I wanted to pass on some reaction to Rand Paul’s endorsement of Romney, but instead of making each one a separate post, I’ll just post several links below.
Here is Dylan Hales’ take on the Rand Paul endorsemnet of Romney from The American Conservative blog.
Speaking personally, my biggest issue with the endorsement was the ”how.” I had expected Senator Paul to endorse Mitt Romney and in some sense believed it was wise politically (as I believed it was wise for then New Jersey senatorial candidate Murray Sabrin to endorse John McCain in 2008.) I did not expect him to nod in agreement as Sean Hannity alleged a massive difference between Romney and President Obama on Obamacare, nor did I expect to hear him give a lengthy endorsement of Romney’s policy positions that included a generous appraisal of the former Massachusetts governor’s position on the Federal Reserve and a lengthy (by television standards) discussion of the Romney’s “mature” foreign policy. It is one thing to say “I am a Republican Senator from he great state of Kentucky and like the majority of my state I will gladly vote for our parties nominee in November.” It is quite another to tout Mitt Romney as a man with a sensible foreign-policy vision…
Daniel Larison responds to Dylan Hales.
What makes this part (foreign policy) of Sen. Paul’s endorsement so unfortunate is that it was entirely unnecessary. There were several ways that he could have handled his differences with Romney on foreign policy that would have been more satisfactory. The easiest would have been to fall back on the overused line that someone in agreement with you 80% of the time is your ally. That would not have created the impression that Paul believes Romney’s foreign policy to be sound. One has to hope that Paul doesn’t actually think this, but that is what he said. At the same time, it would have avoided emphasizing those differences when the point of the endorsement is to do the opposite. Another way would have been to find some foreign policy issue where he and Romney are more or less in agreement, if there is such a thing. Perhaps he could have found some common ground on foreign aid spending. Failing that, it would have been better to avoid saying anything on the subject…
Daniel Larison dedicates an entire column to the issue at The Week.
While Rand is not as strictly non-interventionist as his father, no one could confuse him for a hawk in the mold of Florida’s Marco Rubio. When the Kentucky senator praised Romney for his “mature” foreign policy and asserted that the Republican nominee believed war should be a last resort, he hurt his reputation with his strongest supporters and undermined the critique of Republican foreign policy that has been central to his father’s message. No less important, Rand provided Romney with valuable political cover for a foreign policy that appears to be every bit as reckless as that of George W. Bush.
The Atlantic Wire has a story on how Ron Paul supporters are “Fuming Mad.”
With Ron Paul’s diehard supporters being one of his most formidable assets, especially when it comes to winning straw polls or online money bomb fundraisers, you’ve got to wonder if Rand Paul risks jeopardizing the family brand.
And last but not least, IPR commenter Sean Scallon had this to say.
Sen. Rand Paul had to know his endorsement of Mitt Romney would carry little weight with supporters of his father’s Presidential campaign, especially those of a more libertarian mindset or those with no long-standing loyalties to the GOP . Then again maybe that’s the idea.
Not that Rand wouldn’t eventually endorse the GOP nominee whoever it was as a party member and sitting U.S. Senator. What surprised many Paulities was how soon and how enthusiastic he was about it and he how plans actively campaign for Romney in the fall. In so doing he will be on the record supporting the foreign policy platform of the Romney campaign which is diametrically opposed to the things his father beliefs in and ran his campaign’s on. Indeed, some may wonder if Ron Paul so far can’t bring himself to make such an endorsement, then why is Rand so eager?
Obviously a lot of this has to do with Rand’s ambitions for 2016. He wants to be seen as a party man, of mainstreaming the Paul movement inside the party…