Ron Paul

A Huckabee-Paul Deal in West Virginia


I just spoke with a source inside the West Virginia Paul campaign and got some insight into the decision to push their votes to Huckabee. "There are two dynamics in West Virginia," the source said, "the national dynamic and the local dynamic. The local dynamic is frustration with a GOP establishment that doesn't believe in freedom and liberty but mouths support for those ideals in order to win elections." This, he explained, was the common cause between compassionate conservative Huckabee supporters and libertarian Paul supporters.

Both Paul supporters and Huckabee supporters were angry at a convention process that seemed to be rigged for Romney. So after the first balloting, when they were knocked out of the running, Paul delegates met in a room to hear arguments for supporting one of the remaining candidates. Huckabee's supporters offered a deal: If Huckabee won the convention, three members of his delegate slate would resign. Responsibility for replacing those delegates goes not to the state party or national party but to the winner of the convention. Thus, Huckabee's campaign would replace the three delegates with three Ron Paul delegates.

"This was a gentlemen's agreement," my source said. "We're going to trust but verify."

The Paul campaign is confident enough in the deal to go live with a press release on it.

NEXT: In Praise of Brokering

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  1. If you believe the Romney people, Huckabe is only staying in the race to divide the vote and give McCain the nomination. By giving Huckabee West Virginia, Paul supporters have now given Huckabe more momentum and more of an excuse to stay in the race. Isn’t this in effect a McCain Paul deal?

  2. I’d say it’s more of a hoping-for-a-brokered-convention deal.

  3. The best possible matchup for a Paul 3rd party run is McCain – Hillary.

    I don’t think the Paul campaign is thinking that many steps ahead, though. I think they wanted some delegates, and wanted to keep Huckabee in the race, and a deal that helped do both of those was good enough for them.

  4. Huckabee on Romney:

    “I thought he was saying yesterday, ‘No whining.’ So is it no whining or whining? He can’t even keep a straight answer on the ‘whining or no whining’ question,” Huckabee said.

    I don’t like Huckabee, but that’s a heckuva smackdown on the Mittster. Got a LOL out of me.

  5. Hehe. I love practical politics.

  6. Maybe after the last debate, where Huckabee started get ignored again, there will be more of this. Working together, Huckabee and Paul could each grab a lot more delegates than separately. This allows them both to continue on, and possibly rise to compete with the two candidates the media has narrowed the race down to. At this point, Huck’s got to hope for a brokered convention too.

  7. “There are two dynamics in West Virginia,” the source said…

    One = Widespread retardation from living on top of constantly-burning underground coal fires

    Two = Incest; see #1 re: retardation

    I keed, I keed. Please dont shoot me if you’re WV. Yes, i have a pretty mouth, i know.

  8. The foreign papers see it right:

    Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee has had a surprise win in the first contest to report results on Super Tuesday – the West Virginia convention, where participants vote for their preferred candidate in an open meeting.

    Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney won the first round of voting with 47 per cent of the vote – less than the absolute majority required.

    But in a shock second vote, Mr Romney was ambushed by John McCain supporters who transferred their votes to Mr Huckabee, to deliver him a victory and 18 delegates.

    The result indicates that there may be a future alliance between the Huckabee and McCain camps as the voting unfolds within the Republican Party.

    The West Virginia convention is a relatively small race, but indicates that Mr Romney is still competitive in conservative areas.

    The polls indicate that Senator John McCain will do well in the north eastern states which will begin reporting about noon Australian time.

  9. I wonder if this will be done across all the Super Tuesday States where it can have an effect. Or is WV the only one with a system that allows this?

    This could get interesting. VERY interesting.

  10. Hey fluffy, how many time does Ron Paul has to say it? He’s not running third party. We want the GOP normination and kick out the NeoCons. We want to take over the party. That’s why there is a HUGE push for delgates.

  11. GILMORE,

    Squeal like a pig for me, hehehe.

  12. If by May 1 it’s clear that the general election will be Hillary – McCain, Steven, we’ll see if Paul continues to “have no interest” in going independent, or showing up in Denver.

    The Paul campaign is not signing up precinct captains nationwide in order to stay in the Republican race a few more weeks and get

  13. The CIA got to Fluffy!

  14. Fluffy,

    You are pissing in the wind. I think Paul is kind of a nut, but he is basically a good person and he is not a liar. He is not going to run as a third party. I really think Paul is a man of his word. He is not lying.

