Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo together made a mini-splash at the Republican debate Tuesday by refusing to endorse the Republican ticket, regardless of who’s on it. This has led to inevitable speculation about Paul running as a Libertarian and Tancredo as a Constitution candidate in the general election. And, of course, this has reminded people of James Dobson’s promise of a third-party, anti-abortion challenge to Giuliani. Dave Weigel asks, in response to Matt Continetti’s assumption that Dobson wouldn’t go for either Tancredo or Paul:
Why wouldn’t Dobson support Paul or Tancredo? Both men are pro-life, and both are rock-solid against gay marriage. (I’ve heard Paul mock “gay marriage” as an oxymoron invented by liberal judicial activists.) Dobson has made it very clear that he cares about these issues, and about general obediance to the evangelical movement, more than anything else.
Yes, Dobson cares about those issues more than anything else – but Paul and Tancredo don’t. I’ll admit to not knowing Paul’s positions on social issues before his presidential campaign, and even to assuming that he supported gay marriage and abortion rights. Paul’s famous not for hating teh gay and Planned Parenthood, but for wanting to gut the federal government, opposing all wars, and being a huge conspiracy theorist. Paul’s campaign thus far has focused on those issues, and a general election campaign likely would as well.
The same is true of Tancredo. Everyone knows he’s not in the race to ban abortion and gay marriage; he’s in the race to crack down on immigration. It’s all he’s talked about up to this point and it’s all he’ll talk about as a third party candidate, which I suspect is quite all right with the nativists in the Constitution Party.
Dobson cares a whole lot about banning abortion and keeping gay marriage illegal, and he’s going to want the third party candidate he fields to care as much as he does. And by all indications, Paul and Tancredo don’t.