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.
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Paul links his positions both to the financial toll of rising national debt and to what he calls failed foreign policies. In one recent debate, he commented on the threat of Islamic terrorism: "There are some radicals. But they don't come here to kill us because we're free and prosperous.... The CIA has explained it to us. They said they come here and want to do us harm because we're bombing them."Skip to next paragraph
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Paul has drawn strong support from libertarian-leaning Republicans and independents, and attention to his candidacy has grown in recent days as polls show him within striking distance of a win in the Iowa caucuses Jan. 3.
While saying he could vote for Paul, Romney added that “I don’t agree with a lot of the things that Ron Paul says and I would vehemently oppose many of his initiatives." He voiced the expectation that if nominated by the party, Paul could be moved “in a direction that’s more productive.”
That may be wishful thinking on Romney's part, since Paul has staked his candidacy on a reputation for unyielding principles. But Romney and the other Republicans say talk of Paul winning the nomination is speculation.
When asked Wednesday if she could vote for Ron Paul, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota dodged the question by making that point: "He won't be the nominee," she said on Fox News. She added that he "would be dangerous as a president because of his foreign policy."
Rick Santorum said Wednesday he would "absolutely" vote for Paul if he were the Republican nominee, but said the idea makes him "nervous."
Research for this story didn't unearth direct comments on the issue by Texas Gov. Rick Perry or by former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. As the other two Republicans seeking the nomination, they also differ with Paul on foreign policy.
In 2007, when endorsing Rudolph Giuliani for president, Governor Perry did say this, according to U.S. News & World Report: "We have to make choices in life, and I made a choice that Ron Paul's not mine for president.... I didn't have to study that too deep."
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