Ron Paul, Romney in quiet alliance?

March 1, 2012 at 1:45 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 1 (UPI) -- Ron Paul appears to be in a silent alliance with Mitt Romney against other candidates for the Republican U.S. presidential nomination, observers say.

The libertarian congressman from Texas has avoided criticism of Romney and has even defended him, The Atlantic reports.

In one case, Paul attacked Texas Gov. Rick Perry for his criticism of "Romneycare," the health plan Romney pushed through as governor of Massachusetts.

ThinkProgress, a liberal blog, analyzed Paul's debate record. It found 39 Paul attacks on other candidates in 20 debates and none on Romney.

Jesse Benton, head of the Paul campaign, told reporters after a New Hampshire debate the congressman is laying off Romney because the two have different groups of supporters.

"We're not fishing from the same pond," Benton said.

But The Atlantic suggests there is a surprising amount of overlap between supporters of the ideologically pure libertarian and the seemingly pragmatic businessman and ex-governor. They are the two candidates in the Republican field most centered on economic issues.

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