Ron Paul is helping Mitt Romney. It’s been obvious for months. You’d think Paul’s followers would be outraged by this — but they’re not.
The Paul-Romney alliance means the race’s most ideologically pure fiscal conservative has effectively sold out to the least conservative, least consistent, most establishmentarian candidate in the field. Romney favors the basic concept of progressive taxation and a government’s right to compel citizens to purchase health insurance. It’s unthinkable that he would, if elected, end the Federal Reserve. Alone among the candidates, he insists that there be no cuts to any military spending. All these stances are anathema to Paul’s staunchly absolutist world view.
On paper, you would think Romney would be the chief subject of attacks from the Paul campaign, which has, in its television ads, been more unapologetically negative than any other. Paul has runone ad that slams all three of his rivals — Newt Gingrich (“serial hypocrite”), Rick Santorum (“counterfeit conservative”) and Romney (“flip-flopper). But that’s nothing compared to the attacks he’s unleashed pointed solely at Santorum (“fake,” “a record of betrayal”) and Gingrich (“selling access”).
Romney is the major only candidate Paul hasn’t singled out in an ad. And Paul’s ads against his competitors have been far more brutal than anything Romney or his super PAC have put on the airwaves. In crucial stages of the GOP primary thus far, he’s put hundreds of thousands of dollars behind these ads, helping squelch Santorum and Gingrich when they posed the most danger to Romney’s candidacy.
Helping Romney in his quest to make potential alternative candidates unpalatable to the conservative base is a major assist. But it’s far from the only way Paul has boosted the man who ought to be his biggest nemesis — the embodiment of the sort of soft, big-government Republicanism Paul says it’s his mission to eliminate.
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