Ron Paul -Stalking Horse for Romney?

By Proof

At the risk of alienating long time Ron Paul fans, here's a view from the other side...

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It seems that the evidence is mounting that Ron Paul, admired for his forthrightness and unwavering message may have been less than honest with followers specifically and the public in general...

First, a note for those of you not familiar with the term "stalking horse". In frontier times, a stalking horse was a kind of camouflage. A herd of deer or bison might be spooked by a two legged figure coming towards it, but a hunter walking alongside a horse was perceived as just another herd beast, until the hunter was close enough to shoot his prey. The stalking horse gave the hunter cover by disguising his motives.

It seems that Ron Paul may have been Romney's stalking horse among conservatives in the debates...

An analysis of 20 debates by ThinkProgress* shows that Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul did not attack rival Mitt Romney once during those televised face-offs.

That’s in comparison to Paul attacking Romney’s rivals — like former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich — a total of 39 times during those debates, the report said.

ThinkProgress reported that Paul attacked Santorum 22 times and Gingrich 8 times in the debates. He attacked Texas Gov. Rick Perry and businessman Herman Cain four times each and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann one time while they were in the race.

Romney is the most liberal Republican running this year. He's one of the guys that Ron Paul's supporters like to call "McSame", after the failed bid of John McCain. Funny how Dr. Paul attacked all the other candidates as "not being conservative enough" while taking a "kid glove" approach to the most moderate to liberal candidate in the race. And now the stories are out there about how Rand Paul might be in the running for Romney's Veep? What is it they say about once being an accident, twice being coincidence, but three times is enemy action?

If there was a back room deal, does Paul really believe that his followers would accept his endorsement of Romney after having been misled for the past year? Many I've spoken to plan on sitting out the election is Paul is not the candidate. Would they accept Rand as Veep as a sop to their consciences? Or just see it as a sell out?

Speaking as a father, I know that there are lots of things I would give up in order for my children to succeed. But, I don't think my integrity is one of them.

*Yes. ThinkProgress comes with their own ideological bias. But if you can demonstrate where they've gotten their facts wrong here, I'm more than willing to listen.

H/T Daily Caller

Cross posted at Proof Positive


  1. The actual TP article has some factual disputations in the comments section, for reference.

    I think it is far to say that Paul has been less directly critical of Romney than some of the other candidates, though. Part of that is probably a concession to political reality (Romney being the long-time presumed front-runner), part is that Romney is reasonably skilled at avoiding taking controversial or unequivocal positions, and part is that his ideology is probably the closest to Paul's of the other candidates running. Considering that Santorum is a theocrat, Perry is a moron, and Gingrich is a statist insider, one could see how Romney, even as a virtual clone of Obama, could be the least of the evils from Paul's perspective.

    1. "less directly critical of Romney". When has Paul not called a spade a spade when referring to all things Constitutional? And the unConstitutional mandate in ObamaCare, defended by Romney (with less than convincing liberal arguments) does not merit even a mild rebuke from Mr. Upholder of the Constitution?

      "one could see how Romney, even as a virtual clone of Obama, could be the least of the evils from Paul's perspective." Your characterizations of the other three candidates aside, are you freaking kidding me???? A liberal clone of Obama is the least of all evils? A Ron Paul supporter once said to me, "I'm mature enough to know that the lesser of two evils is still evil." (Which was why he could only vote for Ron Paul.)

      The purists in the Ron Paul camp have been telling me for years that it's Ron Paul or no one. All the other Republicans were just McSames, with whom the country would be equally doomed. Imagine their surprise if Ron Paul didn't share that view?

    2. "[Romney's] ideology is probably the closest to Paul's of the other candidates running."

      I find this almost unbelievable.

      Are Paul's followers so deeply embedded with social progressives and so bigoted against conservative Christian politicians that they'd follow Ron Paul like a bunch of lemmings over Romney's cliff to progressive statist crony socialism?

      Watching the Ron Paul saga unfold this election cycle has certainly been instructive. Like Ron Paul who continues to run under the popular "conservative" banner (but who stabbed Ronald Reagan in the back), Paul's followers seem ready to betray their conservative brothers if they don't get their way with Ron.

      As a conservative, I'm beginning to wonder if libertarians can be trusted as allies.

    3. You certainly are free to find a better ally. One word of caution, conservatives cannot win the White House without them. Romney knows that. That is why he is easy on Paul. And Paul is easy on him in return.

