“Do you want Barack Obama to be re-elected? Then don’t vote for Ron Paul,” ominously warned Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan at a town hall meeting in Lima, Ohio, where the Wisconsin congressman was asked why on earth Ron Paul supporters should fall in line and vote for the Romney/Ryan ticket.
Though Paul is no longer in the race, many of his supporters have vowed to "write him in" in ballots across the country. For them, the Romney/Ryan ticket doesn't represent their ideals, and many believe there aren't substantial differences between Mitt Romney, who, as governor of Massachusetts, signed into law a health care bill largely considered to be the blueprint for the unpopular Obamacare, and the current occupant of the Oval Office.
And the irreconcilable differences are not only on domestic policy and government spending. Given some of Romney's statements regarding Russia, Iran and foreign policy in general, many Paul supporters see no difference between what they think is Obama's "war monger attitude" and that of Mitt Romney.
That's why Ryan's attempt to woo the support of the substantial and outspoken group of liberty lovers who have followed Ron Paul in both his 2008 and 2012 presidential runs sounds urgent, especially after the 47% gaffe that arguably has cost the Republican ticket a slip in the polls and certain loss of campaign momentum. Ryan claims he and "his friend" the libertarian Texas congressman and former 2012 Republican presidential candidate actually see "eye to eye on many issues."
“There are many things that Ron has championed that I am a big believer in, especially liberty and sound money,” said Ryan before launching into a criticism of the Federal Reserve and its third round of quantitative easing (QE3), which he described as “money printing.”
Paul previously criticized QE3, saying, “The Fed’s only solution for every problem is to print more money and provide more liquidity. Mr. Bernanke and Fed governors appear not to understand that our current economic malaise resulted directly because of the excessive credit the Fed already pumped into the system.”
But now, Paul supporters seem to have the upper hand as Election Day nears and the Republican ticket seems to be scrambling to keep what has been -- at least, until now -- a close race to unseat President Barack Obama. And it remains to be seen if some of Paul's most fervent supporters would give the Romney/Ryan ticket a chance, especially after numerous incidents during which they felt alienated by the establishment wing of the Republican Party as the GOP primaries unfolded.
And, perhaps, appealing to fear ("do you want Barack Obama to get reelected?") is not the most effective tactic to woo Ron Paul supporters, since they don't see things the way the bipartisan elites do: as a horse race heavily moderated by the media in which personality trumps character and substantive issues are relegated by a childish sense of beating and humiliating the other side. They are better than that.