Why Ron Paul Isn’t Speaking At The Republican Convention

Many of Ron Paul’s supporters are upset about the fact that he wasn’t given a speaking slot at the Republican convention. As it turns out, the reason for that was really quite simple:

Mr. Paul, in an interview, said convention planners had offered him an opportunity to speak under two conditions: that he deliver remarks vetted by the Romney campaign, and that he give a full-fledged endorsement of Mr. Romney. He declined.

“It wouldn’t be my speech,” Mr. Paul said. “That would undo everything I’ve done in the last 30 years. I don’t fully endorse him for president.”

Connor Simpson calls this “extortion,” but that’s a ridiculous charge. The idea that Paul, whose name will not be placed in nomination at the convention because he failed to win a plurality of delegates in at least five states as required by RNC rules, should be allowed to speak without having his speech vetted by the party or the Romney campaign. This isn’t Ron Paul’s convention, if he wanted to he could hold one of those just like he did in Minneapolis in 2008. If he wanted to speak at the RNC, he had to agree to the terms the party set. Those terms must not be too egregious, because he own son agreed to them.

Every single one of the people speaking at the convention have endorsed Mitt Romney, just as everyone who will speak at the Democratic Convention will have endorsed Barack Obama. Where is it written that those rules don’t apply to Ron Paul? His supporters will see this as a sign of some nefarious plot, but what it really is is politics. Congressman Paul has never been one to play by the normal political rules, so it’s no surprise that he didn’t agree to the RNC’s terms, but those terms are entirely reasonable and it’s absurd for him or his supporters to complain about them now.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. bill says:

    because nobody wants to hear him?! he’s a wackier version of ross perot, but without the billion dollar arsenal.

  2. it’s absurd for him or his supporters to complain about them now

    Agreed. They should complain about them on November 6th.

  3. al-Ameda says:

    Why does any one care that much about Ron Paul? He did not come close to winning any state, and many of his ideas are questionable (return to gold standard, abolish the federal reserve and turn monetary policy over to congress).

    On the other hand, after a week of strange comments by Akin, Ryan, and other GOP luminaries, maybe Ron Paul is less strange than I give him credit for being.

  4. suekzoo says:

    If I was the Romney campaign, I would be very concerned about Gary Johnson wooing away a lot of Paul supporters.

  5. emptyK77 says:

    @al-Ameda: Ron Paul actually won around 5 states. Although he was cheated out of a few more. Also, a federal lawsuit has been filed against the GOP for fraudulent voting practice.

    Paul supporters will not be voting for Romney. Obama will be president for 4 more years. If Ron Paul got the nomination, he would have pulled votes from Obama and Gary Johnson. But the GOP would rather continue with their tyrannical ideas under Obama, than get called out and exposed by the honest Dr. Paul.

    Ron Paul has a bit of a funny personality, but when it comes to national policies he is a genius. He predicted the housing bubble and understands more about our economy than both Obama and Romney combined.

    The Ron Paul movement is continually waking people up to realize the level of tyranny our government continually commits. Obama and Romney will fail to fix our country as they will only come up with band-aids to solve problems. Dr. Paul knows the source of problems so he knows how to fix them.

  6. @emptyK77:

    Ron Paul did not “win” a single primary or caucus.

    The lawsuit that you refer to had no legal merit whatsoever and has been dismissed with prejudice

  7. emptyK77 says:
  8. 1stamendment says:

    I don’t get it, so Republicans don’t believe in free speech?