Sanders having to answer for his unruly supporters in the most recent debate reminded me of something I wrote for Paul’s campaign website in June 2012. “Establishment Republicans sometimes claim that Ron Paul supporters occasionally get out-of-hand,” I wrote nearly eight years ago. “This has been true, and to the extent that some Paul supporters have exhibited poor behavior [it] not only reflects badly on the individuals involved, but Dr. Paul.”
What else could I say? Paul certainly never encouraged this behavior, and neither did our campaign. Our people also didn’t always start this friction, especially at the 2012 Republican National Convention. I’m sure some Sanders people are amassing their own frustrating stories.
To the Republican establishment and their media apparatchiks, “Paulbots” were not valuable actors in the democratic process, but unserious people they wish would just go away. Paul’s insurgent 2008 campaign was treated similarly. Paul received 1 million primary votes that year. In 2012, he got 2 million votes, and Paul and his supporters also got a lot more grief from the powers that be.