8:00pm January 14, 2012

GOP to Libertarians: Stay Out of Our Primary, Son


As long as Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich eloquently point this out to the folks in South Carolina and Florida, Ron Paul’s influence in this GOP presidential race will likely swoon.

The calls to “End the Fed” are rhetorical desires that reek of Tea Party sentiments despite pre-dating populist movements as far back as the 1990s.

The stump speeches to rein in the federal debt are words spoken by a “peculiar” man from among the crowd of 435 long before it was championed by the Speaker of the House and popular freshmen congressmen.

Yet, for all of the kudos that Congressman Ron Paul gets for bringing the mainstream up to speed on financial issues he’s advanced for years now, once voters get a chance to hear his other positions – on drug use in America and on foreign policy, for example – the GOP candidate falls from the ranks of serious contenders into the realm of a niche.

And as long as the former Senator from Pittsburgh and the former Speaker of the House running for president continue to remind voters of these radical differences on key voting issues, Libertarian Ron Paul will never stand a viable chance of being much more than the third-strongest contender in the Republican field, regardless of how long he stays in the race.

Those that point to the results in Iowa and New Hampshire as proof that Paul has enough cache among the conservative base to be the Republican “ABR” (“Anybody But Romney”) candidate in 2012 overlook the niche voting patterns that both states’ independently-minded residents famously promote. Early-primary states that brag exclusively of their ultra-right wing conservative nature or their decidedly-moderate stances do not – and will not – have the same gravitas going into the teeth of the primary schedule as others.

South Carolina, a state that proudly boasts of its ability to select Republican presidential leaders, will provide ample pushback on Ron Paul positions perceived as either detached or zany. The GOP in both states will soon provide the litmus test for the Republican candidates that will re-calibrate primary voters’ vision for the 2012 race, particularly South Carolina. Its blend of Christian conservatives, actual racial diversity, and presidential tradition will be plenty to make the Palmetto State the Armageddon both candidates and pundits believe it will be for the GOP race.

That makes sense. As long as the two former Republican thought leaders from the 1990s can convince potential voters that they have both the track record of conservatism and the ability to be effective at governing, both Gingrich and Santorum will use the campaign trail effectively.  Alll they must do is use the debate stages over the next week to constantly inform and remind Americans that Mr. Paul has become infamous for fringe positions and legislative isolation during his tenure in Congress. Recent polls show that the field is ripe for this type of re-calibration on Mr. Paul. This is why, unlike 2011 presidential debates where Mr. Paul was allowed to pontificate with some immunity to the applause of his passionate support base, Mr. Santorum (and, to a lesser extent, Mr. Gingrich) made it a point to label Mr. Paul the “L” word (not the one found on Showtime, mind you) repeatedly during the January 7 debate in New Hampshire. They will continue to do so in South Carolina and Florida.

The only shot that the “ABR” candidate has in beating the establishment choice in Mr. Romney will be to quickly banish Mr. Paul to the fringes of the 2012 Republican delegation as quickly as possible. This would allow more time for the more conservative base to cozy-up in a collective movement against Romney behind one person.

Mr. Paul often makes it easy for them to make that transition. With positions that question the worthiness of promoting civil rights over Jim Crow laws when contrasted against owners’ property rights, Ron Paul’s candidacy looks very much like an unacceptable choice for the 2012 White House, even when compared to some of the questionable comments on the disadvantaged from Gingrich and Santorum. The sooner that Gingrich and Santorum can finally convince primary voters of this, the better for their chances.

However, both Santorum and Gingrich – and, subsequently, South Carolina and Florida Republicans – better use the next few weeks to convince voters (some of whom are not Republicans) that Ron Paul is not a true Republican like one of them … before it becomes too late. Like other big-eared political foes from the past, Republicans could feel heartburn from a fellow conservative – and another one from Texas, no less. Like 1992, this trend of flirting with unwinnable, fringe conservative bases – if it continues in the voting booths of South Carolina and Florida – could easily provide enough problems to splinter conservative votes and create a winner out of an unwanted candidate.

