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Posted: March 17th,2012
Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul said Thursday that Mitt Romney’s foreign policy may prohibit him from lending his support to the former Massachusetts governor. “I’d talk to him and see what kind of a foreign policy he is going to have,” Mr. Paul, a former Air Force surgeon, posited to reporters in Columbia, Missouri, according to The Associated Press. The Texas congressman was busily campaigning in Missouri, as 52 delegates will be at stake in the Missouri caucuses this Saturday.
At this point in the Republican race, Mr. Romney appears to be on track to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The Texas Republican, however, may have the ability to play kingmaker at the Republican convention if former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum closes the gap with Mr. Romney.
After finishing in fourth place in Mississippi and Alabama and third place in Hawaii on Tuesday, there has been speculation that Mr. Paul might strike a deal with Mr. Romney. TIME’s Alex Gutman wrote Wednesday that “history suggests the two men are already in cahoots. Throughout the primary, Paul has been Romney’s secret weapon.” Mr. Gutman cited the widely-read report by ThinkProgress that revealed that Mr. Paul never attacked Mr. Romney during the 20 GOP debates, as evidence.
Speaking on Fox News Radio’s “Kilmeade & Friends” Thursday, Mr. Romney denied that any secret deals have been made with Mr. Paul. “No, there have not. Ron Paul is a very independent sort as you know. We have only seen each other briefly in halls; we have never had a sit-down discussion,” Mr. Romney posited.
“There are four of us on the stage, I will support whoever our nominee is, I will go to work and help whether it is Newt Gingrich, or Rick Santorum or Ron Paul. I want one of these people to replace Barack Obama; I think I am the best person to do that,” Mr. Romney added.
Mr. Paul is concerned that Mr. Romney’s foreign policy may conflict with his non-interventionist views. “They’re just itching, the other candidates are saying, ‘When are we going to go get Syria? Why don’t we start dropping bombs on Syria? When are we going to hit Iran?’” Mr. Paul professed. “The Republicans are going to be in trouble unless they come our way and decide they want a president who’s more for peace than for war,” he added.
“At the current stage I’m not favoring military involvement, direct military involvement by the United States,” Mr. Romney said at a news conference on March 6th, according to The Wall Street Journal.
During a phone call with TIME’s Michael Crowley on March 5th, Mr. Santorum said that he would consider air strikes on Assad’s army. The Pennsylvania Republican also said that the U.S. should “arm and supply” the Syrian rebels.
Mr. Paul, however, is concerned that all of the Republican candidates are too hawkish when comes to the Middle East. “If you keep voting for warmongers, yes, this is going to be very negative,” he argued.