Where do Ron and Rand Paul fit in at the GOP convention?

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has announced an initial list of seven prominent Republicans who will speak at the party’s national convention in Tampa later this month.

But the list, which includes five current and former governors, a U.S. senator, and a former secretary of state does not include either Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) or his son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). The list will be built out in the coming weeks, but it’s still worth exploring where the Pauls – two figures with intense national followings – fit in at Mitt Romney’s nominating convention. They can’t be ignored entirely, but featuring them too prominently is also a risky proposition for the GOP.

For Republicans, there are both benefits and drawbacks to including either of the Pauls on the list of convention speakers. Generating enthusiasm among a vocal base of activists is an argument in favor of promoting them. Ron Paul attracted strong support at numerous GOP presidential straw polls in 2011 and his loyal legion of fans often travel across the country to back him. Before Romney won the straw poll at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, Paul was the victor there two years in a row.

One could also make a compelling argument to include the younger Paul as a speaker. Rand Paul’s unlikely 2010 Senate campaign victory, which the opthamologist won in the face of establishment opposition, has made him a popular figure in the tea party — and one who is well-positioned to inherit the mantle of his father, who is retiring at the end of the current Congress.

Ron Paul’s supporters, meanwhile, are eager for him to have a visible presence at the convention. Throughout the 2012 primary campaign, the former presidential candidate continued push for delegate support in individual states brought the Texas congressman within range of securing a speaking slot at the convention on his own. He ultimately fell short in Nebraska, where he failed to get the number delegates he needed to guarantee a spot.

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  • CSN

    Oh noooooooooooooooooo, the GOP can’t have Ron Paul there, he’ll pull the rug out from under Romney’s feet and with a standing ovation to boot. Rand Paul is another favorite, but remember, these men were the Birth of the Tea Party. They are in stark opposition to the Globalist One World Agenda. GOP is complicit in that agenda. The GOP and the DNC are just two different sides of the same coin. Both are implementing Globalist Agenda, and both are not intent upon making Government smaller, or reigning in the Federal Reserve Bankrupters. Have I said too much already? Shame on me! Ron Paul….blow them away at the Tampa Event!

  • pearl87

    Tell you what, the RINO’s have slapped Ron Paul in the face enough times that his supporters (and we are many) will NEVER support their nominee. So keep it up, Republicrats, Mittens will lose and we couldn’t be happier, because he is just as bad as Obama and maybe worse.

  • marineh2ominer

    The PAULS , in my opinion , are Americas first family and given half a chance would lead us back to the founders proud America . GOD BLESS the PAULS .

  • Joel

    I’ve about had it with the Republican Party. The American people placed a gun in the GOP’s hands, and 4 years of Democrat rule gave it ammunition. And instead of pointing it at the beast called Big Government, they turned it around and shot themselves in the head. Both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party have been taken over by the cancer that is progressivism. We need a true small-government party, and a true small-government candidate. Since the Republicans have rejected Ron Paul, I’m voting Gary Johnson! A vote for Liberty is never a wasted vote!

    • pearl87

      I agree, but since Johnson can’t win anyway, I’m writing in Ron Paul.

  • Joel

    Really? You deleted my comment? Glad to see you value honest debate and free speech.

    • Joel

      I apologize. This comment layout is weird.