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In his two previous campaigns for President, Texas Congressman Ron Paul was considered such a fringe candidate that most of his contemporaries ignored his many failings, extreme positions and questionable actions from his checkered past.
No more. Leading Republicans are starting to tell American voters what they think of Paul and a lot of it isn’t good.
“Ron Paul is not going to be elected President,” former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, winner of the Iowa causues in 2008, said on Fox News Sunday. “His views on foreign policy are so much an anathema to the Republicans, much less the Democrats and what I call middle-of-the-road people, that he has a very strong core of fanatical believers, but they do not represent the mainstream of America.”
Added Huckabee: “He’s not going to get the nomination, that’s for sure.”
Indiana GOP Sen. Dick Lugar told CNN’s “State of the Union” that Paul is so far out of the mainstream that he doesn’t represent the bulk of the GOP or anywhere near a majority of Americans.
Paul, Lugar said, is “left of Obama” when it comes to foreign policy.
Asked Lugar: “Is that a Republican party message?”
“The Republican establishment has had it with Ron Paul,” a leading GOP strategist tells Capitol Hill Blue. “They’ve decided it is time to let the American people know that he does not represent the party, its views or its future.”
For many years, the mainstream of the GOP have treated Paul like an eccentric grandfather that everyone tolerates but doesn’t want to talk about. But with renewed questions about his role in a serious of racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic newsletters published in his name in the 1980s and 1990s, along with his extreme and isolationist views on foreign policy, more and more Republicans seek to distance themselves from the Libertarian-leaning Texas Congressman.
America, Lugar says, “can’t afford” Ron Paul.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich says Paul needs to “come clean” about his role with the “Ron Paul Political Report” and other publications that pushed racially-charged themes, anti-gay sentiments and attacks against Jews.
These things are really nasty, and he didn’t know about it, wasn’t aware of it? But he’s sufficiently ready to be president? It strikes me it raises some fundamental questions about him.
Those questions also appear to be affecting some voters. Republican tracking polls over the Christmas holiday weekend show some slippage in Paul’s support in Iowa, where he is now in a statistical tie with Mitt Romney and Gingrich.
Huckabee says a win by Paul in Iowa means nothing. He should know. Huckabee won Iowa in 2008 and was out of the GOP race just weeks later.