  15. “Both Paul supporters and Huckabee supporters were angry at a convention process that seemed to be rigged for Romney. So after the first balloting…” …they rigged it for McCain.

  16. You’re right, he’s not.

    He’s always answered that he has no interest in running 3rd party.

    That answer describes a situation which can change. It’s not “I absolutely will not run under any circumstances.”

    Episiarch –

    I tried to end that sentence by saying that Paul would “get less than 100 delegates”. But I tried to use the less than symbol and I guess you can’t do that because it looks like an HTML tag. I probably have opened some horrible tag on this thread that someone will eventually close.

  17. A McCain/ Huckabee,

    or a 3rd party Paul Huckabee?

  18. Fluffy,

    Why “Hillary-McCain” and not “Hillary-Romney?”

    There are a lot more indie voters who might vote McCain than Mittens.

  19. Huckabee’s just running for the second spot on a McCain-Huckabee ticket, which really has to be the absolute worst outcome for libertarians. The Paul supporters just sold their souls for some venal desire to get at least some delegates at the national convention. Pathetic.

  20. You know, Huckabee’s answer in the last debate – about how legislators get to concentrate on one area of interest, whereas governors like himself have to be competent in dealing with a broad range of issues – looks an awful lot like a reason for McCain to choose a governor for his running mate.

  21. Fluffy: I don’t know about that matchup. If Hillary gets the nomination she’s going to drum up the “anyone but Hillary” GOP base. They won’t vote for a third party if they feel a need to stop her.

  22. Joe –

    I think McCain will not get the GOP base to turn out.

    Hillary – McCain gives you two candidates deeply distrusted by their party’s base[s].

  23. Thomas Jefferson
    “‘I indulge a single hope only, that the choice of President may fall on one who will be a friend of peace, of economy, of the republican principles of our Constitution, and of the salutary distribution of powers made by that between the general and the local governments.'”


  24. Why “Hillary-McCain” and not “Hillary-Romney?”

    I think it has something to do with the republican base really not wanting to vote for McCain.

    Whereas Mittens is lying and pretending like he is the person that Republicans like to vote for (not that that will stick either).

  25. Fluffy – ampersand_”lt”_semicolon = < without opening a tag.

  26. I get it, Fluffy.

    And since Paul is a right-libertarian, “the disgruntled Republican base” is a target-rich environment for him, even more than the sort of independents who’d vote for McNasty.

  27. Uh… that’s ‘& lt ;’ without the quotes or spaces in between them.

  28. Tom,

    McCain isn’t going to win the general election anyway, so how are we “selling our souls?” Huckabee staying in the race and conservatives continuing the jihad against McCain till summer is the only scenario which will lead to the brokered convention Paul wants. Is that the most likely scenario to unfold? Probably not. But that’s the position you find yourself in when you back a little known Congressman from Texas with an unpopular political philosophy. We don’t have the luxury of picking and choosing between wonderful options. We take what we can get. WV was a nice win. 10% of the vote was parlayed in to 17% of the delegates in a winner take all state.

  29. joe: Would you care to elaborate on this target-rich environment thought for me? I’m not getting the point. Thanks.

  30. Right, Joe.

    Personally, for example, I find Paul’s immigration stance objectionable – but it would help him as a 3P if McCain was the nominee. Maybe he could finally make those pandering immigration ads he taped pay off.

    McCain lacks credibility on tax cutting as well.

    The reasons I prefer Paul to McCain aren’t the same reasons some parts of the GOP base would – but a vote is a vote.

  31. and the alternative is better? No delegates? Paul was eliminated after the first ballot. Turning that defeat into a 3 delegate pick-up is fucking brilliant.

  32. Gee, I wonder what Ron Paul could get just by threatening to run Independent? Hans Hermann Hoppe, head of the Federal Reserve? Lew Rockwell, head of Equal Opportunity Employment Commission?

  33. (that was in response to “The Paul supporters just sold their souls for some venal desire to get at least some delegates at the national convention. Pathetic.” Used bad brackets…)

  34. When will it be time to make McCain’s health an issue? I just saw a clip of him on TV and he can barely walk across a room.

    If McCain – Huckabee is the ticket, it’s basically asking people to vote for Huckabee to be President in 2010.

  35. It’s becoming clearer to the Huckabee folks that the media hyped his campaign and the true support wasn’t there. He’ll ride on the money and boots on the ground of the Paul campaign.

