Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is urging Iowa Republicans to consider the people who support his father’s bid for president as friends rather than “enemies.”
“They’re not people with two heads. Some of them are new to the party. Some of them have been in the party a long time. Some of them may have beat your friend for a party position and you don’t like it, but we’re all in this together,” Paul said early this evening in suburban Des Moines. “And the one thing that my dad, I think, has done is helped the party. He’s brought new people into the party.”
Texas Congressman Ron Paul, his father, finished third in Iowa’s Caucuses this past January and the congressman’s supporters now occupy key positions within the Iowa Republican Party leadership. In addition, it appears Paul supporters will occupy most of the slots in the Iowa Republican Party’s delegation at the national convention this summer.
“Sometimes people don’t recognize the good for wanting to dwell on the bad…We are on the same side of a lot of the issues,” Paul said. “…There’s more registered Republicans (in Iowa) than at any time in the past six years and I think that’s an important point. The new people aren’t hurting the party. They’re helping to grow the party.”
Steve Scheffler, one of Iowa’s representatives on the Republican National Committee, said the “negativity” he’s hearing about the Ron Paul supporters isn’t helpful to the party.
“I’m not going to get specific, but I’m sick and tired of it. It’s counter productive,” Scheffler said. “…Naturally in any movement when you have new people, some people maybe don’t have the political astuteness of people who’ve been around the block…but a lot of that comes with age and all that.”
Scheffler said there are always growing pains when new people come into the process, just as there were when 1988 presidential candidate Pat Robertson brought Christian conservatives into the GOP.
Senator Paul, the keynote speaker at an Iowa Faith and Freedom fundraiser in suburban Des Moines tonight, spoke to a small group of activists late in the afternoon — suggesting it is “cool” to speak in Iowa because “people can hear you all across the country.”
Later, in a conversation with reporters, Paul said: “It is one of the unique things about Iowa is that even, you know, in the presidential election, obviously, but even all the other years people come here and their voices are amplified and it shows that those people who come are interested in the national debate one way or another.”
The younger Paul is often listed as a potential presidential candidate of the future. As for the 2012 election, Rand Paul does not expect to be on Mitt Romney’s list as a potential running mate.
“You know, I’ve told people that I would be honored to be considered,” Paul told reporters,”but I’ve had no conversations or any indication to think that I am being (considered).”
Senator Paul suggested that if his father dropped out of the 2012 presidential race now, Ron Paul backers would drift away from the GOP. Rand Paul said Mitt Romney has to figure out a way to unite the party, as all eventual party nominees must.