BY ROGER STONE
Reprinted with permission from the STONEZONE
“Politics is the art of inclusion” said former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean. The Romney campaign seems to have forgotten this wise advice. Although, I am certainly a practitioner of hardball politics,the Romney treatment of Congressman Ron Paul at the Republican National Convention strikes me as gratuitous, unnecessary and perhaps fatal in terms of Romney’s November prospects.
Although, Congressman Paul won at least 131 delegates through the primary and caucus process, the Secretary of the Republican convention refused to acknowledge, tally or announce Paul’s votes. I cannot imagine the reason for this incredible snub.
When Congressman Paul’s supporters gathered the majority of delegates in five states necessary to put Paul’s name in nomination, the Romney forces quickly amended the rules to require a majority of eight states for that purpose. With Romney having secured more then enough delegates to be nominated it is difficult to understand what harm would have been done if Ron Paul’s name had been placed in nomination and his duly elected delegates had been tallied and announced in the balloting.
All of this is particularly vexing in view of Ron Paul’s studied neutrality in the November elections and not-too-bright Senator Rand Paul’s transparent, self-serving endorsement of Mitt Romney. Rand Paul keeps calling the pro-War, pro-interventionist GOP platform “very libertarian.” It isn’t. Wake up Senator, Romney is itching to bomb Iran, backs the war in Afghanistan, supports the federal “war on drugs,” the Patriot act and won’t abolish the Federal Reserve.
Mitt Romney and his handlers have essentially told the Liberty Wing of the Republican Party to drop dead. They would have been wise to remember that Governor Gary Johnson is still likely to be on the ballot in 50 states despite the illegal and fraudulent effort by Republicans to block his ballot access in Michigan, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma. The Romney forces should bear in mind that Ralph Nader got 97,000 votes in Florida, a state George W. Bush ultimately carried by 523 votes. The Romneyites have helped push Paul supporters into the Johnson camp. Romney acts like he’s 15 points ahead instead of in a dead heat in which he needs every vote. Any significant showing by Johnson in any swing state could spell doom for Romney, who did not support Ronald Reagan in the general elections of 1980 or 1984 and who didn’t become a Republican until 1983.