      I understand your concern in allies though. I haven't trusted conservatives since they threw in with all the other big government proponents. Most notably, GWB. Neo-cons have been playing the big con on people for quite a while now.

      Just my opinion.

    4. Unfortunately, you seem to be proving my point. Libertarians seem to be more comfortable with the hard left than they are with "neo-cons," "SoCons" and other charter members of the conservative movement.

      If conservatives win anything this year, they'll apparently have to do it without libertarians. It looks like most libertarians would sooner vote for Barack Obama or a third party candidate if they can't have Ron Paul. In what sense does that represent any kind of "alliance" with conservatives?

      On the other hand, if libertarians are going to accomplish anything with regard to economic liberty (other than faint lip service), they'll do it by working with conservatives.

      Alternatively, libertarians can stand with progressives against the menace of "theocrats" and "neo-cons" while they sell out their rights and liberties for the illusion of more personal freedom.

    5. @RightKlik: As a political independent, I don't really identify myself with a party, or particular ideology. I say this up-front, because (as I've stated before) Ron Paul represents the closest positions to my own viewpoints, even though I disagree with some of his positions. In the same way, I think Ron Paul recognizes that, of the other candidates, Romney represents the closest positions to his viewpoints, followed by perhaps Obama (I can't speak for Paul, but that's roughly my ordering).

      As for the whole "helping conservatives" or "alliance", I find the whole notion off-putting. I've been called a conservative because of some of my views, but I like and dislike positions of all parties, to various degrees. It so happens that I'm fairly strongly against a Theoracy, and since all the candidates (sans Paul) are roughly equivalent with regard to statism, government growth, government spending, and confiscating personal rights, I could very well find myself more aligned with Obama than the Republican nominee. That doesn't mean I like Obama at all (as you could clearly tell with even a casual look at my blog); it means I'm appalled that the GOP could not offer a better alternative for my views.

      Make no mistake: I'm not "with" conservatives, libertarians, or anyone else. If the GOP collectively offers a statist Theocrat to challenge a statist Communist, there will be no good options among the two primary parties for people like me. I think in that case a pet rock would be the best option to lead the country, but I'd probably settle for the evil I knew.

    6. I'd like to know your definition of "Theocracy." I'm hoping that would help me understand why Obama's exploitation of religion is more palatable to you than what you've seen from Republicans.

  2. It's called strategy, honey. Mitt is in this for the long haul and so is Paul. If Paul could knock out the two other non-Romney candidates, then his odds greatly improved. Like Doug Wead said, if 22 years being offered junkets, stock tips, women, etc. from lobbyists and the whole Washington machine did not corrupt Dr. Paul, does anyone seriously think that milquetoast Mitt? Let me just tell you right now, there is no way a Paul is going to be on a Goldman Sachs ticket, not now, or ever. Romney was included in the "plastic man" commercial, and if we get through Super Tuesday with significant delegate pickups, you better believe that Mitt's day is coming.

    1. Strategy? So when Romney defends the unConstitutional portions of ObamaCare, there's no strategic advantage for Paul to distinguish himself from the candidate that his supporters call "McSame" by calling him on it? I believe a candidate who was truly running for president would have take at least some passing notice of a difference that separates him from the most liberal of his opponents.

      Is there any other issue or candidate where Paul has been so timid or tepid in expressing his opinions as he is with Romney?

    2. Dude, he's got to use his time in the debates very wisely as he's not sure he's going to get a fair amount. Remember the 89 second one.
      Ron Paul is a medical doctor who says that Medicaid and Medicare are unconstitutional. Must he spoonfeed the unconstitutionality of socialism.

      Ron Paul has written several books that strongly separate him from every candidate I've ever seen. The principles of liberty, the founders, the Biblical foundations of law are steeped throughout. To think that he could or would have anything to do with Romney is just crazy. He's been against the Fed Cartel since 1971, just to ally himself with a Federal Reserve Cartel backed candidate. Sure. Whatever.

      Maybe you should donate to the Paul campaign, and I'm sure in time, we'll get to Romney, who has hit his ceiling. By the way, calling Rick out for being a fake is illustrative of the entire not-Paul crop. He could have said that about any of them, but the public, as they are, can only focus on one thing at a time.

