Ron Paul all but ends presidential campaign, continues delegate strategy

Ron Paul announced Monday that his campaign will no longer spend money on presidential nominating contests due to lack of funds, effectively ending his campaign for the Republican nomination.

Paul wrote the following in an open letter to supporters:

Our campaign will continue to work in the state convention process. We will continue to take leadership positions, win delegates, and carry a strong message to the Republican National Convention that Liberty is the way of the future. Moving forward, however, we will no longer spend resources campaigning in primaries in states that have not yet voted. Doing so with any hope of success would take many tens of millions of dollars we simply do not have.

Paul, the only Republican presidential candidate actively campaigning against front-runner Mitt Romney, encouraged his supporters to continue their involvement in the presidential race as well as down-ballot races across the country, and to spread his message of lower spending and the protection of individual liberties. He stressed that he will continue working to win delegates.

"In the coming days, my campaign leadership will lay out to you our delegate strategy and what you can do to help, so please stay tuned," Paul wrote. He stopped short of an outright suspension, an option all of his fellow competitors (besides Romney) have chosen.

Two weeks ago, Paul and his supporters cheered Paul's delegate wins in Maine and Nevada. But as Yahoo News reported, those wins didn't necessarily move Paul any closer to winning his party's nomination.

Paul has long touted a strategy to rack up delegates as a way to become a part of this summer's convention process, absent an outright win.

Paul currently has 104 delegates and Romney has 966, according to the Associated Press.

In recent weeks, Paul supporters have been increasingly vocal in their attacks on establishment Republicans, accusing them of employing "dirty tricks" to benefit Romney over Paul.

Paul's campaign attempted to quash the most recent attack Sunday by defending the Republican National Committee and Chairman Reince Priebus against accusations the party is violating Rule 11, which bans favoritism, by creating a joint fundraising committee with Romney in April.

Paul campaign chairman Jesse Benton reconfirmed in a statement Sunday that the Paul campaign was also invited by the RNC to set up a joint committee and declined.

"The RNC offered to set up a joint fundraising committee with the Paul campaign and were very clear that if Dr. Paul became the nominee, the Victory Operation would be behind him 100 percent," Benton said. "They also were clear that they would hold off if our campaign objected. I gave my full consent for the RNC to move forward."

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