As the presidential race tightens three weeks out from the vote, Ron Paul still hasn’t come to terms with Mitt Romney. Asked by CNBC if he was prepared to get behind the Romney-Ryan ticket, the libertarian Republican said flatly, “No.”
Paul, who decided not to seek re-election to the House this year to focus on his presidential campaign, never formally withdrew from the race. He carried 190 delegates into the Republican National Convention, where his supporters staged disruptions to protest Romney’s nomination. Paul says he can’t support Romney or Obama because he sees little substantive difference between mainstream Democrats and Republicans, the same position he held in the 2008 election.
Still unclear is whether Paul will endorse fellow libertarian candidates as he has in the past. This year, former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson has made the ballot as the Libertarian Party nominee in 48 states. Johnson’s small but perceptible blip in the polls in certain states has stoked G.O.P. fears that he could have a spoiler effect, just as Ralph Nader did for Democrats in 2000.