  3. Nick and RM make strong points. Of course that is irrelevant to the "anti" Paul and Liberty individuals within the republican party establishment.

    1. What is relevant are the facts. Those are "irrelevant" to far too many people. Which facts would you dispute?

    2. ...but unable to articulate it? Then, how about a hypothetical? What would you think about a generic presidential candidate who claimed his ideas were superior to all the other candidates running , but attacked all the other candidates except one? Now suppose that this candidate claimed to be the most conservative and the candidate he refused to attack was the most liberal? Show your work.

      It might have been strategic to delay the attacks, but to cede every single debate? To what would you attribute the missed opportunities?

      If you even have a theory as to why Romney has gotten a pass from Paul so far, I'd be willing to hear it. Or you can just question the premise of anything that does not fit neatly in your narrative.

    3. I have another theory.

      Ron Paul attacks conservatives because he's not conservative.

      Paul is a libertarian with a history of betraying conservatives, and he's closer to the progressive in the race than he is to any conservative.

    4. Here's my theory: Paul is the real conservative and "conservatives" are bankster hacks. It was when Ronald Reagan did not abolish the Department of Education and expanded the deficit that Ron Paul when "rogue" and became a Libertarian. You see that stuff about getting rid of government wasn't just in Paul's head, it was part of the Republican platform at the time, and they ignored their own platform. Being a man of principle, he said "I'm done with you clowns". Now a fair question is, could Reagan have actually done as he had promised in getting rid of the Dept. of Ed, how much power does the president actually have? Is it, as some have theorized, that the banksters run the office instead? Let me share a quote by Dr. Antony Sutton that might help you see things in a different light (if your interested of course):

      "Consequently, one barrier to mature understanding of recent history is the notion that all capitalists are the bitter and unswerving enemies of all Marxists and socialists. This erroneous idea originated with Karl Marx and was undoubtedly useful to his purposes. In fact, the idea is nonsense. There has been a continuing, albeit concealed, alliance between international political capitalists and international revolutionary socialists — to their mutual benefit. This alliance has gone unobserved largely because historians — with a few notable exceptions — have an unconscious Marxian bias and are thus locked into the impossibility of any such alliance existing. The open-minded reader should bear two clues in mind: monopoly capitalists are the bitter enemies of laissez-faire entrepreneurs; and, given the weaknesses of socialist central planning, the totalitarian socialist state is a perfect captive market for monopoly capitalists, if an alliance can be made with the socialist powerbrokers. Suppose — and it is only hypothesis at this point — that American monopoly capitalists were able to reduce a planned socialist Russia to the status of a captive technical colony? Would not this be the logical twentieth-century internationalist extension of the Morgan railroad monopolies and the Rockefeller petroleum trust of the late nineteenth century?"

      Check out my Wall Street and the Bolshevik series to get all the whys and wherefores on how the big money and socialists are really the same people. It's easy to be on top when you have no competition. Are you aware that Obama's grandmother was pretty high up in the Chase Bank in Hawaii? His mother worked for the Ford Foundation, which is very interlocked with the Fed. Cartel. She worked under Timothy Geitner's father Peter. Small world, huh? Not if you understand that the majority of Progressives and Conservatives are actually playing for the same monopolistic team, which can be proven when you follow the money. Rush and Mark Levin would never dare bring up the Ford Foundation as a repeated talking point, because they would be fired if they pursued that one too far. However, that's one of the big groups that push all these indoctrination campaigns: La Raza, radical feminism, abortion, etc. came out of Ford. Plus they do this destabilization crap all over the world. What do you think little Barry was doing in Indonesia?

      Ah, well, I have my own blog to get back to, but just wanted to point out to people where I am now coming from.

  4. As I said in reply to another poster on a tad different subject, I will repeat now in answer to the question of why Paul is not attacking Romney. It's not a stalking horse strategy, it's much simpler.

    Republicans cannot win the White House without libertarians, independents, squishy and moderate Democrats and new young voters. Romney knows that. Paul has excellent support from those groups. That is why he is easy on Paul. And Paul is easy on him in return.

    Simple, and devoid of conspiracy theories or over analyses.

    1. You've explained why Romney isn't hitting Paul (which isn't necessary because Paul is too weak to pose a threat to Romney), but you haven't explained why Paul isn't attacking Romney.