The aftermath of the Clinton-Bush race of 1992 with Ross Perot and the Obama-McCain race of 2008 with choosing McCain (through attrition) and VP choice Palin (in desperation) was evidence to Republicans that the success of Libertarian Paul in this field is enough to damage their collective chances in the fall. Which is why Santorum and Gingrich will continue hammering home the disparities through labels.

Both glass ceiling Republican presidential candidates – Mr. Romney with his 30% ceiling that has been there since 2008 and Mr. Paul with his Libertarian ceiling that pins him in at 20% – are enough of a collective force to box in Santorum and Gingrich as nice footnotes to America history if they are not overcome as opponents throughout the rest of January. If Santorum and Gingrich can effectively paint the current congressman as a Libertarian and the former governor as a RINO (“Republican In Name Only”), each may have a chance to pull off a miracle win as the conservative Republican choice in either South Carolina or Florida. Without doing so, neither have a prayer of winning – even despite courting the finest conservative Christians in the Southeast.

Lenny McAllister is a senior contributor to Politic 365 that can be found every Saturday with Democratic pundit Maria Cardona on “CNN Saturday Morning” at 10:30 AM Eastern (9:30 Central / 7:30 Pacific.) In 2012, he has been featured on CNN’s “Early Start” weekdays between 5:00 AM – 7:00 AM Eastern as well. His latest podcast “Getting Ready to Get Right” can be found on www.LMGILIVE.COM and “McAllister’s Saturday Remix” can be found exclusively on Politic365.

About the Author

Lenny McAllister
Lenny McAllister
Lenny McAllister is the host of the radio show “Get Right with Lenny McAllister” found on LMGILIVE.com and often re-broadcast on Politic365. He appears weekly on “CNN Saturday Morning” with host Randi Kaye and former DNC Communications Director Maria Cardona at 10:30 AM Eastern Time. He also regularly appears weekdays on CNN's "Early Start" at 5am - 7am and "CNN Newsroom" at 12:30pm Eastern. He also appears as a political commentator on multiple outlets including Sirius-XM Radio, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, ABC Radio in Australia, and Chicago Public Radio. Lenny has written previously for a number of publications including Rushmore Drive, Global Grind, and The Chicago Defender. In 2009, McAllister was a panelist at the 10th Annual State of the Black Union and the CNN panel discussion Young & Black In America: Empowering the Next Generation of African American Leaders. In 2010, Lenny was featured in the Studio 360 series “American Icons” in the episode, The Autobiography of Malcolm X. He was also featured in the November 2010 Essence Magazine roundtable discussion “Race (Still) Matters” that featured the Rev. Al Sharpton, NAACP President Ben Jealous, and CNN’s Soledad O’Brien.



5G Future Requires More Spectrum Across the Board

Across the globe, mobile connectivity is fueling the ways we live, work, and play. And as consumer demand increases, so too does our need for more, faster, and highly efficient spectrum.  By the end of the decade, mobile traff...
by Kristal High

a-Obama UN _0

American Business Act on Climate Pledge Important Step for Energy Future

Tackling the negative affects of climate change has been a top-line priority for the Obama Administration for years, and now the President is getting even more help in pushing forward this initiative. Apple, American Express, A...
by Kristal High


Texas State University Home to Inaugural Party Politics #ChalkboardCampus Tour

Party Politics launched its inaugural Chalkboard Campus tour at Texas State University with the Organization of Student Social Workers (OSSW), Monday, October 26th at 10am outside the Alkek Library. The #ChalkboardCampus Tour i...
by Politic365 Staff



Fixing the System Starts with Making it Easier for Families to Stay Connected

Earlier in the week, VICE debuted a documentary on HBO called Fixing the System which explored the ways America’s criminal justice system undermines democracy, disrupts families, negatively impacts the economic well-bei...
by Kristal High


White House Council Releases Report to Increase Broadband Adoption

President Obama, like many Americans and national leaders across the country, recognizes the importance of broadband as the most critical infrastructure of the 21st century. “Access to high-speed broadband is no longer a lux...
by Kristal High



  1. G E

    Can you let us know where you get whatever it is that you're smoking? (by the way, if Paul wins you'll be able to get it legally)

  2. Tom

    What a crummy hit piece. I’m Doubling my donation to Ron Paul 2day.

