Jon Ward: Ron Paul Not Likely to Endorse Mitt Romney!
A top adviser to Rep Ron Paul (R-Texas) said that the insurgent presidential candidate will probably not endorse Mitt Romney for president. "I would never say never," said Jesse Benton, national chairman of Paul's campaign. "I do not believe that that is likely." Benton told reporters that Paul and his campaign staff have appreciated the respect with which the Romney campaign has treated them in discussions about the party platform, which will be voted on at the Republican convention in Tampa in August. But Benton said the support of Paul's devoted supporters is not guaranteed to go to Mitt Romney, and issued a warning: Paul,a 76-year-old congressman from who is leaving the House after his current term, wants placed on the platform the following: a proposal for stricter oversight of the Federal Reserve, a ban on indefinite detention of American citizens, as well as a provision advocating greater freedom on the Internet, to keep the government from treating it as a"public utility." Benton implied that if the carefully selected items are not included in the platform, many of Paul's supporters might withhold support from Romney in the fall election. "The ball is in the court of the Republican Party, and the court of Mitt Romney." Benton said. "We're bringing forward an attitude of respect, and we're also bringing forward some very specific things that we believe in. 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 will have a very good chance to pick up a substantial number of our votes." "On the flip side," Benton continued, "if they're treated as they were in 2008, a lot of people are going to stay home!"