      Paul has attacked all of the non-Romney candidates far out of proportion to the attacks he has received from them. Just like Romney and most of the voters, the other candidates would be ignoring Paul if Paul weren't so determined to take out all of the non-progressives in the race.

      It takes a blind devotion to Ron Paul to miss these simple observations.

  5. Perhaps Pail will attack Romney when they are the only two republicans standing? Don't sell Ron Paul short. There is no conspiracy here. Irrespective of any perceived by some.

    1. The theory that Paul is holding his fire against Romney in a longer-term strategy is the only pro-Paul theory that makes any sense in this discussion.

      But I don't understand how that's supposed to work for Paul. Wouldn't Paul have a better chance of pushing Romney out when Romney is #2 or #3 in a four-man race, as opposed to when Romney is #1 in a two-man race?

      I think Paul knows he's not going to win the GOP nomination. So what is his plan?

  6. "You've explained why Romney isn't hitting Paul (which isn't necessary because Paul is too weak to pose a threat to Romney), but you haven't explained why Paul isn't attacking Romney."

    Actually, I have explained. Sorry you missed the last sentence, or didn't find it adequate. He is easy on him in return because he can more easily contrast himself to Romney without all the nonsensical "conservative" monikers attached to the other decidedly non conservative big government progressives like Newt and Santorum once they have fallen away.

    I also enjoy that they are no longer called conservative by many (including you), instead calling them "Non Progressives". That's amusing.

    This just in, new Rassmussen poll shows Santorum and Newt dead bang losers against Obama. Paul beats Obama by the same margin as Romney. I've been saying this all along.

    And the other point I made is just left hanging there. Namely; Republicans can't win without Paul voters, so keep beating the anti Paul drum and watch Obama finish the job of dismantling freedom in America. Good luck.

    1. I take all the polls with a grain of salt at this point. You can find pretty much whatever you're looking for, e.g., USA Today poll shows Obama trailing Romney and Santorum in swing states:

    2. It's pretty clear to me: Ron Paul is invested in Romney winning the nomination. It's what he wants and it's what he's counting on at this point...

      "Paul’s advisors have been candid in interviews in explaining that his goal in running this time is to pile up delegates and gain some influence at the convention, either in terms of input into the party’s official 2012 platform or a primetime speaking gig or both. That being so, it’s only logical that they’d go easy on Romney. He was and is the likely nominee; the more helpful they are to him, the less resistance there’ll be to a convention role for the Paul family, especially since Romney will be nervous about alienated libertarians staying home if he freezes Paul out. RP tried running against the rest of the field in 2008 and got nothing from the establishment as thanks. This time, he’s taking a different tack. It’s working."

      But by singling Mitt out for special treatment, he's not just eliminating all of the other non-Romneys and ingratiating himself to Mitt, he's spending millions to HELP Mitt.


      "[Paul] is easy on [Romney] in return because he can more easily contrast himself to Romney without all the nonsensical 'conservative' monikers attached to the other decidedly non conservative big government progressives like Newt and Santorum once they have fallen away."

      I'm not sure I understand why it would be so difficult for Paul to attack Romney with Gingrich and Santorum still in the race.

      Moreover, I'm not sure when Paul is assuming Santorum is supposed to be dropping out. Perhaps that will happen when his buddy Romney has already clinched the nomination and no one is paying attention anymore?

    3. "I also enjoy that they are no longer called conservative by many (including you), instead calling them 'Non Progressives.' That's amusing."

      I'm glad you like that. As far as I know, I'm the only person who's called the non-Romney/Paul candidates "non-progressives."

      I'm not here to argue that Santorum/Gingrich are especially conservative. They're certainly not the sort of conservatives that I'd like them to be.

      I have much less fear and antipathy for Santorum and Gingrich than many of the other commenters here, but that doesn't mean I like them.

  7. Thank you for your very reasoned and rational explanation Grant.

  8. You misunderstand. Libertarians will merely stay home or vote third party. Moderate Dems will NEVER vote for Newt or Santorum. New young voters will NEVER vote for those guys. Independents, both left and right will stay home.

    The Neo-con, So-con, beat the war drum guys and establishment McCain/Romney can't win alone. It's a bust with their guys. It's lost, no doubt.

    Most people don't vote or think like political junkies, they vote FOR someone, or stay home.

    It's your election to lose, just put Santorum or Newt up and watch Obama finish you off. But hey, at least you will get to blame it on the libertarians and independents, as usual.

