Texas Rep. Ron Paul on Friday said the Romney campaign is “insecure” about him speaking at the Republican National Convention next month, possibly because they’re concerned about him using it as a platform to rally his supporters.
Nebraska’s state GOP convention Saturday is Paul’s last chance to win an official presence and speaking slot in Florida. Under the RNC’s bylaws, Paul needs to win a plurality of delegates in five states to be awarded a convention spot. So far, he has four: Iowa, Minnesota, Maine and Louisiana. Nebraska is his final hope, though even supporters admit it’s a long shot.
“I think the Romney campaign organization is very insecure,” said Paul in an interview on Fox Business.
Paul said he hasn’t heard directly from Romney on whether he’ll be given a spot, but said he’s gotten the sense that it’s the RNC that’s more open to letting him have a presence.
“They [the Romney campaign] want this thing to go smoothly,” he said. “But all conventions are like that. And this is the one thing that annoys me a bit. If they want this thing to go smoothly and be a big media event, and it costs the taxpayers $18 million, and they don’t want a discussion, why can’t we have a little debate?”
Paul said he would think that if someone “had a base where there’s individuals like the young people who would like to come into the party,” it would make sense to let that person speak.
“It’s not like I’m preaching socialism, I’m preaching and doing the things and getting credit for doing exactly what Republicans claim they believe in,” Paul said. “It’s sort of ironic, ‘Oh we don’t like these Ron Paul people because they don’t vote to raise the national debt when we need to.'”
Asked about the recent flurry of rumors that Condoleezza Rice could be tapped to be Romney’s running mate, Paul said he would be “pretty amazed if she were to be picked.”
“I can understand philosophically why she might…it wouldn’t help the Ron Paul supporters, they would like a different foreign policy,” Paul said.
Still, he said it’s not up to him what his supporters do: “I don’t dictate anything to anybody.”