As the Republican presidential race goes on, front-runner Mitt Romney and long shot Ron Paul are said to be forging a “strategic alliance between establishment and outsider.”
The Romney-Paul alliance “is more than a curious connection,” The Washington Post
reports. “It is a strategic partnership: for Paul, an opportunity to gain a seat at the table if his long-shot bid for the presidency fails; for Romney, a chance to gain support from one of the most vibrant subgroups within the Republican Party.”
A senior GOP aide in Washington told the Post: “Ron Paul plays a very valuable part in the process and brings a lot of voters toward the Republican Party and ultimately into the voting booth, and that’s something that can’t be ignored.”
During the often contentious Republican debates, Romney and Paul have refrained from attacking each other, and Romney has complimented Paul, praising the Texas congressman’s religious faith.
The two campaigns have coordinated their efforts at times, such as staggering the timing of the two candidates’ appearances on television the night of the New Hampshire primary.
In the Florida primary on Tuesday, Romney won easily with 46 percent of the vote but Paul pulled in 7 percent — more than twice the percentage he got in the 2008 primary.
There is a “growing recognition” that Paul intends to stay in the race over the long term, and “that accommodating him and his supporters could help unify Republican voters in the general election against President Obama,” the Post noted.
“Ron Paul wants a presence at the convention,” a GOP adviser told the Post — and Romney, if he is the nominee, would grant it.
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