  3. tankman

    How about a truly worthy journalistic piece entitled Conservatives to Neo-Conservatives..Don't bogart and corrupt my GOP Party, Man.
    "if you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism."
    Ronald Regan

  4. hellokibbie

    Now here is a writer that backs a man that dumped his wife because she had cancer,
    cheated on her for the three years prior,

    accepted $1.6 million from a gov agency that the American people paid in to (that means you too S.C.)
    Slept with Nancy Palosi,
    Voted for multi gov agencies only to receive under the table dollars,
    avoided front line combat 5 times,
    and you are ok with this type of person being our president.

    (Anyone with 20% of a healthy thinking process can clearly see that you are impaired!

    You also support Rick santouram,
    a person that just got through saying that scientist are turning up dead and he is happy,

    that he would bomb Iran in spite of millions of innocent deaths,

    accepted under the table payoffs from Lockheed ceo Robert Stevens head of the largest U.S. company who builds the U.S. weapons, (why? because they need Wars $$$)

    Has taken kickbacks from monsanto company who Now owns our FDA and tells them what they are allowed to test and not test,

    Admitted to a preempted attack on Iran just to keep the young dieing and the congress corrupted with enormous unearned income ,

    then turns around and say's he is for liberty so he can sound like Ron Paul…but secretly votes for the new invasion on U.S. citizens bill by obama,

    and you Larry McAllister the writer of this story should be ashamed of your views because you are obviously lining people in to groups and Even M.L.K. would slap your face by saying

    Don't let any body make you think that God chose America as his divine messianic force to be …a sort of policemen of the whole world!
    …God has a way of standing before the Nation with JUSTICE!…and it seems that I could hear God saying to America "Your too Arrogant"

    If you don't change your ways I will rise Up and Break the Backbone of your Power and I will place it in to the hands of a Nation that doesn't even know my Name!

    Be Still and know that I am God!!

    shame on you McAllister…educate your self!

  5. BNG

    Paul has not said he wants to legalize drugs. He has said that is up to the states. On wars people say he would not come to the aid of our allies. How could this be when he says its not his decision to make. Only congress can declare war.

  6. paul

    This author is clueless he has missed the face the gop is moving towards Dr Ron Paul policy's of liberty.

  7. Matt

    Fringe? I believe if you took a popular vote on any of Ron Paul's stances the average American would not deem them as "fringe". Most people are not strictly republican/democrat and most ideals are not separated by that line either. The mainstream fails to view the political spectrum as the Venn diagram it is. Ron Paul has many views where the end result can be shared by both republicans and democrats its only in the idealism behind it that changes. Think marijuana legalization, bringing troops home, etc. These views can be shared by tea party and liberals. Since we have a two party system and a nominee doesn't agree with every aspect of that party their ideas are fringe? Ron Paul remains the only ideological republican choice. It's a shame he's considered an outlier candidate because that just shows how far off base the establishment has gotten. Hi-jacked by social conservatives. If you throw him out there in the general election he will walk away with it. It's just a matter of convincing the GOP that their old school ways are done with and the days of parading around as quasi republicans are over.

  8. Chris Thomas

    Puke…How stupid are those that say Ron Paul wants drugs legal. I guess it sounds the really bad that way. If you say, he wants to free 2.3 million non violent or victim-less crime drug offenders it don't sound as insane. How much does that cost? About $60,000 per X 2.3 million = 138,000,000,000??? Even if it were just half that it is insane. There is no way to win the War on Drugs, they can't even keep drugs out of prison!

  9. Chris Thomas

    We like Ron Paul because the wars we wage undeclared make us appear to be the "bad guys" putting it very lightly. We no longer trust our so called news stations. We no longer want to borrow from China to give aid to the world. We no long want the Industrial Military Complex to "police" the world. We no long want the FED going unchecked. We no longer want fiat money. We supports our troops with policy not stickers. The soldiers have told us they want to come home. We have heard them and we know GOLDMAN SACS backs ROMNEY AND OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 WE WANT RON PAUL FOR A LOT MORE THAN DRUG LEGALIZATION!!!!!!! WE WANT RON PAUL BECAUSE HE DEFENDS THE CONSTITUTION AND IT DEFENDS US FROM THE GOVERNMENT!!!!!

