Alex Witt: To politics now, the build up to Tuesday’s Michigan Primary has seen a barrage of attack ads being launched between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. In an appearance in Michigan yesterday, Santorum accused Romney and Ron Paul of forming an alliance and colluding against him. It is a question that I asked Paul-campaign senior advisor, Dough Weed, when he joined us on the show over a month ago.
Here’s an exchange we’re going to play between Ron Paul and Mitt Romney.
Mitt Romney: If we want people who spent their life and there career, most of their career, in Washington, we have three people on this stage. Well, I take that back, we got a doctor out here that spent most of his time in the surgical suit, well, not surgery, the birthing suit.
Alex Witt: A lot of people interpreted that from Romney as being extremely differential to Ron Paul. What should we make of that, do you think he may be angling for Ron Paul’s supporters, eventually?
Doug Wead: I think that all of the candidates ought to, there’s no path to the White House without Ron Paul.
Alex Witt: And now, Dough is back. So, Doug, I ask you once again, with a welcome, is there an alliance brewing here?
Doug Wead: Brewing, well? There is no alliance, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney are exact opposites, maybe that’s why they like each other so much. Mitt Romney is the biggest flip-flopper in modern political history, Ron Paul is the most consistent. Ann Romney drives two Cadillacs, I don’t know how she does that, Carol Paul drives a Chevy. Now, Carol Paul would like to drive a Cadillac, and if we can reform the monetary policy the way Ron Paul wants and not be bailing out rich people but let all of us have a chance, maybe we’ll all get to drive Cadillacs. But there is no deal.
Alex Witt: Here’s one thing that was speculated with a political analyst earlier on the broadcast, saying that Ron Paul’s aiming for No. 2 here, he’s just trying to get rid of Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich.
Doug Wead: No, listen, Rick Santorum is actually leading in your poll that you just showed today. So what are we supposed to do? I mean, we have a flip-flopper on one hand, we have a fake conservative on the other hand. And Ron Paul looks at this, rick Santorum raised the national debt 5 times, he voted for that, Ron Paul didn’t. He goes around acting like have’s a social conservative, but he votes for millions of dollars for planned-parenthood, Ron Paul didn’t do that. So you’ve got Santorum saying in the national debate, “I voted for ‘No Child Left Behind’, but I didn’t believe it was the right thing, I did it for the team”. Well, his first loyalty is to the team, Ron Paul’s first loyalty is to the U.S. constitution. As Bob Dylan says, “You got to serve somebody”. So we don’t like either one of them, we like Ron Paul.
Alex Witt: Yea, you make a point about Rick Santorum leading in the national polls, Dough, and indeed he does. I believe it is 31% that 30% right now. But the point is, a month or so ago, he was up like 10 points, so there’s certainly a trend there. Whom do you think is the toughest for Ron Paul to beat among his colleagues, shall we say, in the GOP campaign?
Doug Wead: Well, we’re in almost like a different campaign, because we are in an educational as well as a political campaign. You have to understand that it’s not which candidate is tougher, it’s how quickly can we get our message out to the people in time. Because once the lights go on, once they understand what’s at stake, our people stick with us. When Ron Paul came to Congress, everybody was taking money from the lobbyist. It wasn’t like some were and some weren’t; all of them were. And Ron Paul was this Gandhi-like creature who wouldn’t take bribes, who wouldn’t take money from the lobbyist, who wouldn’t go on a junket because he knew that was a tax payer paid vacation, who wouldn’t go into little rooms, pick stocks, and then decide the policy that would dictate whether those stocks go up or down. He was pure. So now he’s in a presidential run, and he’s trying to reform the whole system. It’s not an easy task, but we’re pleased with what’s happening.
Alex Witt: But, Dough, Ron Paul essentially is not campaigning in the state of Michigan which holds its primary on Tuesday. He is running an attack ad against Rick Santorum. So my question to us is, why Rick Santorum, why not Mitt Romney?
Doug Wead: Well, you know, if you follow the money, and you’ll see our ads, most of our money was spent on the “three-of-a-kind” ad. We had to get a Rick Santorum ad out, he was No.1. And we are running in Michigan in certain districts and we want out people in Michigan to work hard, they know what we’re doing. But we’re in for a marathon run, this isn’t going to be over very quickly, very easily. And I can tell us this, if Ron Paul got the ring of power, he’d throw it at Mount Doom. It’s not about glory and power for him, it’s about reforming this government and bringing it back to the constitution and opening the free marketplace again for everybody.
Alex Witt: Does Ron Paul want primetime speaking to have his policies considered at the convention at Tampa?
Doug Wead: Listen, if 22 years or lobbyist money and women and appeals to his ego and “Let’s play the game and buy stocks and then write the rules to determine whether those stocks go up”; if he couldn’t be corrupted by 22 years of what he’s being through in Washington, then there’s no promise from Mitt Romney of a speech or anything else that will make him roll over on the principles he believes in.
Alex Witt: Alright, Dough Wead, always good to talk to you, thanks for joining us.
Doug Wead: Thanks, Alex.
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