Ron Paul campaign rules out endorsing Libertarian Party nominee

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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A top campaign official for Ron Paul’s presidential campaign says there’s “no chance” that the Texas Republican congressman will endorse Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson for president over presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

“No,” campaign chairman Jesse Benton said in a response to a question from The Daily Caller about whether Paul would discuss the possibility of an endorsement with Johnson during a conference call with reporters on Tuesday. “There’s no chance of that.”

Johnson, the former Republican governor of New Mexico, endorsed Paul for president in 2008.

While that’s good news for Romney, Benton said he does “not believe that that is likely” Paul will endorse Romney, though he kept the option open.

Benton said Romney will still have to work hard if he wants the votes of Paul’s supporters. “In a lot of ways, the ball is in the court of the Republican Party and in the court of Mitt Romney,” he said.

“If our people are treated with respect, if our ideas, their ideas, are embraced and treated seriously and treated with respect, I think the Republican Party has a very good chance of picking up a substantial number of their votes,” Benton said.

He added: “On the flip side, if they’re treated I guess largely like they were in 2008, I think a lot of people are going to stay home, a lot of people are going to sit on their hands.”

The conference call was held after the campaign announced Monday that while they aren’t ending the campaign, they will not spend any more resources on upcoming primary contests. Benton said the Paul campaign still plans to accumulate delegates heading into the Republican convention in Tampa, where they hope to influence the GOP party platform.

Benton emphasized several times in the conference call that the campaign will ask supporters to be respectful of decorum during the upcoming state and national conventions as they expect to be unfairly blamed for any “heated moments.”

“Our supporters are going to get an excessive amount of blame for problems that arise in heated movements at conventions,” he said.

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