Monday, January 23, 2012

Did Ron Paul and Mitt Romney Cut a Deal?

NBC News will be hosting the 53rd Republican Presidential Primary debate later tonight at 9pm EST.

And we've been able to see a bit more of the interactions between candidates as the field has narrowed with five debate mainstays (Perry, Huntsman, Bachmann, Cain, Pawlenty) with only Congressman Ron Paul, former Governor Mitt Romney, former Senator Rick Santorum, and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich still remaining.

And as those in the debate have narrowed, the verbal scuffles candidates get into become more pronounced.

Everyone seems to be fighting with everyone. Santorum, Gingrich, and Paul each took jabs of all the other candidates on stage, and Romney has highlighted inconsistencies in Gingrich's and Santorum's respectful records.

But what I've found interesting is that Governor Romney has largely left Congressman Paul alone. Even when Paul attacks Romney, it's toned down when compared to how he takes on Santorum and Gingrich.

And Romney has not just not attacked Paul, but has even been exceedingly kind to him. During last Thursday's CNN debate, I remember him even deferring a question to Paul due to his medical training. While Gingrich and others have said they couldn't support Paul as a nominee, Romney has said he would.

Have these two struck a deal? Or does Paul maybe see him as the most receptive to work with the movement he's building?

Just something to ponder as we all stare in disbelief as Gingrich's campaign has gotten a third life...


  1. That's one thing I didn't agree with you on Saturday's show, Matt. Romney's people are downright hostile to Ron Paul. You're apparently seeing some graciousness between the two candidates. I think Romney is just happy Paul is draining away some of the anti-Romney vote. I have seen nothing from Romney or his people that they grasp the size and important of the libertarian wing of the GOP.

  2. That would make sense. If Romney wins after hammering Paul, Paul might decide to run against him as an Independant.. Even the most viable of their field is running neck and neck with the Prez. Any 3rd party candidate, especially Paul, would mean victory for the Prez.

  3. I wouldn't put it beyond Romney's people to dismiss Paul. At this point, my analysis based on nothing seems about just as informed as any commentator on MSNBC/CNN/FOX News.

    But I think Romney knows that if Paul goes 3rd party, he'll lose. So he'll go to a certain distance to placate him and his movement.

    And yeah, I did hear some not-so-nice things during Iowa. But notice where the fire was concentrated during South Carolina. It was concentrated on Gingrich and Santorum, not Paul.


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