Will Ron Paul get to speak at GOP convention?
After getting "smoked" at the Nebraska state convention, Ron Paul has failed to win the required number of delegates that would have forced the GOP national convention to allow him to speak.
It looks like Ron Paul isn't going to be officially nominated for the presidency in Tampa.
His backers failed to win a plurality of delegate slots at the Nebraska GOP convention Saturday, leaving the Texas congressman short of the support necessary to have his name placed into contention at the national convention.
According to national party rules, a candidate needs a plurality of the delegates in at least five states to have his name presented for the nomination - by falling short in Nebraska, the last state to hold its convention, Paul came up one state short.
But does that mean he should be denied a spot on the dais?
Rep. Ron Paul said that the Republican Party is scared to let him speak at the national convention in Florida next month.
The Texas Republican candidate for president said he thinks the prospects of him having the Tampa platform to energize his "Ronvolution" movement of supporters - who buck traditional GOP staples such as war funding and are in favor of more radical ideas such as auditing the Federal Reserve - intimidates some in the Republican leadership, including former Gov. Mitt Romney's (R-Mass.) campaign.
"I think the Romney campaign organization is very insecure," said Paul in an interview with Fox Business News on Friday.
"They want this thing to go smoothly. But all conventions are like that. And this is the one thing that annoys me a bit. If they want this thing to go smoothly and be a big media event, and it costs the taxpayers $18 million, and they don't want a discussion, why can't we have a little debate?"
Of course Ron Paul should be allowed to speak. He has a large following and won the second most delegates. It would be ridiculous for Romney to deny Paul a speaking spot.
But like all speakers, his speech should be vetted by the Romney people. The convention is not about Paul, it's about Romney and portraying a coherent message for the viewing public is vital. About 20 million people will watch part of the convention and it should go without saying that all the speakers should be on the same page. They don't have to agree with everything Romney says. But any disagreements should be minimized for the sake of party unity.
Ron Paul is a big boy and knows the score. If he wants to pretend that he should be able to rip the party and rip the nominee in a nationally televised speech then the GOP should pretend he doesn't exist and deny him a slot. That's the way the game is played and Paul is an old enough hand to know that.