Ron Paul Still Not Endorsing Mitt Romney, Refusing to Withdraw From Race

As convention nears, tensions increase between GOP establishment and Ron Paul.

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Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul speaks to his supporters following his loss in the Maine caucus on Feb. 11, 2012 in Portland, Maine.

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul says he still hasn't made up his mind whether to endorse presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney. This is causing considerable angst among Romney supporters and making it more difficult for Romney to present a united front at the Republican National Convention in Tampa next month.

"I have not made a decision" about backing Romney, Paul told Fox Business News.

Many Paul supporters are libertarians who don't consider Romney sufficiently conservative, and an endorsement by Paul could be seen by them as an act of betrayal.

[Ken Walsh: Ron Paul One State Short of Qualifying For Nomination]

Paul, who is retiring as a GOP representative from Texas, technically remains in the presidential race even though Romney has locked up the nomination. This refusal to withdraw is causing some hard feelings among party regulars, many of whom don't want Paul to be given a speaking slot at the convention.

Paul's refusal to endorse Romney is a contrast to his son Rand, a U.S. senator and conservative favorite from Kentucky, who has admitted that his father has no chance to win the GOP nomination and has backed Romney.

Another source of concern among establishment Republicans is the fact that Paul supporters and libertarian voters are planning a series of rallies, speeches, and concerts in and around Tampa in the days leading up to the convention to draw attention to their views and celebrate Paul's career. The concern is that many of them will get stirred up and stage protests against the GOP or Romney if Paul and his delegates aren't treated with respect or if their views are ignored in the GOP platform.

On the other hand, there have been behind-the-scenes efforts by the Republican National Committee to help Paul organizers secure a location for a large pro-Paul rally on the eve of the convention. This cooperation from the RNC was designed to help smooth things over and keep hard feelings to a minimum.

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