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The Boston Globe


Joshua Green

Romney and Paul, what a curious couple

IT’S RARE to see a bromance flourish in the hot glare of the GOP primary spotlight, but Mitt Romney and Ron Paul have something positively special going on. It isn’t based on shared policy views: Mitt wants to bolster the armed forces; Ron wants to bring them home. Mitt’s OK with (state) government health care; Ron doesn’t want government doing much of anything. Of all the candidates, Romney is furthest to the left - and yet appears to enjoy the tacit support of a conservative so strict that he once voted to deny Mother Teresa a congressional Gold Medal because the Constitution doesn’t explicitly authorize the expense.

Hard as it may be to believe, it’s even harder to deny. A study this week by the liberal group ThinkProgress found that Paul has not attacked Romney in any of the 20 Republican debates, although he hasn’t hesitated to go after other candidates. In Michigan, where Paul wasn’t competitive, he nevertheless ran ads pounding Romney’s chief rival, Rick Santorum. The political world is dying to know: What’s going on?

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