Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul has been very critical of his competition in the race for the Republican presidential nomination but has laid off former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, prompting MSNBC Joe Scarborough to suggest an unpublicized deal between the two on Thursday’s episode of “Morning Joe.”
“The thing that went unspoken but everybody knows, and that is that Mitt Romney and Ron Paul have formed an alliance,” Scarborough said. “It is such an obvious alliance that Mitt Romney would do well to just come out and admit it. I don’t know what he’s promised Ron Paul. I don’t know if Ron Paul is hoping that his son gets in the administration. But let’s just be really honest here — for all people for Ron Paul to form an alliance with in the Republican Party, to pick out Mitt Romney is really bizarre.” (RELATED: Full coverage of the Ron Paul campaign)
Scarborough posed that question to Daily Beast columnist Mark McKinnon, who served as an adviser to former President George W. Bush and Sen. John McCain in their bids for the White House, noting that this possible alliance wasn’t talked about much in the media.
“What’s the deal here?” Scarborough asked McKinnon. “You know there’s either a spoken or unspoken deal between Mitt Romney. This is the sort of thing nobody in the media likes to talk about but everybody in the game knows is going on. I mean, is Ron Paul hoping that his son gets a job in the cabinet? Is he hoping his son is going to be the VP nominee? What’s going on here, because there’s a deal between these guys.” (RELATED: Rand Paul says ‘it would be an honor to be considered’ as Romney’s veep (this explains a lot)
According to McKinnon, this behavior from Paul wasn’t just evident in Wednesday night’s debate in Arizona with former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, but it has been a pattern throughout, first with Texas Gov. Rick Perry and also with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.
“Here’s the interesting thing,” McKinnon said. “It’s not just Santorum. If you go back, Ron Paul has been a devastating attack dog against first Rick Perry, then Newt Gingrich and now Santorum, spending millions of dollars with, I think, the most effective negative advertising in the whole campaign. I mean, he’s been throwing out daisy cutters, clearing the way for Mitt Romney all along. And you know, it’s a wink and a nod and never any kind of spoken deals on these sorts of things, but it’s pretty clear what’s going on. And he’s been the fullback, blocking in front of Romney this whole time.”