In a dramatic break from what head been an informal alliance with Mitt Romney's campaign for president, Ron Paul's campaign manager John Tate dispatched a furious email to supporters last night, accusing Romney allies of dirty tricks in the Maine caucuses:
Tonight you saw dueling examples of how much the establishment is scared of Ron Paul and his message of liberty.
Ron Paul will win the most delegates out of Maine tonight.
In fact, he will probably even win the “beauty contest” Straw Poll the media has already called for Mitt Romney – even before all the votes have been tallied.
“HOW CAN THAT BE?” you might be asking yourself.
Simple. The national political establishment and their pals in the national media will do ANYTHING to silence our message of liberty...
You see, in Maine today, you and I saw a perfect example of just how much the establishment fears Ron Paul.
In Washington County – where Ron Paul was incredibly strong – the caucus was delayed until next week just so the votes wouldn’t be reported by the national media today.
Of course, their excuse for the delay was “snow.”
That’s right. A prediction of 3-4 inches – that turned into nothing more than a dusting - was enough for a local GOP official to postpone the caucuses just so the results wouldn’t be reported tonight.
[Name], this is MAINE we’re talking about.
The GIRL SCOUTS had an event today in Washington County that wasn’t cancelled!
And just the votes of Washington County would have been enough to put us over the top.
This is an outrage. Perhaps you heard about it on the mainstream news tonight?
Probably not. In fact, if you were watching one major network, they cut off their telecast of Ron Paul’s speech right when he began mentioning this fact.
The truth is, there is no length to which the GOP establishment won’t go. There is nothing the mainstream media won’t do.
But they can’t stifle our message. And with your help, they will have to listen to it all the way to the GOP nominating convention in August.
Ron Paul told me this weekend -- he is in it to stay and to WIN....
Maine Republican Party Chairman Charlie Webster declared Romney the victory in the tiny caucuses, despite the fact that not all have met. But Maine Republicans point out that with Romney's lead around 200 votes, Washington County -- which cast just 115 total in 2008 -- is unlikely to make up the difference.
This kind of thumb on the scales is the sort of treatment from which Paul's alienated supporters draw energy, and it may make it harder for the eventual nominee to bring them back into the fold. Paul's new slogan, above, isn't exactly conciliatory, and he's planning a February 14 "moneybomb" to capitalize on his backers' anger.