Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul wants people to know that his endorsement of Mitt Romney for the GOP presidential nomination does not signify an abandonment of his libertarian political beliefs.
When Paul endorsed Romney on Fox News last week, many supporters of Texas Rep. Ron Paul’s presidential bid took great offense. But Rand Paul said in an interview with Daily Paul Radio that he was “compromising on strategy, not on principle.”
“My participating and saying that I will support the nominee doesn’t change me at all or any of the issues that I’m fighting for, but it does change the ability of us, or the liberty movement, to have a voice in what becomes here,” Paul said. “We have the ability to have more say and more influence by saying that we will ultimately support the nominee.”
He told Daily Paul Radio that his recent record of pushing bills that would end the Transportation Security Administration, audit the Federal Reserve System and ban drone surveillance over the United States without a warrant shows that he has not abandoned his beliefs, and that there is a difference between politics and governance.
“I guess what I would say to detractors is that we need to focus on the issues and moving forward and not be too caught up in politics, which is a messy business and not always what everybody wants it to be,” he said.
Paul also urged delegates who have pledged their support to his father Rep. Ron Paul to still support the Texas Republican, as a way to influence the platform at the Republican National Convention.
He said that he waited to endorse Romney until his father’s campaign announced it would not have enough delegates to secure the Republican nomination, and that anyone who doubts his commitment to the Paul campaign is misguided.
“I sort of take it as an insult that people think that somehow I don’t support my father or haven’t done an adequate job in the sense that I have traveled thousands of miles and been to thousands of speeches both with him and by myself,” the senator said. “And so I think there’s probably nobody in the liberty movement that has done more to support my dad than myself.”
Paul cited a few reasons for his endorsement, including Romney’s promise to give all 50 states waivers from President Barack Obama’s health care reform law, and his support for auditing the Federal Reserve.