Ron Paul to Stop Campaigning in New States
Ron Paul's presidential campaign isn't over, but it's grinding to a semi-halt.
The candidate announced on Monday that he will no longer actively campaign in the 11 remaining primary states, even as he continues to pursue his strategy of winning delegates at state conventions.
But the libertarian leaning congressman from Texas told supporters in an email that he would continue to accumulate delegates to the Republican National Convention in August in Tampa, Fla.
"We will continue to take leadership positions, win delegates, and carry a strong message to the Republican National Convention that Liberty is the way of the future," Paul said in a statement released on Monday by his campaign.
"We are focusing on winning delegates at state conventions and won't spend money in primaries," Campaign Manager Jesse Benton wrote in an email to ABC News, adding, "there is a lot more we can achieve in the convention process."
"It was a financial consideration definitely," said campaign spokesman Gary Howard. "Running a campaign in primary states like Texas and California is really big and expensive," adding that it also goes against the campaign's original goal of focusing on caucus states where a very small numbers of highly motivated voters could make the difference.
Howard says that continuing to campaign would have meant going into debt-something Ron Paul strongly opposes.
"We were not raising the money that Mitt Romney is raising," said Howard.
The campaign began April with $1.8 million in cash, down from $3.3 million in February and $4.5 million in January.
The congressman will arrive in Tampa not having won a single state election contest, but holding an outsized number of delegates.
In Nevada, Paul picked up 22 of the state's 25 delegates despite Romney winning the state's caucuses on Feb. 4. It was a similar story in Maine, where the congressman picked up at least 13 delegates, which would be a majority of those chosen for the national convention.
Rumors have swirled that Paul plans to leverage his delegate muscle into a major prime time speaking role at the convention, something Paul denies. Paul said in a recent interview that's simply not true.
"Giving a speech for the sake of giving a speech that is edited doesn't have much appeal to me," he said in a recent interview. "But moving an agenda is very important and to do that we need to maximize the number of delegates that we have."
When the delegates are not voting on the nominee, they can push hard to be included in the platform debates, shaping the party's official platform on the Federal Reserve, foreign affairs, Iraq and Afghanistan, and drug policy, where his views differ with most of the Republican Party including Mitt Romney.
The Texas congressman still hasn't said whether he intends to support likely nominee, Mitt Romney, for president, citing concerns over the former governor's position on the Federal Reserve and commitment to cutting spending.
"Everyone can see that Romney has the wins and racked up the delegates," said Howard, adding, "the race isn't over until Tampa."