This is a Four Alarm Fire:
Last week, during a the Fox News "Center Seat" segment of Special Report with host Brett Baier, panelist Juan Williams asks the featured guest Ron Paul if, should Paul not earn the nomination, would he support the eventual GOP nominee. Of course, Dr. Paul dissembles and stutters, and says he would have to study the nominee's position on the Federal Reserve, along with certain monetary and foreign affairs policies, and if the nominee moved their position toward his, then, yes he could support them.
Williams then concludes that line of questioning by saying, "So, that's a no." Williams then continues, "Everybody in this town thinks there will be an independent run, a third party candidate. If you don't get the Republican nomination, is that third party candidate Ron Paul?"
At this point, Paul immediately assumes a somewhat cloaked posture; his eyes narrow, and his smile hooks down on one side. Paul then says (very revealingly), "Let's say I was thinking that Juan, and I said that; it would undermine everything I'm doing. No, I'm running for president in the Republican party. I'm doing pretty well, I'm in third. You know, people wondered about me before. But, you have to realize that people are frustrated. When I'm in New Hampshire, you have to remember, there are more Independents than Democrats or Republicans. So there it is, yeah. I'm running in the Republican primary."
At which point, Williams-- trying to pin him down-- says: "So, what you're saying is you won't rule it out." Very cagily, Paul replies, "I am saying I have no plans to do it." While Paul is trying to answer Williams, Baier can be heard saying out of the view of the camera, "how about this..."
The camera then widens out to show the whole panel, and Baier interjects again, "Are you big on pledges? Would you make a pledge that you would not run in a third party?"
The head bobbing begins again, and Paul says, "I will pledge that I have no intention of doing it." There is then the obligatory nervous laughter emanating from Paul and the panel, and Paul then adds a humorous and very light pounding of the table: "no, I am running for the Republican primary", he says. Baier then adds, "That all sounds a little analytical, congressman!" Paul, still laughing, says, "Eh, well I've got to vacillate a little bit in my life!"
But, this is no joke.
This position of Ron Paul's must be smoked out of him by the other candidates. At every debate between now and Iowa, Paul must be pinned down regarding his intentions should he not receive the nomination. Unless his is unequivocal about not pursuing a third-party candidacy, he should be dis-invited to all the subsequent debates, and all efforts should be made to remove him from the party. Of course, the same questions and conditions should be posed to the other candidates, as well. But, by virtue of the fact that none of the others has ever run for President of the United States on the ticket of an opposing party, we need to be rather more circumspect toward them in this regard.
Sarah Palin, for a contrasting example when she was posed this question, ruled it out emphatically, noting it would only bolster the chances of a second Obama term. Every candidate seeking the nomination of the Republican party ought make the same declaration.
Ron Paul, because of his transparent deception illustrated by his "vacillaton" (-his word), poses an extremely serious threat. Ron Paul is saying, in effect, "either adopt my extreme positions regarding foreign policy and so forth, or I will run as a third-party candidate."
Just how serious is a threat like this?
Last week Ron Paul refused to rule out running as a third party candidate if he loses the Republican nomination.
That opens the door for Ron Paul to run as an independent in what could be the biggest, most consequential third party candidacy in American history. Yes, one that is even bigger than Ross Perot’s candidacy was in the 90s.
According to a Gallup poll taken in May, 52% Americans say a third major political party is needed. Only 40% say the two current parties do an adequate job of representing the American people.
-Fox News Opinion, November 4th
It is intolerable. This becomes even more perilous with a Romney nomination (or whomever would emerge between now and the convention as having the perception of being the furthest away philosophically from Paul's neo-Confederate viewpoint). Because of this, Governor Romney ought to be especially dogged in dragging this information out of the Texas congressman. Essentially, what Doctor Paul is saying right now, today, is that if the eventual nominee doesn't comport the cut of their jib in a manner pleasing to Paul, all bets are off.
And, if that's the case, it means a second Obama term-- and the end of America's experiment with Constitutional republicanism.
We must demand to know what Paul's --and the other candidates-- position is on running a Third Party candidacy.
As an impetus to remind us just how serious this is: If it hadn't been for Ralph Nader in 2000-- Al Gore would have been President. Consider that, and wake up in a cold sweat...