On Wednesday, Chuck Todd, NBC News’ political director and host of MSNBC’s “Daily Rundown,” rhetorically asked: “Just what has Romney promised Ron Paul.”
Nobody knows if some sort of bargain has been made, but it is interesting that Rep. Ron Paul has never really attacked Mitt Romney, yet he has frequently attacked more conservative candidates at just the moment they were beginning to pose a threat to Romney. (For example, consider his latest ad, attacking Rick Santorum.)
The timing has been noticeable.
Now, a Kentucky media outlet, WFPL News, might be offering us a clue:
Kentucky’s junior senator says it would be an honor to be considered as a possible running mate for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
… After a speech in Louisville today, [Sen. Rand] Paul held that door firmly open, saying he wants to be part of the national debate.
… “I don’t know if I can answer that question, but I can say it would be an honor to be considered,” he said.
Of course, this could be much ado about nothing — just a politician answering a question. On the other hand, it is sure to spark more speculation that some sort of deal may be in the works between the Romney and Paul camps. It’s not as if Ron Paul’s campaign hasn’t stoked speculation. As the Dallas Morning News reported, Paul’s national campaign chairman, Jesse Benton, recently said: “Any Republican should have Rand Paul on his short list.”
On the surface, tapping Paul as veep might not make sense. But conservatives are refusing to go along and eat the dog food with Romney — and adding Rand Paul to the ticket would fire conservatives up – and ensure that Ron Paul drops any plans to launch a 3rd party challenge. And just imagine if Romney arrives at the GOP convention needing some of Paul’s delegates to win the nomination?
It’s not an absurd idea.