So why did Ron Paul go after Santorum more than Romney yesterday?  Is it an alliance because Romney is a secret paleolibertarian, or is it a secret bargain so that Romney would make Ron or Rand Paul the VP nominee?   Please.  Ron Paul trained most of his fire yesterday on Santorum.  When Perry was really hot, Paul trained more of his fire on Perry than on Romney.  When Gingrich was really hot, Paul trained more of his fire on Gingrich than on Romney.  That’s because of who Romney is and who Ron Paul wants to be.  Romney is the establishment safe choice and he is actually running to be president.  Ron Paul knows he isn’t “safe”, knows he isn’t getting the establishment nod, and he isn’t going to be president.  What he is trying to be is the conservative alternative in the race and to redefine ”conservative” to include his combination of spending policies, monetary policies, drug policies, foreign policies, etc.  But if he is going to get the real, authentic, liberty-loving, slot (or as much of it as can be gotten), he has to prevent any of the anti-Romneys from establishing themselves as real conservatives.  That means he has to go at Perry, and Gingrich and Santorum depending on who is doing best.  If any of them become the chief alternative to Romney, then Paul is left out in the cold.  If the enduring “real conservative” in the race is the guy who has been spending the last six years warning about the threat of a Venezuela-Iran Axis, then Ron Paul’s mission to ideologically refashion the GOP hasn’t gone according to plan.  So Paul needs to protect his space as the real conservative and to explain why the other so-called real conservatives are big spending, freedom grabbing, statist frauds.  He doesn’t need to attack Romney much.  No one believes Romney is the authentic conservative in the race.  Paul doesn’t need to take Romney down.  A two-man race against Romney (even though it would be a “losing” race) is the best that Paul can hope for, and he is doing his bit to make it happen.

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Articles by Pete Spiliakos

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