In what might have been called a “cheeky” remark in years gone by, Ron Paul’s campaign staff has called on everybody but Mitt Romney to get out of the race. This is a remarkable statement, but it may not be altogether unreasonable. After all, what if at this late date, Ron Paul has arrived as the one consistent non-Romney? Of course, this would demand that he do equally well in subsequent states, including South Carolina and Florida, and that may not be so likely to occur.
I have to admit that I was not all that surprised at this, because I’ve concluded long ago that Paul’s strategy was to be a consistent second-place so as to make this claim. In one sense, while I shudder at the thought of Paul’s foreign policy positions, I am almost – I said “almost” mind you – desperate enough to go that way to displace the GOP’s establishment. You see, I have come to believe that if we do not nominate a real conservative this cycle, we will lose the election, but we may also lose the country. It’s something to consider, and as I said, I think this appeal is one part bravado, and one part delusion, but here is the statement by Paul’s campaign:
“Ron Paul tonight had an incredibly strong second-place finish in New Hampshire and has stunned the national media and political establishment.
“When added to Paul’s top-tier showing in Iowa, it’s clear he is the sole Republican candidate who can take on and defeat both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.
“The race is becoming more clearly a two-man race between establishment candidate Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, the candidate of authentic change. That means there is only one true conservative choice.
“Ron Paul has won more votes in Iowa and New Hampshire than any candidate but Mitt Romney.
“Ron Paul and Mitt Romney have been shown in national polls to be the only two candidates who can defeat Barack Obama.
“And Ron Paul and Mitt Romney are the only two candidates who can run a full, national campaign, competing in state after state over the coming weeks and months. Ron Paul’s fundraising numbers — over $13 million this quarter — also prove he will be able to compete with Mitt Romney. No other candidate can do all of these things.
“Ron Paul is clearly the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney as the campaign goes forward.
“We urge Ron Paul’s opponents who have been unsuccessfully trying to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney to unite by getting out of the race and uniting behind Paul’s candidacy.
“Ron Paul has the boldest plan to cut spending, a dedication to protecting life, and a lifelong dedication to the Constitution and limited government. He also has the necessary support to campaign nationwide against Mitt Romney.
“Our campaign is already planning ahead for South Carolina, Florida, and beyond. Soon Ron Paul will head to South Carolina to begin a feverish round of campaigning.
“Ron Paul is in this race for the long haul. And he is ready to fight.
“See you on the campaign trail.”
You must admit that this takes guts. Don’t expect his crowding-out tactic to work, because too many Republicans view his foreign policy as intolerable, and many of them would rather vote for Romney if Paul is their only alternative.