Posted: October 19, 2007 3:57 PM
Paul Money Machine Tries to Take it to the Next Level
Texas Rep. Ron Paul’s presidential campaign held a press conference
Wednesday morning at the National Press Club in Washington to paint the candidate as a viable front runner, not a back of the pack misfit in the Republican primary race.
By using Paul’s surprising $5 million-plus campaign fund raising haul last quarter as a backdrop, Paul campaign officials used careful accounting techniques to argue that, in terms of finances, Paul is third in the race. http://www.ronpaul2008.com/fundraising
Using Federal Election Commission campaign donation numbers from all the Republican candidates, fundraising director Jonathan Bydlak said at the press conference that Paul should be considered a viable contender. He cited a number he calls the “net primary cash on hand,” which he defines as the amount of money a candidate has on hand to spend on the primary.
Paul communications director Jesse Benton said the Paul campaign, along with the Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson campaigns, are the “healthy organizations” in the Republican race, adding that John McCain is “no longer a serious candidate.” But money hasn’t translated into higher polls yet and Paul has consistently polled behind the other candidates and in the single digits in national and primary state polls.
Bydlak argued that because Mitt Romney has loaned himself millions of dollars to finance his campaign and Paul has zero debt, that Paul’s $5.4 million is actually third in terms of viable finances, nipping at the heels of newcomer former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson.
Several arguments could be made as to why this creative accounting doesn’t change anything, including the fact that Paul is seriously lacking in the most important indicator: number of supporters.
However, the fact that a candidate with such little national support could in any way rank third in the race is impressive. Benton said that the campaign has set an aggressive goal of raising $12 million this quarter as the end of the primary race nears.
An outside group that Benton said is not officially affiliated with the campaign has an even more aggressive goal: raise $10 million for Paul on Nov. 5 by collecting $100 from 10,000 supporters.
The Nov. 5 date is no accident, either. The group’s Web site makes it clear that it was chosen to correspond with Guy Fawkes Night, a British holiday that celebrates the failed bombing of Parliament. The movie “V for Vendetta” was based on that character.
However, the Paul supporters appear to be sympathizing with Fawkes and his Catholic conspirators who tried to kill Protestant King James I in 1605. See the embedded video on the November 5 Web site for a somewhat disturbing primer on the group’s background.
On Oct. 18, Paul spoke to the conservative Family Research Council about how limited government is the best recipe for social conservatives to keep with their traditional American values.