Upset by how the Republican Party establishment “disrespected” them during the Republican National Convention, over 300 Ron Paul supporters joined a conference call on Sunday night to discuss plans to urge Paul to run as a third-party candidate on the Libertarian Party ticket.
Speculation about Paul’s intentions will intensify even more because Paul will appear on NBC’s “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno on Tuesday night to make an announcement, presumably about whether he will make a third-party run or support Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson.
Evan Cutler of Alaskans for Ron Paul told those on the conference call that he spoke at length with Paul and his wife last Friday. Cutler said Paul told him he has not completely ruled out a third-party run. Cutler said Paul did express concerns about ballot access and the money that would be required for such a run.
According to Cutler, Paul was “no longer a Republican as of Friday,” and for Paul to get his name on the ballot in all 50 states, Paul would have to be on the Libertarian Party ticket.
For that to happen, the Libertarian vice presidential candidate Jim Gray would have to drop out, and the Libertarian Party would have to put Paul on the ticket with Johnson, either as the presidential or vice presidential candidate.
Cutler urged those on the call to write, call, and e-mail Paul’s offices urging him to run.
“Nothing will happen if we don’t try,” Cutler said.
Cutler added that Johnson was right on the issues 90% of the time and Paul supporters should “not be ignored, not be cheated, not tolerate the erosion of our rights.”
“We want to convince him [to run],” Cutler said. “After all the cheating, … [we] can’t let these people get away with it.”
Cutler said Paul supporters “worked together very hard to win delegates,” but the GOP did not “follow its own rules” when it failed to seat some Paul delegates and passed rule changes regarding the way delegates are chosen.
“A great injustice was done to all of our delegates,” Cutler said on the conference call.
Paul supporters — in addition to grassroots conservatives and party regulars — were upset these rules were adopted even though video evidence showed there were more “nays” than “ayes.” Another video showed that “the ayes have it” line was scripted into House Speaker John Boehner’s teleprompter, which convinced many that the results of the voting were decided in advance.
Paul last week said voters should look at Johnson’s candidacy and said he was “wonderful.”
But Paul supporters would prefer the Texas Congressman to be their voice this election cycle.
“I still want that voice to be Ron Paul,” Cutler said. “We still need a voice.”
If Paul decides to run as a third-party candidate or throw his support behind Johnson, he could siphon enough support from Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to threaten the former governor’s chances in the fall.
Republicans last week played a video tribute to Paul and put issues dear to Paul and his supporters, such as supporting a commission that looks at returning to the gold standard and an audit of the Federal Reserve, in the party platform to appease Paul’s supporters so they would stay in the Republican Party in November.