During a conference call with reporters yesterday, Jesse Benton of the Ron Paul campaign said there was "no chance" of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) endorsing former two-term New Mexico governor and Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson.
From Brian Doherty's report:
While Benton refuses to say Paul will endorse Romney, he believes that "if our ideas are embraced and treated with respect, I think the GOP has a very good change to pick up a substantial number of votes" from Paul people. "If we are treated like in '08, then I think a lot of people will stay home or sit on their hands." Agreed, though I think it will be very hard for a Romney like the Romney of today to pick up many Paul fan votes. The vote is not like matter that can neither be created nor destroyed; Paul invented his vote and without him I think a majority of it will disappear in November.
Benton says there is "no chance" of an endorsement of Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party.
Johnson endorsed Ron Paul in 2008. The press release announcing Johnson's endorsement was titled "'Veto Johnson' endorses 'Dr. No' for president," and was distributed by Jesse Benton. Reason reached out to the Johnson campaign this morning for a response to Benton's announcement. They sent us a statement from Ron Nielson, Johnson's senior advisor:
"Continuing and growing the Ron Paul revolution is not about endorsements. It is about making sure civil liberties, non-intervention and a real commitment to smaller government are in the national conversation, and they will not be if the conversation is only between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. While Governor Johnson would obviously like to have Congressman Paul's endorsement, we have not asked for it, nor do we expect it. Ron Paul has an important role to play in the Republican Party in the months ahead, and Governor Johnson has an important role to play in offering voters a third choice in November.
"We are confident that Governor Johnson will successfully appeal to Ron Paul voters on the basis of shared values and his position as the only proven proponent of constitutionally-based smaller government and an anti-war foreign policy based on non-intervention."