Slamming the door: Ron Paul ‘will not endorse Gary Johnson’
Jesse Benton, the national campaign chairman for Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential bid, flatly told The Daily Caller on Tuesday that Paul “will not endorse Gary Johnson,” the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate.
The decision is not entirely unexpected, as Paul’s son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, spoke at the Republican National Convention last week and has endorsed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
During the Republican convention, Ron Paul refused to endorse Romney amid a bitter fight between Paul supporters and party leaders over delegate spots.
Paul told Bloomberg on Friday that he wasn’t pleased with Romney’s Thursday night convention speech.
“I remain very, very skeptical of hearing anything that will change the course of history,” said Paul. “There was no talk of the Federal Reserve. One of the engines of spending is militarism and empire and he enhanced it. He was on pushing it.”
Paul also praised Johnson, the former Republican governor of New Mexico, at the convention, saying, “I think he’s wonderful and I think he’s doing a good job, and people should look at him and every individual should make up their own mind.”
Earlier this year, Johnson told TheDC that he would not ask for Paul’s endorsement because the libertarian congressman might not grant one in the interests of “the family business” and his son’s political future within the Republican Party.
Paul and Johnson do have some political differences. Johnson vocally supports access to abortion and same-sex marriage, and is comfortable with limited U.S. military intervention for humanitarian purposes overseas.
Johnson, however, has been campaigning for the support of Paul voters.
After losing his bid for the Republican nomination in 2008, Paul initially issued an open endorsement of third party candidates, but as the election approached he endorsed Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin. In 1988 Paul was the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate.
On Tuesday evening Paul will appear on Jay Leno’s “The Tonight Show,” where he will likely be pressed on the November election.