Ron Paul's new ad: Is he attacking his 'wingman'? (+video)
The latest Ron Paul ad goes after all three of his rivals in the GOP presidential race. But it's not as hard on Mitt Romney. Maybe Rick Santorum is on to something with his 'wingman' comment.
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Wow. Tough, huh? Does this prove there’s no collusion between the Paul and Romney camps?Skip to next paragraph
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Well, we don’t think they’re actually working together. But neither do we believe this ad is nearly as tough on Romney as it appears to be at first glance.
For one thing, Romney gets off easy. What’s worse, a hypocrite or a flip-flopper? Especially when the flip-flopper’s been called that for so long it’s practically his Secret Service code name? The ad goes after Gingrich and Santorum on personal terms. Romney, not so much.
For another, as some conservative commentators are pointing out, the ad isn’t new. It first went up on YouTube in January. Then the campaign posted it again Wednesday, for some reason.
“My guess: The Paul campaign uploaded and circulated the ad again to convince campaign reporters that they are not colluding with Romney,” writes Mike Riggs on Reason.com.
The real reason Paul and Romney don’t attack each other is they have no real political reason to do so. Paul has a committed base of supporters that is larger than his 2008 base, but it isn’t big enough to threaten Romney in any noncaucus state. That’s true even in Virginia, where they’re the only two on the ballot for the state’s GOP primary March 6.
Romney, meanwhile, knows that he needs Paul inside the GOP tent if he (Romney) ends up winning the nomination. As Chris Cillizza notes Wednesday on the Washington Post “Fix” political blog, Paul’s voters are intensely loyal to him, not the Republican Party. He’d take them with him to a third party, if that’s where he goes.