Thursday, June 21, 2012 | 2 a.m.
Rep. Ron Paul on Wednesday laid out his hopes for the Republican National Convention in August, conceding that he didn’t have the support to “take over the convention” but asking for a speech on the floor or at a very minimum a “meeting” on-site.
“Unfortunately, we don’t have quite enough (delegates) to take over the convention,” Paul said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
The Texas Republican and former presidential hopeful said that he had not asked convention organizers or Mitt Romney for a speaking slot, even as it was clear during the interview that he would like one.
“I have not asked specifically, and he hasn’t invited me to,” said Paul.
The libertarian crusader said his goal is to prove that there are advantages to including his supporters and viewpoints in the Republican Party.
“If I’m not going to the be the nominee, the goal is to show that there’s a political benefit toward accepting some of the views that we have,” he said. “All I want to do, if I don’t get a speech on the floor in the convention, all I want to do is have a meeting and say, ‘Look, we have numbers, we have people, we have enthusiasm, we believe in something. Why don’t you pay a little attention?’ And actually I think they are. They don’t know quite how to handle it.”
Asked if the Republican Party had lost its way, Paul argued that there are — on many issues of substance — no serious distinctions between the Republican and Democratic parties.
“I think (the GOP) has lost its way. I think a long time ago. I can’t see the difference” between Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, Paul argued. “They’re both very militaristic, interventionist, pro-war. ... Do Republicans really stop welfare expansion? No. Do they really cut back and balance the budget? No. They usually introduce bigger budgets.
“When it comes to the philosophy of government, there’s not enough difference for me. I would like to change those convictions of the Republican Party because there were times when they had much better positions. And there’s no reason why we can’t restore those and improve upon them.”
And on Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee, Paul declined to go after him personally.
“I would say he has core convictions, but I just disagree with them,” he said.