Who Does Ron Paul Support in Maryland? And Who Supports Ron Paul?

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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.

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  1. Dave, your title is making Killian’s line “Who loves you and who do you love?” from The Running Man pop into my head. It would be way cool if that was your intention, but I doubt it.

    “Killian, here’s your Subzero…now, plain zero.”

  2. I speculated that IF Paul endorsed him it would have to do with Iraq. Gilchrest, he of the purple heart, is one of few Rep. Congressmen to support troop withdrawal.

    Republicans in MD Hate Wayne because he’s not pro-war enough.

    Republicans in the US ( and a few in Texas) Hate Ron because he isn’t pro-war.

    Joe Arminio will finish 4th or 5th in the primary at best. Established parties actually run people with resumes- like millionaires who have served in the state senate several terms. Unlike Ron Paul Republicans and Libertarians they dont run just anybody for Cngress.

    Sure “conservatives” in my state of MD think Wayne is “liberal” on other things ( Oy My God he has a gay brother! horror)and he IS. But this is really all about Iraq and the whole “islamo fascist” thing. Conservatives have run against him in the past saying he was a RINO, and despite backing from the Club for Growth and a lot of wealthy folks, those guys were destroyed. This time he’s a “RINO” because I guess he isnt so enthusiastic about bombing the entire Middle east.

    I’d rather a “liberal” Republican ( this is MD after all, and even much of the 1st Distrcit aint exactly conservative) like Gilchrest than a war monger like Andy Harris.

  3. It’s pretty likely that Paul expressed to Gilchrest that he’d be the best guy for the job, as the local blog mentioned. Paul and Gilchrest have worked together on war issues. I’d have serious doubts about Paul’s sanity if he were to endorse the “Ron Paul Candidate,” Joe Arminio. Arminio’s a nice guy but his platform is pretty far out there. I’ve heard him speak a few times and he’s your typical conspiracy theorist — a small cabal is ruining our nation — with a large protectionist streak — close the borders and erect large trade barriers.

    As a Ron Paul voter in the First District, my vote is going to Harris. Yes, he’s pro-war but he’s the best on fiscal and gun issues. Even “anti-war” Gilchrest has stressed over and over again on the campaign trail that he doesn’t want a large withdrawal of troops from Iraq. As he said when I heard him on Saturday, U.S. troops are the skeleton on which the Iraqi government hangs, so we have to continue to be there. Any libertarian who supports Gilchrest is pretty deluded.

  4. David, I assume you live in Maryland or Virginia. Who are you voting for in the primary tomorrow?

  5. Just got this email from a friend in Md:

    Yes, just more sabotage. The GOP is as corrupt here as anywhere else. Arminio is a very good man and a fine speaker, who did very well speaking for Ron Paul and the latest CPAC meeting. I hope this doesn’t hurt him.

    Our former guber, Bob Ehrlich, who talks a fairly libertarian game and is pals with paleoconservative Ron Smith, the radio talkshow host, shocked us when he endorsed Giuliani and became his campaign manager early on. Now he has endorsed McCain. The naked ambition, bucking for a possible vp nod or cabinet post when he knows his political career MD is over, is embarrasing and sickening. Yeah, hitch your wagon to McNasty’s star, and follow him and the GOP over the cliff this November. Sucker!

    Them’s politics for ya.

  6. I’m a registered Republican in DC and will vote for Ron Paul.

  7. Clint Eastwood should endorse Ron Paul

  8. Jessica Alba should endorse Ron Paul.

  9. Who Does Ron Paul Support in Maryland? And Who Supports Ron Paul?…

    …and Who Cares?

    “Killian, here’s your Subzero…now, plain zero.”

    Ah, back when a tagline really was a tagline. I miss those happy, innocent times.

  10. Thanks for the answer David.

  11. I live in the 8th, so I won’t be able to vote for Andy Harris, but I would if I could. Yes, he’s pro-war, but he’s very libertarian-friendly on other issues. As Marc mentions he’s got the right ideas on fiscal policy and gun control, and he recently introduced a pending bill to curtail eminent domain excesses. He’s a reasonable man, and we could do much, much worse than him.

  12. I endorse Jessica Alba. Wholeheartedly.

  13. There was also a fake rumor of Ron Paul endorsing Gilmore for Senate in Va.

  14. Ah, back when a tagline really was a tagline.

    “You’re a funny guy, Sully–I like you. That’s why I’m going to kill you last.”

    “Colonel, I thought you said you were going to kill me last?”

    “I LIED.”

  15. Time to update your post, since the Paul campaign has indeed confirmed its endorsement of Gilchrest (http://www.politickermd.com/paul039s-endorsement-blow-arminio-1007):

    Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul’s endorsement of First District Republican incumbent Wayne Gilchrest comes as something of a blow to Joe Arminio, a Republican candidate who is running on what his campaign has called the “Ron Paul Ticket.”

    Arminio, an author and co-founder of the National Coalition for Defense, joined the ticket on Dec. 1, Arminio’s campaign says on its Web site.

    But on Feb. 8, Paul, a Texas Congressman with a libertarian streak, threw his support behind Gilchrest, who is attempting to fight off a primary challenge from the conservative wing of his party to regain the seat he has held for nine consecutive terms.

    “I have worked with Wayne Gilchrest in the U.S. 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 in a statement.

    On Monday morning, Anthony Riedel, a media staff assistant for the Paul presidential campaign, confirmed the Paul endorsement of Gilchrest.

    Tony Caliguiri, Gilchrest’s chief-of-staff, explained that Paul and Gilchrest had established a friendship and working relationship in the U.S. House of Representatives.

  16. I’m a registered Republican and I will not vote for the “Bombsy Twins” — unstable McCain and that one-time Liberal Democrat turned Independent, turned Conservative Republican, Joe Lieberman. Of course, if you like the idea that our nation continue to sink its blood and gold into that stinking religous cesspool around Israel for the next hundred years — why hell, vote for McLieberman — I’ll vote for Ron Paul.

  17. Maryland libertarians should not forget or forgive the sleazy primary campaign that Wayne Gilchrest ran in 2002. He ran ads attacking his opponent for working as a . . . criminal defense attorney. He attacked the man for defending an alleged child molester (who by the way turned out to be innocent). He may be anti-war, but he doesn’t understand the Constitution or believe in civil liberties.

  18. I know that Gilchrest is hardly a libertarian, but neither is Arminio. Unlike Ron Paul who opposes NAFTA and other similar trade deals in favor of true free trade, Arminio doesn’t like free trade at all. From the Issues section of his website:

    “Resume those earlier, triumphant government practices that enabled American industry to be preeminent on earth. This would of course include the end of the so-called free trade era. Let us return to fair trade, which includes high tariffs applied against low-wage countries, such as Communist China. Let us withdraw from NAFTA and CAFTA”

  19. Seldom am I shocked in politics. This is one of those rare times. I cannot believe Gilchrest would endorse McCain.

    I am truly speechless.

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