Ron Paul Must Keep His Delegates, Fight Rick Santorum at GOP Tampa Convention

Rick Santorum’s comeback into the Republican primary race is now a fact as the former senator from Pennsylvania made the rounds through the Sunday morning shows to claim his share of Convention protagonism.  

“I’m concerned that Ron Paul and some of his supporters out there are looking for a platform fight, and I want to make sure that we have strong, principled conservatives out there ... to counterbalance the effect of the Paul folks,” said Santorum on ABC’s This Week.

Wait, what? It seems that now Santorum is taking of Ron Paul and his fervent supporters instead of going against Barack Obama. Is he being driven by the Romney campaign as a kind of surrogate advocating for the party to rally around the presumptive nominee? If that’s the case, it could make more harm than good to the prospects of a peaceful coronation of Mitt Romney in August.  

Though the former Massachusetts governor clinched the 1,144 delegates necessary to secure the GOP nomination last month, Ron Paul supporters have been accumulating delegates (and political capital) at the state caucus and convention level.

This has permitted them to even gain control of entire counties and state Republican Parties, which has provided further enthusiasm towards a strong showing at the Tampa convention with – among other actions – a street festival that may or may not be authorized by the GOP and that Ron Paul supporters have already dubbed “PaulFest.”

That’s until Santo reentered the picture, weighing in with his two cents and few delegates and trying to steal the spotlight from Ron Paul – the lone anti-Romney candidate who remains in the race.

What will Santorum’s delegate gathering will be called, “SantoFest,” “VestFest”?

Santorum also said that he hasn’t been contacted by Romney’s campaign as part of the vice-presidential vetting process (which, of course, suggests he’d love to be at least on the short list).

Suddenly, it got a lot more crowded in Tampa.