  36. Strange, I thought this deal was done just to piss off DONDEROOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  37. Roger Maltz,

    The areas where McCain has violated Republican principles tend to be areas where Ron Paul would be closer to them, such as his support for a smaller tax cut package in 2001, McCain-Feingold, his pragmatism of judicial picks, and his support for government actions to restrain global warming. McCain would certainly not lose Republicans for being insufficiently warlike or unwilling to intrude on civil liberties for the sake of security.

    So the sort of Republican who would be turned off by McCain might find Paul amendable.

  38. Paul won’t run for 3rd party, I think he’s exhausted enough from this primary race. Not only that, to run Third Party he’d have to give up the Republican Party Tag in congress and the power that comes with it.

  39. Hey so Yahoo has Paul as winning CO, is that right?

  40. Betcha 10 bucks that I can single handedly hector Paul into running for the big L nomination. He’s a sucker for liberty and won’t abandon us to a Clinton McCain “contest”.

  41. Hey so Yahoo has Paul as winning CO, is that right?

    No i believe you’re looking at the YAHOO BUZZ poll

  42. Stephen –

    The man is 72. How many more terms as a Congressman does he really have?

    I just think the Rockwellites are whispering “Run, Ron, Run” in his ear every night. If nothing else it continues to build the mailing list, right?

  43. Why would Paul have to give the Republican party tag? It is true that the pubbies in Congress might expel him from the party conference (which is a minority anyway) but he could still run, and win, in the primary as a Republican. It has happened before.

  44. Think about it like this, if Huckabee ends up dropping from the race, who do you think he’ll give his delegates too? Ron Paul, that’s who. So Ron Paul, by making this deal, could end up with all 18 delegates at a later date. Huckabee is broke and will probably drop out later this week. Its all about the delegates. Ron Paul has been in the game long enough to know how to work the system to his benefit. He is playing chess while the others are playing tic-tac-toe. The pieces are being positioned.

  45. No way Huckabee gives his delegates to Ron Paul (except for the ones agreed to today). They’re going to McCain, bank on it.

  46. So what are McCain supporters going to say when he announces Lieberman as his VP? I think you’ll be hearing some serious uproar and a push by “big name conservatives” to vote independent.

  47. No i believe you’re looking at the YAHOO BUZZ poll


    If these fucking hippies actually got out and voted and caucased, instead of just jamming internet polling and spelling love backwards.

  48. Man, you Paul supporters have really drunk the Kool-Aid. Unless Romney pulls a rabbit out out of his hat, we’re looking at a McCain-Huckabee ticket, and all you Ron Paul supporters who are crowing about what a great coup Paul pulled off in WV are going to be left sucking the hind teat.

  49. What’s that, Eric Rittberg? Your man the losertarian Romney couldn’t even win West Virginia? All we’ve been hearing from you for the past week is how Romney is going to clean house and he can’t even get the same number of delegates as Ron Paul? I hear Steve Kubby is looking for a campaign travel captain. Are you up to the task??

  50. Tom: Unless Romney pulls a rabbit out out of his hat, we’re looking at a McCain-Huckabee ticket
    What’s your point?

  51. This is the San Jose Mercury News recommendation to Republican voters:

    We disagree with all of the Republican candidates on their solutions – or lack thereof – on critical problems facing the nation and global economy. We specifically disagree with McCain on many issues, starting with the war in Iraq. But he believes in the law and has crossed party lines to craft bipartisan solutions on key issues including immigration reform.

    The paper is showing strong support for Obama.
    The question is: If they really want Obama, why are they pushing McCain as the Republican nominee?

    Are they asking Republicans to put their strongest candidate against the Democratic nominee?

    Or do they see someone they can knock off after the primaries?

  52. Tom:

    Unless Romney pulls a rabbit out out of his hat, we’re looking at a McCain-Huckabee ticket, and all you Ron Paul supporters who are crowing about what a great coup Paul pulled off in WV are going to be left sucking the hind teat.

    As someone who doesn’t even vote, I may be speaking out of turn here, but I think most Reason readers don’t necessarily consider themselves Republicans. Most of those who are voting for Paul are only voting Republican because of his presence. Their support for him, I think, is not transferable to the lesser of evils in the rest of the field, at which point they’d go back to the Libertarian party or sit this one out.

    Like I said, I’m not voting so I may be off in my interpretation. However, I think most here who are supporting Paul are of this type. “Republican once” rather than “Republican always”.