  10. Chris Thomas

    We like Ron Paul because the wars we wage undeclared make us appear to be the "bad guys" putting it very lightly. We no longer trust our so called news stations. We no longer want to borrow from China to give aid to the world. We no longer want the Industrial Military Complex to "police" the world. We no longer want the FED going unchecked. We no longer want fiat money. We supports our troops with policy not stickers. The soldiers have told us they want to come home. We have heard them and we know GOLDMAN SACS backs ROMNEY AND OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 WE WANT RON PAUL FOR A LOT MORE THAN DRUG LEGALIZATION!!!!!!! WE WANT RON PAUL BECAUSE HE DEFENDS THE CONSTITUTION AND IT DEFENDS US FROM THE GOVERNMENT!!!!!

  11. [...] divided GOP primary field. After three ballots, the leaders emerged with a call for Christian …GOP to Libertarians: Stay Out of Our Primary, SonPolitic365The Battle for South CarolinaWall Street JournalScotland GOP favors RomneyLaurinburg [...]

  12. Mike

    Today, I am donating to Ron Paul as much money as I do not care to disclose. And my sole motivation was this article. Thank you.

  13. Ryan

    This writer is a joke! what a lying loser. Ron Paul 2012! Or i wont vote.

  14. Lucas

    Glad to hear the response of everyone here! Hopefully, after Ron Paul losses the primary he decides to run as an independent. Diluting MItt Romney and thus allowing President Obama to continue for another term! I guess I might send donation to Paul's campaign as well!

  15. Ron Paul wants 8-year-old prostitutes to sell drugs in schools so they can fund their pension plans and healthcare through the LIBERTARIAN plan.

  16. I'm calling bull shit! This writer is obviously mentally challenged, and I'm not kidding about that! Everyone knows liberty equals prosperity! HELLO! Why did we break away from the tyranny of the king? Think about it! It's obvious Ron Paul represents a return to small government fundamentals, EXACTLY what this country needs! A good shot in the arm of realism, and going back to your roots! It's time to truly squash the status quo!

  17. [...] GOP to Libertarians: Stay Out of Our Major, Son The calls to “End the Fed” are rhetorical desires that reek of Tea Party sentiments regardless of pre-dating populist movements as far back as the 1990s. But, for all of the kudos that Congressman Ron Paul gets for bringing the mainstream up to speed on … Study more on Politic365 [...]

  18. Keith

    This is your description on your facebook page?

    Lenny McAllister is “…a socially-conscious conservative with a mission to make positive changes to the status quo within politics, social issues and other issues that hamper our American way of life…”

  19. Tom

    Just so you know, this republican will not vote for any of the other crony's. Only Ron Paul.

  20. RON PAUL 2012. P.S. it is not a rhetorical device nor is it mere populist rhetoric, we want to end the Fed, now!

  21. Lizzie

    You're right of course. Liberty is incredibly unpopular in the United States. People who talk about it are called flakes and 'tards. Authoritarianism is what the people really want. They got it with George Bush, they got even more of it with Obama, and if Romney wins, things will continue just as they are. And the enemies of liberty will have won out again.

  22. Righteous 1

    Lawyers continue to occupy high public offices (senate, congress & WHITE HOUSE)

    Call the doctor
    — RON PAUL 2012 —

  23. queenofpersia

    There's reason why they call Paul supporters Paulbots. They can infest any blog, article or website faster than humanly possible.

  24. billy bob 2012

    and now guess who is 2nd in the polls, Ron Paul and he is rising fast. What a idiot this writer is.

    Ron Paul 2012

  25. gaoxiaen

    Romney will bring SC back to 1865. Why would South Carolina vote for a Yankee carpetbagger?

  26. Kevin Ryan

    Did Lenny McAllister, a black man, just refer to libertarians, as "son"?? And he claims Ron Paul is a civil rights problem??

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>