On Friday I started to hear buzz of a Ron Paul endorsement in Maryland's white-hot 1st congressional district primary: Paul had come out for fellow anti-war Rep. Wayne Gilchrest.
"I have worked with Wayne Gilchrest in the US House for several years and I have witnessed first hand his thoughtful approach to the issues, his commitment to public service and most importantly his respect for our Constitution. I believe he is the best choice in this race for Congress and he has my enthusiastic support," Paul said.
Here's the weird thing: the Paul campaign doesn't remember this statement. And Gilchrest himself has endorsed John McCain for president, calling him "our party's future nominee." He's campaigning with him today, 24 hours before the polls open. It turns out that the Ron Paul endorsement was a rumor passed along on radio and the internet, no truth to it.
Why would a rumor like this start in the first place? It might be the candidacy of Joe Arminio, a paleolibertarian who in December declared he was part of the "Ron Paul ticket" in challenge of Gilchrest. He didn't get Paul's blessing in doing so: He simply said he agreed with Paul's message and was "the lone Republican battling five neocons" in the primary. Gilchrest's approval rating among Republicans is below 40 percent, so he can only win if pro-surge candidates Andy Harris and E.J. Pipkin split the mainline GOP vote and he cobbles together his shrinking base vote and the small, but extant, Ron Paul/anti-war vote. If Gilchrest sqeaks out a win, check how the Paul voters broke.