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Ron Paul to Stop Competing in Primaries, Focus on Convention Delegates

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Ron Paul announced today he will suspend active campaigning in the GOP presidential race, but will continue to campaign for delegates at state conventions. The news comes after his son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), late last week dismissed the suggestion that his father is quietly planning a nominating convention coup.

“For all practical purposes, it is over. The numbers are there and Mitt Romney’s going to win the nomination,” Rand Paul said during an interview Thursday. 

Ron Paul has been racking up victories at state GOP convention contests across the country, where delegates to the nominating convention in Tampa, Fla., are in the process of being elected. But Paul has failed to win even one state presidential primary.

“Our campaign will continue to work in the state convention process,” the Texas Congressman wrote to supporters today. “We will continue to take leadership positions, win delegates and carry a strong message to the Republican National Convention that Liberty is the way of the future.”

He asked supporters to “stay tuned” for an update from the campaign’s leadership on its delegate strategy.

Some political observers have speculated that Paul’s campaign might try to engineer a GOP presidential nomination victory during a vote of national convention delegates in Florida, even though Republican National Committee rules mandate that all delegates are pledged to the candidate who wins 1,144 delegates through ballot-box victories during Republican primaries in the states.

Rand Paul, who holds similar views to his libertarian-leaning father and is a top surrogate for his presidential campaign, expressed satisfaction with Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, as the Republican presidential nominee. The Senator said Romney’s nomination would set up an election of sharp contrasts and spark an important philosophical debate on the direction of the country.

“I think he’ll be head and shoulders above [President Barack] Obama,” Paul said. “Because [Romney has] sort of experienced the success of the American dream and President Obama is very much for deriding those who are successful and saying they’re not paying enough of their fair share, I think … the election in many ways will be about whether or not we still believe as a country … in economic mobility; whether we believe that our kids or ourselves could be successful and whether we want to divide up the shrinking pie and make things more fair or more egalitarian or whether or not we’re willing to accept that some people will make more money and by letting them make more money, their success also creates more opportunity for the rest of us.”

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Photos of the week ending April 19, 2024