Here’s the response to the events in Louisiana today from National Campaign Manager John Tate. John rightly condemns the violence suffered by some of our supporters and also rightly praises the Romney campaign for taking the high road to make sure our duly elected delegates assume their rightful place in Tampa.
Establishment Republicans sometimes claim that Ron Paul supporters occasionally get out-of-hand. This has been true, and to the extent that some Paul supporters have exhibited poor behavior not only reflects badly on the individuals involved, but Dr. Paul. I have seen great strides toward more civility and having more respectful attitudes moving forward. Our side currently has all the ideas; we don’t need to yell the loudest. The GOP is an ideological vacuum that is currently being filled with our people right before our eyes. Our superior philosophy will win the day. It is already winning.
Establishment Republicans who don’t like to see Ron Paul supporters winning seats and positions of authority—completely playing by the rules—do not have the right to turn around and disenfranchise Paul supporters simply by making up new rules. No one has the right to use some of the strong-arm tactics we saw on shameful display today in Louisiana.
When Barry Goldwater’s supporters began reshaping the GOP in 1960, ’64 and beyond, it got pretty messy. But Goldwater’s forces won the day by playing by the same rules as the Rockefeller Republicans—whether those establishment Republicans liked it or not.
When presidential candidate Pat Robertson’s supporters began making the GOP a more substantively pro-life party in 1988 and beyond through groups like the Christian Coalition, this too was not always pretty. Many establishment Republicans did not like religious conservatives making inroads into “their” party.
The Republican Party today is just as much the party of Ron Paul supporters as anyone else’s. Moving forward, I believe it will become even more “our” party than it already is today. The party is defined by those with the most powerful ideas and who are willing to fight for them.