  53. Sam Grove,

    I’ve always wondered if any Republicans pay attention to blatantly Dem-favoring newspaper’s endorsements (and vice versa). Voting based on such a recommendation would be like a football coach letting the opposing team call his plays.

  54. Sam, please, like Obama can’t knock off the Romney Robot.

  55. Not losing his job dude:

    I have generally voted Republican, but if it is McCain or Romney vs Obama, I’ll probably vote 3rd party. Might vote Obama, don’t know if I can bring myself to vote for a D.

    I really don’t like those two RINO’s though.

    If it is Hillary vs McCain or Romney, I don’t know. I probably will still vote 3rd party, depends. It is hard not to vote against Hillary.

    I am personally hoping that McCain beats Romney, just because of Dondero.

    Icing on the cake would be if Huckabee also beats Romney.

    Too good to be true would be if Paul beats Romney.

    I also want Romney to lose because I can’t stand for someone that fake to actually get that close to winning. How can people support him?

  56. This is great, it makes up for my Pats losing the Super Bowl to see Mitt unable to ram himself down the throats of the even the usually easily led GOP primary voters…Glorious…

    I don’t have any Huckabee hate at all (everyone here knows I’m not gonna hate on him for raising taxes to support needed infrastructure in one of the most assbackwards states in the union). Sure, his religion is soooo William Jennings Bryan, but at least he’s consistent (the Bible does have all that “care about the poor” stuff beside the “stone the adulterers and gays” stuff).

    It’s evident that all the other GOP candidates, though they may range far arpart on issues and ideology, cannot stand Mitt Romney as a person. I think they just see what’s evident imo….

  57. Sam, please, like Obama can’t knock off the Romney Robot.

    No doubt, but is the same true for Hillary?

  58. The only whining I’ve heard is from Hannity about “backroom deals” and Rush about “collusion.”

    Give me a break. As if McCain was going to tell his delegates to vote for whomever they wanted, when he had a chance to keep Romney from winning a state. Anyone running for President and trying to win would have done the same thing.

    I’m not sure throwing in with Huckabee was the best move for the Paul campaign, but if they got delegates out of it, I guess that justifies it. From the numbers I’ve seen though, more Paul delegates voted for Romney than for Huckabee in the second round, although enough did vote for Tax Hike Mike to give him the win.

  59. This politics at its finest. The way it really works behind closed doors. Give a little to get a little. Besides, the party establishment hates Paul and Huckabee. I have no problem making common cause to fight the authorities who wish to control the process, limit the choices to one or two establishment men, and pick the party candidate for us. Besides, if Romney and McCain can be locked out of a win, then Ron Paul wins along with Huckabee. I know the MSM will ignore the fact that Ron Paul was the actual kingmaker in WV, but it is the delegates that matter. Moreover, I salute the Huckabee campaign being smart enough to beat Romney to the punch. I am sure the Romney campaign was so arrogant it never occurred to them that they might have to approach the Ron Paul supporters and offer a deal. If RP does not win or is not the leader in delegates, then a brokered convention makes the delegates of Huckabee, Paul, and the other “non-leaders” more valuable than their actual numbers. It is the last drop of water that makes the cup overflow.

  60. I doubt McCain picks Huckabee…I like the affable guy, but some of his statements on record are waaaay bizarre and McCain can find someone just as conservative that is less lightning…

    I’m open to the idea that Huck is helping torpedo the Mitternator (only human in appearance, principles subject to programming for current mission). And well deserved. Mitt opened up early on Huckabee with his millions in attack ads, and honestly tried to question Huckabee’s conservative christian bona fides….Read that last part again. That’s Romney for you, he’s suddenly the “real christian conservative” compared to Mike “Elmer Gantry” Huckabee…Jesus christ, Joseph Smith that man has no shame…

  61. Question: What would Mitt Romney NOT do that would get him elected? Would he get on all fours and bark like a dog if it meant the nomination? Is their anything that would make his dormant dignity poke it’s confused little head up and say no?

  62. MNG,
    I’m unsure that Huckabee is actually doing damage to Romney. From this, it looks more like Huckabee supporters would go to McCain as a second choice.

  63. Count W2 P1 for Ron Paul

    BOTH delegates


  64. What’s W2 P1?

  65. I know the MSM will ignore the fact that Ron Paul was the actual kingmaker in WV, but it is the delegates that matter.

