The Ron Paul campaigns suspends spending money on primaries it cannot win:
In an email to supporters, Paul urged his libertarian-leaning backers to remain involved in politics and champion his causes despite the apparent end of his presidential aspirations. Paul has found success in wrecking the selection process for delegates to the party's late-summer nominating convention in Tampa, Fla., and trumpeted that he has delayed Romney's expected nomination.
"Moving forward, however, we will no longer spend resources campaigning in primaries in states that have not yet voted," Paul said in his statement. "Doing so with any hope of success would take many tens of millions of dollars we simply do not have. I encourage all supporters of liberty to make sure you get to the polls and make your voices heard, particularly in the local, state and congressional elections, where so many defenders of freedom are fighting and need your support."
What does this mean for the movement Ron Paul inspired?
Before we start, we need to make the distinction between the official Ron Paul campaign (led by Jesse Benton and others close to Ron Paul) and the grassroots organizations that are currently causing trouble in state conventions around the country in Oklahoma, Idaho, Nevada, and other states.
If the GOP establishment thinks that this announcement makes it easier for the Mitt Romney campaign, they ought to think again. Ron Paul's concession of the nomination to Mitt Romney just means that this primary race and the delegate selection process are now free-for-alls. The announcement effectively unbinds the grassroots supporters from the official Paul campaign. Whatever happens between now and Tampa is now out of the official Paul campaign's hands and entirely the fault of the infamously enthusiastic Ron Paul Revolution. The Paul campaign is signaling to the GOP that if chaos does occur in Tampa that it is not their doing.
So, why would the Paul campaign do such a thing? Some possibilities:
- In order to control the agenda, the Paul campaign needs to continue its delegate accrual unopposed. We already saw the Republican National Committee meddling in Nevada, threatening to unseat delegates for being disproportionately Paul supporters. By conceding the nomination to Romney, the RNC and the Romney campaign will not be spooked by Paul takeover of state conventions.
- Fast-forward to Tampa and the impending chaos. The Paul campaign probably realizes that anything can happen in Tampa (the aforemention "unforeseen" events), including the Paul faction "stealing" the nomination from Mitt Romney. By washing their hands of what the grassroots does, they can be made blameless. This protects Ron Paul, his staffers, and someone else.
- It is also a restatement of what has always been true from the very start, all the way in 2007: the official campaign has never been able to control the grassroots Ron Paul Revolution.
It is a very cold and calculated move on the part of Jesse Benton and others in the official campaign. All of it to signal to the GOP establishment that the Ron Paul campaign are team players and ultimately to protect Rand Paul.
Is it no holds barred in Tampa? Probably and this seems to me that the Paul campaign is expecting it.