Ron Paul‘s continual strong showing in the primaries, combined with his strong speech last night, is further forcing the mainstream media to embrace him as a serious candidate. A long-term serious candidate.
This new tone was apparent during Paul’s ‘Morning Joe’ interview this morning, at least from Joe and Mika. Not so much from Mark Halperin, however, who tried to pigeon-hole Paul into saying under his presidency he’d get rid of the Head Start program.
Paul’s well-explained and direct answer — essentially that while Head Start was not constitutional, it was also not a top priority — was apparently not sound-bitey enough for Halperin who repeated the question.
And here’s where it gets fun.
As we’ve seen before Paul has only so much patience for this type of questioning from reporters. And rightly so: Unlike every other top tier candidate running for president in recent memory, Paul doesn’t tend to dodge difficult questions with canned responses. Subsequently when reporters push for canned answers he gets irritated, as he did this morning, warning Halperin not to put words in his mouth.
“You’re just putting words in my mouth. I don’t know what your goal is. I just explained myself very clearly.”
It’s going to be fascinating to watch the media be forced to contend with this new directness over the next few months and into the convention. Paul may not have a serious shot at the presidency but he is a serious force to be reckoned with in the GOP and the media is going to have to seriously grapple with that reality.