Republican Ron Paul is not shuttering his presidential campaign, his chief strategist says in a memo sent this morning to supporters and the news media.
"Let me be very clear," said Jesse Benton, "Dr. Paul is NOT dropping out or suspending his campaign."
"As Dr. Paul has previously stated, he is in this race all the way to the Republican National Convention in Tampa this August," Benton said. The campaign will, though, be "maximizing our resources" by not investing in remaining primary states, he said.
Benton's statement comes after reports over the past 24 hours characterized the Texas congressman's move to curtail his activities in the remaining primary states as an end to his campaign. (As Eyder reported Monday, though, the Paul campaign's "carefully worded statement about its plans spelled out how it would continue hunting for delegates.)
"We will," Benton said today in his statement, "continue to run strong programs at district and state [party] conventions to win more delegates and alternate delegates to the national convention.
The "new phase" of the campaign, he said, will begin Friday at the Minnesota state GOP convention, where Paul has been invited to speak. He is also scheduled to appear at the Texas party convention in early June. The handful of remaining GOP primaries are scheduled to wrap up June 5, while state and district party conventions are scheduled to end with Nebraska's gathering on July 14.
Benton, in his memo, urged supporters to remain active and continue to donate to the campaign in an effort to ensure that Paul goes to Tampa with a "solid group of delegates."
"We are in an excellent position to make sure the Republican Party adds solid liberty issues to the GOP platform," he said, while acknowledging that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is within striking distance of wrapping up the committed delegates he needs to win the nomination.
"Our delegates," Benton says, "can still make a major impact at the national convention and beyond." Including, he said, using their influence "to shape the process for future liberty candidates."
Future liberty candidates include Paul's son, Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who could be a successor to his father on the presidential trail four years from now.
It's All Politics is following the ups and downs of the 2012 presidential campaign.