A few weeks ago I read that Ron Paul was not endorsing any presidential candidate but was urging his supporters to vote for the third-party candidate of their choice–anyone but Barack Obama or John McCain.
However, this week Paul endorsed Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin. The Wall Street Journal blog pointed me toward this letter from Paul to supporters, which contains a bit of a rebuke to Libertarian candidate Bob Barr:
The Libertarian Party Candidate admonished me for “remaining neutral” in the presidential race and not stating whom I will vote for in November. It’s true; I have done exactly that due to my respect and friendship and support from both the Constitution and Libertarian Party members. I remain a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party and I’m a ten-term Republican Congressman. It is not against the law to participate in more then one political party. Chuck Baldwin has been a friend and was an active supporter in the presidential campaign.
I continue to wish the Libertarian and Constitution Parties well. The more votes they get, the better. I have attended Libertarian Party conventions frequently over the years.
In some states, one can be on the ballots of two parties, as they can in New York. This is good and attacks the monopoly control of politics by Republicans and Democrats. We need more states to permit this option. This will be a good project for the Campaign for Liberty, along with the alliance we are building to change the process.
I’ve thought about the unsolicited advice from the Libertarian Party candidate, and he has convinced me to reject my neutral stance in the November election. I’m supporting Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party candidate.
When you think about what an insiders’ club Congress is, it’s amazing that Paul (still a Republican Congressman from Texas) did not endorse his former colleague Barr, who represented Georgia for many years in the House. Barr has denounced the Republican Party for embracing big government and not insisting that the president abide by the law.
The big question for me is whether Paul’s endorsement of Baldwin will cut into Barr’s support in some of the key swing states. I’ve argued before that Barr could tip Nevada to Obama, but ProgressiveSouth writes that Barr could also be a factor in North Carolina.
Anyone out there know any Ron Paul voters or caucus-goers? Will they settle for McCain, sit out the election or vote for a third-party alternative?
For the record, nine presidential candidates will appear on the Iowa ballot, including Baldwin and Barr.