MANCHESTER, N.H. — Forget about Newt, Jon and the two Ricks.
A top adviser to Ron Paul said on Tuesday that the 2012 Republican presidential race is simply a contest between the Texas congressman and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (RELATED: Full coverage of Ron Paul’s campaign)
Jesse Benton, the chairman of Paul’s campaign, said “this has become a two-man national race between Mitt Romney, the candidate of the status quo, and Ron Paul, the candidate of real change.”
Benton made the comments in a rare statement sticking up for Romney. He also took aim at the other candidates like Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman and Newt Gingrich — who have hit Romney for a recent comment saying he likes to fire people.
The adviser said those candidates are “using the language of the liberal left to attack private equity and condemn capitalism in a desperate and, frankly, unsavory attempt to tear down another Republican with tactics akin to those of MoveOn.org.”
“Rather than run against Governor Romney on the issues of the day, Santorum, Huntsman and Gingrich have chosen to play along with the media elites and exploit a quote taken horribly out of context,” he said.
“Our campaign will talk about real issues,” Benton said, “real spending cuts, a sound monetary policy, protecting individual liberties, and promoting a pro-American foreign policy. We will win what is now a two-man race on these issues, the issues of grassroots America.”