Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin have yet to be invited to speak at the GOP convention in August. Both politicians have been slow to endorse presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, and Romney's campaign has done little to seek out their support.
Libertarian Ron Paul has still been angling for delegates at state conventions, even though Romney has all but secured the nomination. On Saturday, Paul failed to win a majority of delegates in Nebraska which would have guaranteed him a speaking role at the convention in Tampa. Republican Party rules say that candidates can't be entered officially as nominees unless they've won a majority of delegates in five states, and Paul has only won four.
Although Paul no longer poses a real threat to Romney, he has continued campaigning and gathering delegates in hopes of making waves at the convention. Paul's grassroots supporters have been getting attention at conventions across the country, and hope to push their libertarian principles at August's national convention. Paul has yet to officially endorse Romney, making it difficult for the Romney campaign to justify giving Paul national attention.
Tea Party hero Sarah Palin has also not been invited to speak at this year's convention. Palin was Sen. John McCain's running mate in 2008, and she and other Tea Party supporters haven't united behind Romney.
Palin was never a 2012 GOP presidential candidate, but lurked on the fringes of the race, leaving many to speculate whether or not she would officially enter. She was thrust onto the national stage in 2008 after she was selected as McCain's VP, but quickly drew criticism for her inexperience and it became clear she was unfit for the office.
As Newsweek explores, Palin's objection to Romney isn't to his personality, but rather his role as a GOP elite:
Romney was the choice of the party's elites, whom Palin has regarded with open disdain ever since her rough treatment during the 2008 campaign. They are some of the same people who anonymously disparaged Palin as a clueless bumpkin, and some of them are now helping to run Romney's campaign. When unnamed Romney aides tell reporters that Romney will likely go with a "safe" choice for vice president because of the 2008 "disaster," Palin notices.
When asked about the absence of her invitation to August's convention, Palin doesn't seem surprised her invitation's been lost in the mail:
What can I say? … I'm sure I'm not the only one accepting consequences for calling out both sides of the aisle for spending too much money, putting us on the road to bankruptcy, and engaging in crony capitalism.
Paul and Palin both have passionate bases that represent different factions of the Republican Party. Romney has been criticized for failing to energize the entire GOP with the enthusiasm Paul and Palin have garnered from their supporters. Offering the two speaking roles at the convention could help bring their supporters into the mainstream GOP fold, as Romney isn't likely to excite libertarians or Tea Partyers.
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