Ron Paul at CPAC

CPAC2010ABC’s Bret Hovell exclaims that “Ron Paul supporters are taking over CPAC!”

Libertarian Texas Congressman Ron Paul — who has a large and occasionally rowdy backing throughout the country — was scheduled to speak here at the Conservative Political Action Conference at 4:30
Friday afternoon.

Large conferences being what they are, the schedule is running a little behind. But Paul’s mass of supporters started streaming into the hall on time, filling it up to near capacity and marking the biggest crowd of the day.

Georgia Congressman Tom Price, scheduled to speak at 3:30, but wrapping up closer to the start of Paul’s scheduled slot, was inadvertently heckled by the crowd — not necessarily for anything he said, but because Paul’s passionate fans felt the need to shout his name several times during Price’s remarks.

Shortly thereafter, when a group of young conservative activists were presenting brief remarks, one joked that he knew why such a large crowd had gathered: You’re here to see me, he said.

“Ron Paul!” the crowd corrected him, almost in unison.

CPAC is a large conference but small in the grand scheme of things and thus subject to organization, like the Iowa Caucuses.   Mitt Romney and Ron Paul supporters have dominated CPACs in recent years.  Both have enthusiastic followings among the college students that are the main audience for CPAC.

Regardless, I hereby go out on a limb and predict that Ron Paul will not win the Republican nomination for president in 2012.  Nor will he be elected president on any other party’s ticket, as an independent, as a write-in, or in any other manner.    His supporters are enthusiastic but few.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. spinnikerca says:

    Why the attack on Ron Paul? He doesn’t even WANT to run for President — WE just want him to.

    But you are way out of line. The Libertarian party and Constitution party, either one, would have elected him their nominee. The Libertarian party finally had to take him out of their polls when he ultimately made it very clear he wasn’t running third party, just to find out ‘who else’ the party would support.

    However, Ron Paul is a Republican, as his supporters are increasingly Republican. Being independent in 2008 wasn’t helpful, in closed primary states.

    Independents are energized at this point, if you hadn’t noticed.

  2. steve says:

    You are correct James. The guy is very smart, but in debates he often makes obscure references and goes off on strange tangents. Just not electable to a national position. Really, when Republicans take back the Presidency, they should just make him Secretary of the Treasury or give him the Fed job.


  3. Ron Paul will never win the Republican nomination because he actually believes in limiting the federal government, rather than just talking about it.

  4. Herb says:

    I just heard that Ron Paul won the presidential straw poll at CPAC, over Romney and Palin.

    Interestingly enough, CNN reminded me that Bobby Jindal placed second in the same poll last year. This year? Not even ranked.

    That Republican response speech must have really hurt him.