Mitt Romney is just not going to cut it for many of Ron Paul’s devoted legion of young followers.
Most of the Ron Paul supporters approached by Red Alert Politics Friday night at the Liberty Political Action Conference in Chantilly, Va., said they could not see many differences between Romney and President Obama. Their general consensus was that Romney is a weak candidate who has not effectively made his case.
Libertarian candidate Gov. Gary Johnson seemed to be the choice of many. They seemed undeterred by suggestions that a vote for anyone other than Romney equals a vote for Obama as they exited the ballroom where Paul had just finished speaking.
“I’m voting for Gary Johnson because he is a better liberty candidate,” an LPAC attendee from Virginia who declined to give his name said. “I think it’s worth it long-term to continue to break the cycle of voting for people who aren’t pro-liberty.”
Sacramento-Calif.-native Kevin Duewel likewise indicated his excitement about voting for Gary Johnson, saying he was impressed by Johnson’s call during a side event at the Republican National Convention to “vote Libertarian just this once.”
Duewel seemed dissatisfied with the two-party system and expressed a desire to make the Libertarian Party a viable alternative.
“With all respects to Romney, I don’t see Obama as much worse,” Duewel said, noting that Obama and Romney are two sides of the same coin in his opinion. “For one, I don’t think Romney is going to win anyways.
“The energy in his campaign has alienated the Ron Paul folks, which means that I don’t think he’s going to have the momentum or the agility to be able to pull anything off later in this campaign season now that he’s behind in the polls.”
Another attendee from Baltimore, Md. who simply identified himself as Alex said he plans on voting for Gary Johnson because Obama and Romney are “pretty much the same person” in his view.
“I think Romney is very similar to Obama,” he said. “And I think Romney may even expand the wars even further than Obama; he seems very eager to bomb Iran, go into Syria and takedown the terrorists.
“It’s something that I’m not ready to stand for.”
While attendee Kyle Wagner said he plans on writing in Ron Paul as a tribute for his dedication in the race.
“It’s on principle,” Wagner said. “I don’t like the mainstream candidates.
“If Mitt Romney does not win. It’s his problem because he’s not been that attractive of a candidate.”
The general consensus, even among those supporting Romney, was that they were doing so reluctantly.
“The way we have it today is that we have a two-party system, and I look forward to working with the Republican Party and taking over the Republican Party for liberty from within,” Romney voter Jessie Markell said, noting his reluctance in voting for the GOP nominee.