Friday, July 06, 2007

Ron Paul Nearly Excluded in S.C.

Frome the Spartanburg Herald Journal:
Beltram tells Paul to 'come on down' here

So much for that whole closed door thing.

Two days after saying Ron Paul could stay out of Spartanburg, county GOP Chairman Rick Beltram on Thursday reversed course and invited the Republican presidential candidate to come on down.

And Thursday afternoon, Paul's campaign agreed. The only thing left to be settled is a date.

Beltram on Tuesday called Paul a "lunatic" for defending a theory that American intervention in foreign affairs contributed to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. Paul made the comments at the GOP debate in Columbia in May, and he drew an angry response from former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

After the debate, Beltram decided he had heard enough from the Texas congressman and said Paul could "stay home." A flood of e-mails and voicemails from across the country apparently changed Beltram's mind.

"I was told by at least 125 e-mails and 25 voice mails that I didn't hear correctly, newspapers didn't report it correctly and live TV didn't reflect it correctly," Beltram said. "If we're all that naive and we all misunderstood, I think they should come on down and tell us how we're wrong, and I think the people of Spartanburg will be anxious to listen." more

Interestingly enough Mr. Paul is proving to be a excellent test of how inflexible GOP leaders can be to those who voice ideas outside of its mandated talking points. Whether or not he wins the primary, he may prove to be an excellent measure of just exactly how big the GOP's tent is.