Ron Paul's presidential campaign manager, John Tate, on Thursday condemned the effort by Paul supporters to take over the Idaho Republican convention by capturing precinct committeeman posts in Tuesday's primary.
Tate said the activity in Idaho — following a binding caucus that gave Mitt Romney 62 percent of the vote among 45,000 GOP voters — is not in keeping with the Paul campaign's practice of chasing delegates in other states with non-binding "beauty contests."
"In Idaho, isolated instances of grassroots activists working toward an ostensible ‘hostile takeover’ of the GOP are not sanctioned by the Ron Paul national campaign," Tate said in a news release that came four days after an Idaho Statesman account of an effort led by Ryan Davidson, an Ada County GOP Central Committee member.
Davidson declined comment Thursday.
Davidson said Paulers are aiming to capture enough precinct committee posts to dominate county organization meetings after Tuesday's primary. There, Davidson said, they aim to elect two-thirds of the delegates to the June 22 State convention and move to suspend the rules and award Idaho's 32 delegates to Paul rather than Romney. Romney's victory was big enough to ensure him all 32 delegates.
“I’ll do the scorched earth if I have to,” Davidson told the Statesman last week.
In a training video, Davidson says, “If two-thirds of the delegates to the Idaho State Convention are Ron Paul supporters, they can vote to suspend the rules, overturn the results of the caucus and award all the national delegates to Ron Paul."
Added Tate: “Therefore, the Ron Paul 2012 Presidential campaign condemns efforts to expand its influence in the Republican Party in Idaho and beyond when these activities are couched as vengeful, underhanded, or markedly distasteful."
Republicans, including former Gov. Phil Batt, are working to fight back, sending 20,000 post cards to Ada County Republicans listing precinct committee candidates loyal to Romney.
Said Batt: "I'm happy if they're getting their internal affairs in order, but it was disruptive to Idaho to begin with."
The full Paul new release follows:
Ron Paul Campaign Statement on Idaho Grassroots Activity
“In Idaho, isolated instances of grassroots activists
working toward an ostensible ‘hostile takeover’ of the GOP are
not sanctioned by the Ron Paul national campaign.” – John Tate
LAKE JACKSON, Texas – The Ron Paul 2012 Presidential campaign released the following statement concerning reports that the official campaign is involved in an alleged “takeover” of the Idaho Republican Party in an effort to “reverse” Mitt Romney’s first-place finish in the Gem State’s inaugural Republican Party caucus.
Below please find comments from National Campaign Manager John Tate:
“Recent reports in The Idaho Statesman misrepresent the Ron Paul 2012 Presidential campaign’s involvement in the Idaho’s Republican precinct captain races that follow Mitt Romney’s first-place showing in the state’s inaugural caucus that took place on March 6th.
“The Ron Paul campaign’s delegate-attainment strategy being implemented nationally at party processes that follow so-called ‘beauty contests’ is not, and has never been, meant to somehow rewrite the outcome of past nominating contests.
“In Idaho, isolated instances of grassroots activists working toward an ostensible ‘hostile takeover’ of the GOP are not sanctioned by the Ron Paul national campaign.
“The national campaign’s strategy to obtain and send delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa is an effort to keep supporters involved in the many stages of delegate selection that follow caucuses. Guidance given to supporters in caucus states like Maine and Nevada has always been in the spirit of inclusion even when the opposition might have made exclusionary statements against Paul supporters.
“Most Ron Paul supporters carry his message of constitutionally-limited government and the restoration of civil and economic liberties quite ably, and we thank them. The addition of this ‘new’ thinking, which is rooted in traditional Republican ideology, injects healthy thought into existing Republican organizations and is already inspiring Dr. Paul’s fellow Republicans to embrace this message of core Republicanism.
“The end game of those who responsibly represent Dr. Paul’s winning message is to strengthen and expand the Republican Party so that it is better equipped to curtail Washington intrusion into the economy and our daily lives, and to prepare the party for a resounding defeat of incumbent President Barack Obama. These are values all Republicans can share and our hope has always been to have our involvement be viewed as a sort of olive branch to Republicans who are occupants of what party members often refer to as a ‘big tent.’
“Therefore, the Ron Paul 2012 Presidential campaign condemns efforts to expand its influence in the Republican Party in Idaho and beyond when these activities are couched as vengeful, underhanded, or markedly distasteful.
“Lastly, our campaign does not want its message that Paul activists be civil and operate in accordance with local GOP rules to have a chilling effect. Paul supporters have every right to vociferously and energetically engage their party structures to introduce Dr. Paul’s winning message into existing party organizations.”
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