Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ron Paul Slighted by 'Neocon' GOP

Ron Paul says the legions of newcomers his presidential campaign brought to the Republican Party are getting the cold shoulder from John McCain and from the party.

The Texas congressman says neither he nor his supporters have heard from Mr. McCain or Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan since March 4, when the Arizona senator accumulated enough delegates to clinch the party's presidential nomination.

"I don't think they want them," Mr. Paul told The Washington Times, adding that indifference doesn't surprise him because the party's establishment has deserted traditional conservative principles for big government and foreign intervention.

"We don't agree with them," he says. "We agree with the Old Right, and they're the New Right, which is 'The Wrong,' [because] the New Right has morphed into neoconservative."

Many of his 800,000 presidential nomination votes were from newcomers to the Republican Party — the kind of dedicated small-donor volunteers the party needs, he says.

Mr. Duncan says he informed Mr. Paul that Mr. McCain had gone over the top on delegates but did not discuss how the party might hold onto Mr. Paul's supporters — and their potential future financial contributions.

Only Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, has bothered to tell Mr. Paul that his supporters are welcome, and valued, in the party. Mr. Cole, an evangelical Christian who says he too once felt unwelcome in the party, confirmed in a separate interview that he wants to see Mr. Paul's supporters stay and help expand the party's ranks.

Mr. McCain hasn't approached Mr. Paul's voters because Mr. Paul has not called to say he is ending his run, says McCain campaign senior adviser Charles Black..

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