Rand Paul, the Tea Party favorite and freshman Republican Kentucky Senator, announced on television Thursday night that he has endorsed former Massachusetts Governor and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney for president.
Supporters of Texas Republican Congressman and three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul are sure to be upset over the latest development that his son, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul will lend his support to Mitt Romney.
“My first choice had always been my father. I campaigned for him when I was 11 years old. He's still my first pick,” said Senator Paul appearing on Fox News with host Sean Hannity. “But you know, now that the nominating process is over, tonight, I'm happy to announce, that I'm going to be supporting Governor Romney.”
This may come as a surprise to many since the freshman senator is libertarian-leaning and campaigned on a platform opposing big government, overspending, overtaxing and overregulating.
In the interview, Paul stated that the former Massachusetts Governor and himself share a lot of similarities, such as both men’s fathers ran for the White House, both come from a big family and both share much of the same family values.
“We talked about issues frankly that are very important to me, that are important to my dad and to many of his followers. And many of these, you know, Governor Romney's already taken a position on,” explained the Tea Party Kentucky Senator. “One of the big issues for our supporters, for myself and my dad is auditing the Fed. We think there needs to be more transparent in the Fed and more oversight by Congress.”
Paul also listed the issues of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which would have hindered Internet freedom, and the Reins Act, a piece of legislation that would impose further regulations on top of the present slate of regulations.
He noted that the energy industry employs more than nine million people and generates $86 million per day in taxes. A key issue for him is the Keystone Pipeline and he said Romney would permit it to occur, if elected. Paul added that Romney would encourage the oil and gas industry and not push these companies overseas.
“We had a very good and I think honest discussion about a lot of these things and I came away from a feeling that he will be a very responsible commander-in-chief,” stated Paul. “I don't think he will be reckless, I don't think he will be rash.”
The Romney campaign immediately issued a press release Thursday thanking Paul for his endorsement.
“I am honored to have earned the endorsement of Rand Paul. Senator Paul has been a leading voice in the effort to scale back the size and reach of government and promote liberty,” stated Romney.
Many Ron Paul supporters are vehemently upset over this move. A large number of them have taken to the Internet to vent about the the Kentucky Senator’s endorsement of a candidate that doesn’t adhere to his father’s stances and principles.
There have been people on the blogosphere promising to not support the senator or provide any money to his future campaign efforts.
“How can ANYONE defend and justify Rand's endorsement?,” wrote one commenter on DailyPaul.com.
“I was right. I NEVER followed or tweeted about#RandPaul. I never liked or trusted him,” said a Twitter user.
“See if you can find a single genuine Paul supporter that will even vote for Romney let alone join his campaign,” commented a Paul supporter on Washington Post.