Republican leaders are making a major last-minute overture of conciliation to Ron Paul and his supporters by announcing that they will show a video tribute to the libertarian congressman on Tuesday during the GOP national convention in Tampa.
Paul remains a Republican presidential candidate and he has been trying to set a positive tone, even though he has not endorsed presumptive nominee Mitt Romney and has not been given a speaking slot at the convention.
For weeks, GOP insiders have been concerned about the possibility of disruption, protests, or even a walkout by Paul delegates, many of whom have felt that they and their candidate have been unfairly shunted aside by the party establishment. Paul has several hundred delegates committed to him, his campaign organizers say, far short of the number needed for nomination but enough to cause embarrassment to Romney.
The film is to include testimonials to Paul, his commitment to libertarian principles, and his patriotism. Paul and Romney disagree on some issues, such as Paul's call for the United States to withdraw many of its troops from around the world. But both sides agree that the two men respect each other and want to defeat President Barack Obama in the November election.
Republican sources say there is also a possibility that Paul will make an appearance with other Romney rivals for the nomination, such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, on the final night of the convention in a gesture of unity.
Behind the scenes, negotiations are under way to resolve lingering disputes between the Romney and Paul campaigns over delegate slates in a handful of states, including Louisiana, Maine and Massachusetts.
Sean Spicer, communications director for the Republican National Committee, told MSNBC Friday that he doesn't expect trouble from the Paul forces. Spicer says the party is united behind Romney and his running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.
An earlier olive branch from the Romney campaign and the RNC was to schedule Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican and Ron Paul's son, to address the convention Monday. Rand Paul endorsed Romney after conceding that his father could not win the nomination.
Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes the daily blog, "Ken Walsh's Washington," for usnew.com, and is the author of "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Facebook and Twitter.