Wednesday, May 23, 2012

No chance Ron Paul endorses Gary Johnson

The Independent Political Report, via Reason:

Ron Paul campaign manager/spokesman/family member Jesse Benton told reporters during a phone conference May 15 that there would be no chance of any endorsement of Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson by Ron Paul. Benton said that Ron Paul endorsing Republican presumptive nominee Mitt Romney was not out of the question. 

Here's the rationale.

Ron Paul ran as a Libertarian for President in 1988, but has served separate stints as a Republican in Congress before and since, and has run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 and 2012. His son Rand Paul is a freshman US Senator from Kentucky and is considered by many to be a future presidential aspirant as early as 2016; other Paul family members are also rumored to have a possible future in politics. 

And here's some of the recent history. I'm emphasizing the names of the players in bold.

Subsequent to his return to Congress as a Republican, Ron Paul has continued his involvement with alternative political parties to some extent, speaking at a number of their events and endorsing a number of their candidates. [...]

In 2008, former Republican Congressman Bob Barr, a Libertarian National Committeeman in 2006-8 who had also supported (2004 Libertarian presidential nominee Michael) Badnarik, ran as the Libertarian presidential candidate and famously earned the Paul campaign’s ire by first agreeing to, then at the last minute refusing to participate in a joint press conference with Dr. Paul, Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin, Ralph Nader (who was running as an independent, as he had in 2004, and ran as a Green in 2000 and 1996), and Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney. The press conference was planned as a way to announce agreement between these candidates and Dr. Paul on several key issues, and in turn Paul was to suggest that voters consider these four candidates as better alternatives than Obama and McCain without making a specific endorsement. After Barr, who was on the premises, refused to appear with the group on stage and instead offered Ron Paul to become a substitute VP candidate for the Libertarians, Paul responded by endorsing Baldwin. 

Barr backed Gingrich earlier this year but has recently endorsed Romney.

This gives every indication that the Kook Caucus is slowly coming together behind Mitt -- though I believe Tom Tancredo is still a holdout --  even as the relatively sane conservatives offer a legitimate third option in Gary Johnson and Jim Gray, whose nominations as Libertarian Party standard-bearers for 2012 were chronicled here.

Charles Kuffner doesn't agree -- and maybe it's just me who is more aware of third-party efforts while most everybody else remains not -- but I believe the minor parties in Texas are collectively going to exceed much more than their traditional 1-2% of the statewide vote. I think it could be as much as 5% for all of them combined, perhaps a bit more. We'll see.


Charles Kuffner said...

Just so we're clear, I am only saying that about the Presidential race. I make no predictions about third party performance in other races, where I agree that historically they perform in the 3-5% range most of the time.

PDiddie said...

Gotcha. You're on the record. ;^)