    It's easy, put up a good candidate, you win. Go for another loser like Republicans usually do, you lose.

    1. "You misunderstand. Libertarians will merely stay home or vote third party."

      I understand perfectly. Reliable allies don't stay home. Your statement supports my point.

      "The Neo-con, So-con, beat the war drum guys..."

      I'm not a Republican and I probably never will be. I'm not sure I'd qualify to be a member of the Neo-con club or the So-con club either. But I do think libertarian antipathy for these groups is misplaced.

      The threat of ZombieReagan's Theocratic Neocon Apocalypse™ has been wildly exaggerated.

      "It's your election to lose, just put Santorum or Newt up and watch Obama finish you off."

      Romney AND Santorum are leading Obama in swing states. Swing states will decide the election.

      "at least you will get to blame it on the libertarians and independents, as usual."

      I don't know of anyone who wants to "blame" independents for Obama. Independents are probably leaning right at this point.

      "It's easy, put up a good candidate, you win."

      There are no "good" candidates in the race. Barely adequate? Maybe. Good? No.

  9. His plan is the same one he has always had. Freedom.

    Ya might be Pres, ya might go home and play with your grandkids, but either way, you are making a HUGE movement toward regaining freedom for Americans in what might be the last few years of the Republic if the country doesn't wake up.

    The progress that has been made because of his efforts in the last election, and now this one, is immense. We better pray it isn't too late.

    The Republicans don't know salvation when they see it. Dumb asses.

    1. "His plan is the same one he has always had. Freedom."

      I don't see how Paul's tacit support for Mr. Progressive Neocon McRomneycare fits into the plan.

  10. RK - I am fiercely independent. I will not stay home. I will vote Gary Johnson, because as Grant so accurately states... Republicans can be dumb asses.

    1. I just might do the same. In deeply blue states like yours, and deeply red ones like mine, that's not such a bad idea.

  11. It's absolutely ridiculous to assert that Paul is the most liberal candidate in the race. You lose all credibility you may have had with that statement alone. Like him or not, Paul is running on the same platform that GW Bush won on in 2000. Under his leadership, the party moved left. (Bigger government, more wars, deeper debt.) Paul did not.

    I think the whole "Paul as a Romney tool" idea is nonsensical, and therefore it seems logical that it's coming from the left. The simple truth is that Ron doesn't need to attack Romney because Ron is still fighting for his turn to be the "Not Romney" candidate. Since Romney isn't able to break the 38% mark no matter what contest we're talking about, gaining support from his camp isn't necessary to win the nomination.

    1. "It's absolutely ridiculous to assert that Paul is the most liberal candidate in the race" That's why you might want to go back and read it again. I said that "Romney is the most liberal Republican running this year", not Paul. Every use of the word "liberal" in the post or the comments refer to Romney, or to arguments that Romney has used, not Paul.

      I won't say what your statement did to your credibility.

    2. Oops - so you did. My mistake. Sorry! But at the end of the day, I'm not one looking to find nuggets of truth in the Think Progress agenda.

      The rest of my theory stands. There's no reason for Paul to attack Romney. He's not after Romney's supporters. He's after the "Not Romney" vote.

      It's amazing how little we evolve. Every freaking election cycle these silly conspiracy theory allegations appear. Last time around it was Huckabee. He was staying in the race in order to twhwart Romney, and was going to end up as VP or in a cushy cabinet position. Except he didn't.

      Earlier this season, the media conspired to destroy Cain, who (as the story went) was actually in the race only to be a vice presidential pick.

      If I have this right, Romney is kissing up to Paul in exchange for not getting attacked by the candidate with the least amount of ballot box influence in exchange for giving Rand (who could never be trusted to consistently publicly agree with Romney's moderate governing style) the chance to be the vice presidential choice on the ticket. Of course, the establishment GOP is actually behind all this, because that will get Rand out of the Senate where he's nothing but a thorn in the side of the establishment Republicans. And Rand, being totally ignorant of recent history, will disregard the total lack of success failed vice presidential candidates have achieved, and agree to run with Romney.

      And all the while, they call us the conspiracy nuts.

  12. Here's an official Paul ad attacking Romney:

    Here's another one:

    And that is what I found in about 2 whole minutes of looking. I suspect that Think Progress may be cherry picking to make their point. GASP!


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