Opinion: The RNC Must Allow Ron Paul To Speak At The Convention
U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, a Republican presidential candidate in 2012, has been met with a challenging controversy regarding his impending speech to be given at the Republican National Convention next month in Tampa, Florida.
As far as Paul’s right to speak, the rules are quite clear from the RNC. To be automatically given a 15- minute slot to speak at the podium, a candidate must have won a plurality of delegates in five states. As difficult as the facts are for staunch Paul supporters to accept, Paul has only won four such states which are Iowa, Minnesota, Maine, and Louisiana. Remember, the key word is “plurality”. A plurality is the excess of votes received by the leading candidate, in an election in which there are three or more candidates, over those received by the next candidate – and not a majority.
Paul’s last chance to win a fifth state was in Nebraska, and that didn’t happen as Paul only won 2 of the 15 delegates available. This was an expected outcome, even by Paul and his supporters.
With the rules and the current explanation complete, it is now up to the RNC to schedule speakers for the Convention. The buzz yesterday was that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will most likely give the keynote speech. This is of major interest because, quite logically, Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate choice would not be assigned the keynote speech honor. Therefore, if Christie is, in fact, given the honor of being the keynote speaker, he is no longer on the short list of politicians to be chosen as Romney’s vice presidential running mate. Many have thought he would be chosen to be the vice presidential choice, and many have also wanted him to be the choice.
Ron Paul has stated in the recent past that he believes Mitt Romney doesn’t want him to speak at the Republican Convention because Romney fears that Paul will promote his own agenda rather than exemplify unity for Romney on the Republican ticket. Paul told Fox Business: “I think the Romney campaign organization is very insecure.”
Dr. Ron Paul is absolutely right. Anyone who doesn’t believe Ron Paul humbles the strongest politicians around isn’t paying attention to the power of this man. He has an extremely huge following of devoted followers, and much of what he envisions for a better America makes very good sense. His desire for a smaller government – which has been his major issue and likely the most popular distinction between himself and any other candidate – is an issue to be reckoned with by any candidate. His unique foreign affairs’ proposals are worth strong consideration by the Republican Party as well.
Anyone in the RNC – including the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney – who believes Ron Paul should not speak to the Republican Party at the Convention, is wrong.
Ron Paul’s beliefs must be heard, contemplated, and accepted for sincere consideration in the Republican Party’s platform of 2012. Paul not only speaks to many people but also for many people. Regardless of what one thinks of him and his politics within the Republican Party, he is a force to be reckoned with in 2012 as he has been in the past.
Disallowing Paul to have his say at the Convention will lose many more Republicans who are trying to get President Obama out of the White House than it would gain. But again, politics aside, Dr. Ron Paul has earned his right to speak – regardless of the rules.
About Scott Paulson
Scott Paulson writes political commentary for Examiner.com and teaches English at a community college in the Chicago area. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.