Ron Paul hints that he’s voting for Gary Johnson
It’s no surprise that Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who is retiring from elected office at the beginning of the year, isn’t a fan of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. The two seemed friendly during the race for the GOP nomination as Paul defended Romney when other candidates were attacking his tenure at Bain Capital. There was even speculation that a deal was in the works between the two campaigns.
While his son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), endorsed Romney, the elder Paul made it clear during the summer that he was unlikely to do the same. The treatment endured by Paul supporters at the Republican National Conventon may have sent Paul over the edge, as he recently hinted that he may vote for Gary Johnson, via Buzz Feed:
In a Fox Business interview Wednesday, Rep. Ron Paul refused to say who he was planning on voting for — but ruled out voting for Mitt Romney or President Obama, leaving only one plausible option.
“I obviously haven’t announced in support for Romney, so that means that’s very unlikely,” Paul said. “And I don’t think anybody think’s I’m going to vote for Obama. So it’s back to that frustration level in not seeing a dramatic choice in how the system works.”
“Tonight there’s a debate going on,” Paul said. “And if you come to the conclusion that the candidates aren’t all that different, why do we have to just listen to two of them?”
“There are other people who are technically capable of winning because they’re on a lot of ballots,” Paul said, to which his interviewer said “Like Gary Johnson, for example.”
A couple of things about this. If Paul, who ran as the Libertarian Party’s nominee in 1988, were to endorse Johnson, it wouldn’t be the first time he’s backed a third-party bid. In 2008, Paul endorsed Constitution Party nominee Chuck Baldwin.
On the other hand, if Paul does really intend to vote for Johnson, and express that sentiment publicly, the younger Paul could be put in the doghouse by figures in the conservative movement and Republican leaders in the Senate. That is a troubling prospect, not just for Ron Paul supporters and the Campaign for Liberty crowd, but also the broader Tea Party movement.