger.
NPR

Israel's Solar-Powered 'Trees': For Smartphones And Community

The man-made trees are designed to create a public space where people can gather and re-charge a battery — their own and their smartphone's.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.