Dad still "first choice," but Rand Paul backs Romney

WASHINGTON Fri Jun 8, 2012 2:37am EDT

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign stop at Southwest Office Systems in Fort Worth, Texas June 5, 2012. REUTERS/Darrell Byers

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign stop at Southwest Office Systems in Fort Worth, Texas June 5, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Darrell Byers

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senator Rand Paul, whose firebrand father Ron has effectively ended his White House bid but still seeks to grow his movement and influence Republicans nationally, endorsed party nominee Mitt Romney on Thursday.

Rand Paul is a conservative Tea Party favorite mentioned as a possible Romney vice presidential pick for the November election. He told the "Hannity" program on Fox News that the time was right to back Romney publicly.

"My first choice has always been my father. He's still my first pick," Rand Paul said.

But the Kentucky lawmaker said that Romney impressed him in a recent private meeting as a responsible leader who shared key principles on family values, closer oversight of the Federal Reserve, congressional prerogatives, and foreign policy.

Paul, who also noted that Romney's father, too, fell short in a run for president in 1968, said he would campaign for the former Massachusetts governor.

"I think I can be an asset in solidifying the conservative base of the party. I also think that myself, my father and the movement that he started attracts a lot of independents. A lot of these young people aren't necessarily the conservative base."

Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, said in a statement that he was honored to receive the endorsement.

Ron Paul's message of sharply reducing the role of government, scrapping the Fed and ending the U.S. military presence overseas is unique to him. Many of his supporters have said they would not vote at all on Election Day if Paul were not the nominee.

He effectively ended his active campaign for the White House last month but continues to try to pad his tally of nominating delegates to the nominating convention in August and influencing Republican politics nationally.

(Reporting by John Crawley; Editing by David Brunnstrom)

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Comments (8)
YUPtrev wrote:
We RP supporters need to stay strong up to the election to influence Romney’s agenda. My vote is still on the fence.

Jun 08, 2012 9:30am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Dragos111 wrote:
Rand Paul is doing the only smart thing. Any of his or his dad’s supporters should do the same thing.

Granted, a real conservative might not agree 100% with Romney. Mitt might not be conservative enough. But, the alternative is so much worse that there is no choice at all for anyone with any conservative tendencies.

One commentor says he is still on the fence. On the fence between Romney and Obama? That is ludicrous. Mitt at least is telling you he will try to get the US house in order. Obama is running on a platform that explicitly includes higher taxes, more spending, more regulation, necessarily higher energy costs, more huge deficits, Socialism and accomodations to the Russians. In the face of that, no conservative can be “on the fence”.

In November, you have to vote for Romney, if only to vote AGAINST Obama.

Jun 08, 2012 10:47am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Jameson4Lunch wrote:
Romney or Obama… it’s like a choice between flavored sugar water, or kool-aid. Bush v Kerry all over again.

Don’t really blame Rand for backing Romney considering the political field, but I couldn’t in good conscience vote for either of these people. I love my country too much, and refuse to validate the choices. It is what it is, and whether I vote or not really doesn’t matter, but man… we’re freakin screwed.

Jun 08, 2012 11:13am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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