Presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, on Sunday waved off the suggestion that his narrow loss to Mitt Romney in Maine Saturday night was especially disappointing given his dogged efforts in the state. Paul attributed the loss to one of the counties canceling its caucus.
“You know, we were a little bit disappointed last night,” Paul said on CBS’ Face the Nation. “We did very well up there. But we're going to continue to do what we do and do the very best and keep accumulating delegates.”
Paul skipped last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference in D.C. – a show he frequently steals with adoring fans and straw poll victories – to campaign in Maine, though there were no delegates awarded in the Maine caucuses.
Asked if he really thought he could get the nomination or if he was simply competing to be a force at the convention, Paul was vague. “Sure, I think both,” he said. “We're there to win, do our best. Romney has been up and down. The others have been up and down. I haven't been down. I keep going up. I don't really go up and down.”
And, in the latest indication of what many suspect to be a non-aggression pact between Paul and Romney, Paul turned a question about Romney’s struggle to convince voters of his conservative credibility into a criticism of Romney’s rivals.
“Well, I don't know exactly why [Romney is singled out], because I think if it comes to [Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum], they should suffer the same consequences,” Paul said. “Maybe it's the type of coverage and the image. But I don't think they have been vetted very well because I know them pretty well. Their records are far from being conservative.”