I actually had a lot of respect for Ron Paul and thought he was above this kind of thing. Now I’m getting two bits of information for West Virginia:
McCain-Huckabee Backroom Deal:
From The Hill:
Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic reported Tuesday that, after the first ballot, McCain’s campaign called his supporters there and urged them to vote in favor of Huckabee.
“Unfortunately, this is what Senator McCain’s inside Washington ways look like: he cut a backroom deal with the tax-and-spend candidate he thought could best stop Governor Romney’s campaign of conservative change,” Beth Myers, Romney’s campaign manager, said in a statement.
Huckabee-Paul Backroom Deal:
From Reason Magazine:
I just spoke with a source inside the West Virginia Paul campaign and got some insight into the decision to push their votes to Huckabee. “There are two dynamics in West Virginia,” the source said, “the national dynamic and the local dynamic. The local dynamic is frustration with a GOP establishment that doesn’t believe in freedom and liberty but mouths support for those ideals in order to win elections.” This, he explained, was the common cause between compassionate conservative Huckabee supporters and libertarian Paul supporters.
Both Paul supporters and Huckabee supporters were angry at a convention process that seemed to be rigged for Romney. So after the first balloting, when they were knocked out of the running, Paul delegates met in a room to hear arguments for supporting one of the remaining candidates. Huckabee’s supporters offered a deal: If Huckabee won the convention, three members of his delegate slate would resign. Responsibility for replacing those delegates goes not to the state party or national party but to the winner of the convention. Thus, Huckabee’s campaign would replace the three delegates with three Ron Paul delegates.
“This was a gentlemen’s agreement,” my source said. “We’re going to trust but verify.”
The Official Statement from the Romney camp:
“Unfortunately, this is what Senator McCain’s inside Washington ways look like: he cut a backroom deal with the tax-and-spend candidate he thought could best stop Governor Romney’s campaign of conservative change.
“Governor Romney had enough respect for the Republican voters of West Virginia to make an appeal to them about the future of the party based on issues. This is why he led on today’s first ballot. Sadly, Senator McCain cut a Washington backroom deal in a way that once again underscores his legacy of working against Republicans who are interested in championing conservative policies and rebuilding the party.”