Texas libertarian and former presidential candidate Ron Paul recently explained in an interview with the New York Times why he chose not to speak at the Republican National Convention, saying the mandatory endorsement of Mitt Romney would “undo everything” he has done with the bulk of his career.
Apparently convention organizers offered him a speaking role, but only if he gave a “full-fledged endorsement” of the former Massachusetts governor and agreed to have his remarks pre-approved.
“It wouldn’t be my speech,” Paul explained to the New York Times. “That would undo everything I’ve done in the last 30 years.”
He continued: “I don’t fully endorse him for president.”
USA Today adds:
Paul is speaking today at his own rally at the University of South Florida, in an event that’s separate from the GOP gathering where Romney will accept the Republican nomination…
Paul, a Texas congressman, stopped actively campaigning for the GOP presidential nomination in May. He earned 177 delegates through primaries and caucuses, according to an AP tally.
…Paul has a devoted and passionate following because of his small-government views, and his supporters have helped shape the GOP platform. Many, but not all, of Paul’s supporters will be seated at the convention and take part in its activities. [Emphasis added]
“We used to say most people found libertarianism by reading Ayn Rand,” David Boaz of the Cato Institute remarked. “In the last five years, most people have found libertarianism by listening to Ron Paul.”
Despite Paul’s comments indicating that he won’t “fully endorse” presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney, the RNC has still agreed to play a short film paying tribute to the man.
Paul’s son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, was slated to speak at the RNC Monday, but the day’s events have been rescheduled due to severe weather.
Politico suggests Rand Paul will take the libertarian message to a wider audience, while Ron Paul will remain the movement’s “conscience.”