Brian Doherty laughs at the idea of a Paul-Romney alliance (via Andrew):

The world is full of dark mysteries and sneaky tricks, and it’s possible Ron Paul’s campaign is in secret alliance with Mitt Romney, the Axis Powers, Victor von Doom, and the Reptilians. Let’s just say that the supposed evidence presented for it by his other opponents and press speculators doesn’t prove their case.

The idea of an actual alliance between the two campaigns is silly. Personal friendship aside, Romney is the antithesis of everything Paul represents in an intra-party contest. What does make sense is that Paul and his campaign would direct most of their attacks at those candidates most likely to compete with Paul among self-described “very conservative” voters. As Doherty points out, Paul has criticized Romney, but spending a lot of time attacking Romney is the least effective way to detach those voters from the other non-Romney candidates. Criticizing the other non-Romney candidates’ records is the obvious move in order to peel away “very conservative” voters from the anti-Romney of the week.

All of Romney’s rivals have attempted to capitalize on Romney’s weakness with the most conservative voters, and Romney receives his strongest support from “somewhat conservative” and “moderate” voters. Besides, it doesn’t hurt Romney very much if Paul attacks him for being insufficiently conservative: Romney’s relative moderation is what most of his current supporters like about him. It makes sense that the Paul campaign would see the other candidates as natural competitors for the “very conservative” vote and would direct their attacks accordingly. The other candidates have typically been vulnerable to attacks from the right, and Paul is uniquely positioned to criticize them as a consistent constitutionalist. Of course, Paul’s goal in the nominating contest is to maximize his influence at the convention, and the current obstacles to doing that are Gingrich and Santorum.

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