Paul says McCain camp asked him for endorsement

Ron Paul told reporters he turned down the surprise request; he encouraged Americans to vote for an independent candidate instead.

Published September 10, 2008 4:45PM (EDT)

At a press conference in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Ron Paul encouraged voters to back a third-party candidate for president. Noticeably missing was an endorsement of Paul's fellow Republican, John McCain.

Paul told reporters that he recently received a phone call from former Sen. Phil Gramm, who was McCain's campaign co-chair man until he resigned from the post earlier this year, and Gramm said, "You need to endorse McCain." Paul added, "The idea was that he would do less harm than the other candidate." A McCain spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Three independent presidential candidates appeared with Paul: Ralph Nader, Green Party nominee Cynthia McKinney and Constitution Party nominee Chuck Baldwin. Former Rep. Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party's nominee, was supposed to attend but apparently decided to hold his own press conference instead.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

MORE FROM Alex Koppelman

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

2008 Elections John Mccain R-ariz. Ron Paul