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Which GOP rivals would vote for Ron Paul if he's GOP nominee?

Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney are on the record about how they would vote. Other Republican candidates have sidestepped the matter, saying Ron Paul won't be the GOP nominee.

By Staff writer / December 30, 2011

Presidential candidate and Texas Congressman Ron Paul at a rally in Iowa.

Jeff Haynes/Reuters


With libertarian-leaning Ron Paul riding high in polls of Republican voters in Iowa, a simple question has become a hot one in recent days for his rivals in the presidential race: If the Texas congressman were to win the Republican nomination, would they vote for him?

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So far Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have said yes.

Newt Gingrich has said no.

And all six of Representative Paul's rivals have strongly criticized his views, notably on foreign policy.

On Wednesday, former Massachusetts Governor Romney, the other candidate at the top of polling in Iowa, weighed in with a yes.

“I’ve already crossed that river, if you will, by saying [in Republican debates] ... that all of the people on stage would be superior to the president we have,” Romney told CNN interviewer Wolf Blitzer. “So yes, I would vote for him.”

On Friday, however, Mr. Romney sounded decidedly less enthusiastic, while stopping short of reversing his position. "I don't think Ron Paul represents the mainstream," he said. "I'm working harder than anyone to make sure he's not the nominee."

Romney's use of "mainstream" echoed another GOP candidate, former House Speaker Gingrich, who gave a flat "no" when asked if he could vote for Paul.

"I think Ron Paul's views are totally outside the mainstream of every decent American," Gingrich said Tuesday in his own chat with Mr. Blitzer. "There will come a morning when people won't take him as a serious person."

Gingrich said Paul had allowed "racist" content to go out in newsletters bearing his name, is "a person who thinks the United States was responsible for 9/11," and is "a person who believes it doesn't matter if the Iranians have a nuclear weapon."

At the same time, Gingrich didn't commit his vote when asked to make a choice between Paul and Barack Obama. He referred to President Obama as "very destructive to the future of the United States."

All the other Republican candidates have stood at odds with Paul on foreign policy, where he supports noninterventionism and a pullback of American military presence worldwide.


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