EAST LANSING, Michigan — Many Ron Paul supporters at a Michigan State University rally said today that they would vote for a Romney ticket if it came down to it — but only if Ron Paul's son, Senator Rand Paul, was his running mate. And no one thinks that such a ticket could possibly come out of a deal brokered between the two campaigns.
"That's a tough question," said Kurt Meister of Saginaw, Michigan. "Romney's everything that we don't want." He didn't rule out voting for Romney in that situation.
As for the rumored Paul-Romney deal, Meister doesn't think it exists. "I'm sure he's having a hard time with this himself. You're asking me, do you think Ron has struck a deal? I think the main thing on his agenda is to be the nominee."
University of Michigan students Ryan and Curtis (neither wanted their last name used) don't believe that Paul's struck a deal either.
"I don't think he's shady like that," said Ryan.
As for Rand as VP, it could work. "I think Ron is paving the way for Rand," Ryan said. "I don't think the American people are ready for his ideas yet. Things have to get a little shittier first."
Both would vote for a Romney/Rand ticket; Curtis thinks it would set the stage for Rand to become president afterwards.
"If they win, he'd be running for president later as the vice president, which is a huge advantage," he said
Becky Buehrer, an employee of the Michigan secretary of state, told BuzzFeed that "If Rand was on the ticket I probably would [vote for Romney]. But only if he was, otherwise no."
Like the others, she resists the idea of a possible deal between the Romney and Paul campaigns.
"I'd be shocked," she said. "I'd be absolutely amazed."
But some Paulites draw a hard line at voting for any presidential ticket that doesn't include the Doctor. It's the principle, after all.
Rich Dudek, ex-military from Flint, said that "It's Ron Paul or no one."
As for Romney/Rand 2012, "I don't want to have to hope that Mitt Romney gets killed," he said.