Romney Holds Secret Meeting With Rand Paul
Amidst intense speculation regarding presumptive nominee Mitt Romney’s choice for his vice presidential running mate, it’s emerged that Romney arranged a secret, 30 minute meeting with Tea Party darling Rand Paul last Wednesday in the nation’s capital.
Topics discussed are unknown, but sources close to Rand Paul state that the conservative Senator was pleased with the results of the meeting, calling it “productive.” The National Review Online reports:
The one-on-one conversation in the nation’s capital lasted 30 minutes. Sources say the tone was cordial but it wasn’t meant to be an exchange of pleasantries. The Kentucky Republican focused his questions on policy.[...]
For now, there’s no word from Paul World beyond that; no word on whether Romney sought an endorsement or brokered a deal regarding the Tampa convention. But it’s clear Romney is intent on wooing Senator Paul, who has been touted by his father’s aides as a potential presidential candidate down the road.
Romney, who has not been enthusiastically embraced by the far right in his own party due to a perceived liberal leaning, may be attempting to court the influential Tea Party vote in an effort to establish his conservative bonafides. ABC News reports:
Jackie Bodnar, a spokeswoman for the Tea Party group Freedom Works, described what she called a “reverse coattails” strategy that she hopes will work in November: Tea Partiers enthusiastically voting for local candidates in November, and, while they’re in the polling booth, pulling the lever for Romney as well.
“I‘m definitely happy that he’s talking with limited government conservatives like Rand Paul,” Bodnar said. “It’s a victory in and of itself that the candidates are speaking the Tea Party language.”
Additionally, some have theorized that Romney may take the threat of a brokered convention quite seriously, and is trying to utilize back channels to nullify the potential threat of a continued Ron Paul candidacy.