WASHINGTON, June 5, 2012 — There has been much speculation about the meeting between Rand Paul and Mitt Romney. Rand has been mentioned as a possible vice-presidential pick for Romney, presumably to woo Ron Paul supporters who have lost faith in their candidate’s chances.
On the surface, this looks like a smart idea. Congressman Paul has accumulated many more delegates than the media claims he’s won. His chances may be slim, but he has the power to cause a convention floor-fight if he chooses. Romney would like to avoid anything resembling a divided Party at the convention in Tampa. That would damage his credibility and weaken him going into the general election, hence the meeting with Senator Paul.
However, if more people understood the reasoning of Ron Paul’s supporters, Rand would not be part of the VP discussion.
Getting the support of the Paul revolution would be a dream come true for the Romney campaign, but won’t happen. Romney lacks many qualities that Paul’s supporters look for in a candidate. These include honesty, integrity, consistency and substance. Romney has none of these, and we haven’t even gotten to his positions on the issues yet.
Ron Paul has already refused to endorse Romney as the Republican nominee, and will not endorse him even after the convention. This makes a Rand Paul vice-presidency extremely unlikely. Senator Paul is not going to put his father in the position of choosing between his son and his principles.
Romney is smart. He knows that Rand Paul is not likely to accept the VP spot out of respect for his father and their vastly different views on conservatism. Rand might not even endorse Romney due to his ideological honesty. Romney and Paul differ on issues such as the USA Patriot Act, the National Defense Authorization Act, the Federal Reserve, and our foreign policy in general. With so little common ground it is a far stretch to consider him accepting a vice-presidential nod from the former Governor of Massachusetts.
If you are not convinced that Senator Paul would not accept a spot on the ticket with Romney, remember Rand Paul’s last two speeches at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). In 2010, Rand reminded the hawkish crowd that if Republicans weren’t willing to consider military spending cuts, then they were “big government conservatives[s]” who “could not lay claim to balancing the budget.” He closed his speech by boldly attacking the concept of party loyalty. “It’s not enough to have Republicans in charge. We’re not inherently exceptional as Republicans.”
Paul took another shot at the Republican Party at this year’s CPAC gathering. He said, “The Republican Party is an empty vessel unless we imbue it with values.” These do not sound like the words of a man who will throw his principles out the door to further his political career and his standing with the Republican Party. Although it is quite common for politicians to go back on their word, Rand Paul, like his father, has had a very strong track record when it comes to being honest with the voters.
Not only would it be unlikely for Senator Paul to accept a spot on the ticket with Romney, it would be even more unlikely for Congressman Paul’s supporters to go along with such a travesty. With many Ron Paul supporters vowing to write in his name if he does not get the nomination, a large segment of the liberty movement would likely see a Rand Paul Vice-Presidency as a betrayal of libertarian ideals and constitutional conservatism.
The most likely reason for the Paul-Romney meeting is that Romney wants to find a way to appease the liberty movement and prevent a fight on the convention floor. He would do well to forget this strategy and realize that Ron Paul’s supporters will not compromise no matter who is on the ticket.
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