    Yes, the media will ignore Ron Paul, unfortunately. Just as many Ron Paul supporters tend to ignore that delegates matter and concentrate on fundraising totals. Libertarianism has always done well in getting a fairly large number of well-off but not tremendously rich people to give money in small amounts to campaigns (check out how Goldwater got his money when he ran for President), but it hasn’t always translated into votes.

    I just wish there were a better candidate than Paul. Gary Johnson, for example.

  66. In his interview with Tim Russert on “Meet the Press”, RP didn’t completely rule out an independent run:

  67. Ward 2 Precinct 1

    up here on the Minnesota tundra

    it’s a BPOU (basic political organization unit) in party jargon

    next up, the county convention

    then the regional

    then the state

    as they say in prison:

    “we’re in the car”

    (two delegates, two alternates)

  68. Why does Ron Paul act surprised when he is asked about the 9/11 conspiracy nuts even though it has been explained to him in multiple interviews (and even during one of the debates) that they support him? For me that is the one question mark that haunts his credibility. I’m skeptic of the other candidates too and I Huckabee really comes off dishonest (he is still 3rd in delegate count and he tries to spin it that he is one of the two leaders!!). Thank you all for caring about the country.

  69. I doubt McCain picks Huckabee…I like the affable guy, but some of his statements on record are waaaay bizarre and McCain can find someone just as conservative that is less lightning…

    No way McCain picks Huckabee. The Governor of Florida has the VP slot sewn up. He went for McCain before the primary, McCain won, he’s popular and can help deliver a major battleground state. Case closed.

  70. I think a Paul/McCain ticket would be great. Let Paul work on a humble foreign policy, cutting the fat and spending in our government, creating a sound monetary system, and returning our country back to our Constitutional roots. Then let McCain go finish the job, and take out Bin Laden and his thugs, and return all our troops home, and secure our borders, and let McCain deal with all the illegal immigrants with a humane deportation process, and no Amnesty that he is saying he supports now. Wishful thinking on my part, but it’s nice to pretend that we could have a sane country again.

  71. This article and thread interested me until people started cutting down West Virginians. As I told a coworker from California once (who was making “kissing cousin” jokes about WV and KY), it’s quite illegal to marry a first cousin in either West Virginia or Kentucky, but IS LEGAL IN California, Washington DC, Colorado . . .

    And “squeal like a pig” comes from a Hollyweird movie with a setting in Georgia.

    You people need to get out more. Such comments would leave one to believe you are not very educated.

    A Ron Paul supporter with 200 years of western VA/West Virginia roots and an IQ of 124.
    Now how is that for a stereotype?

  72. I prefer to drive through WV on the way to FL as opposed to dealing with the Baltimore/DC traffic. Beautiful and the people are always nice. Bad senators though. Bad politics in general there. Insurance law and courts in WV suck. Doesn’t mean the people are inbred, just sue happy like most of the country.

  73. For anyone calling for a 3rd party run, hold your horses.

    This was updated this morning at 6:15 AM

    Republican Delegates (1,191 needed to win nomination)

    Candidate Delegates
    Mike Huckabee 190
    John McCain 613
    Ron Paul 14
    Mitt Romney 269

    Total 1,086

    1,191 – 613 = 578 delegates short

    McCain is NOT going to pick up 578 delegates any time soon.

    Super Tuesday was his best shot at winning the nomination, and he didn’t even come close.

    How is McCain going to afford to keep his campaign functioning? He has no more money, and has no conservative base support.

    So what states are left that are rich in delegates?

    Feb. 12: 116 Republican delegates, including 63 in Virginia and 37 in Maryland.

    March 4: 256 Republican, including 137 in Texas and 85 in Ohio.

    May 6: 96 Republican, including 69 in North Carolina.

    Let’s do the math?.

    McCain has 613 delegates + states I think he will win

    Maryland 37
    Ohio 85

    613 + 37 + 85 = 735

    Let’s say McCain takes Texas and Virginia?

    735 + 137 + 63 = 935

    McCain is still 256 delegates short, and this delegate count is assuming these states are winner take all, but some are not. Even if McCain picks up North Carolina, he will still be 187 votes.

    We are going to a brokered convention.

    There is no possible way for John McCain to pick up the 1,191 necessary delegates to secure the GOP nomination.

    Ron Paul will speak to the nation in St. Paul, MN.

    He will have a national platform to introduce himself to America.

    The old media cannot rig his speech. Ron Paul will use this national stage to launch the revolution into the stratosphere and take back the Republican Party.

    The revolution has won a MAJOR victory.

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