Paul surprises in 3 states, Obama talks healthcare on the trail

By Tom Sullivan
04:50 PM

Just when it seemed the primaries were getting downright boring, Ron Paul appears to have pulled off something of an upset in Iowa, Maine, and Nevada.

The final possible contender to GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney, Paul, in a bizarre twist won the majority of delegates in Iowa, Maine and Nevada to the Republican convention – which Paul has said in the past could be more about changing the nature of the political conversation than about becoming the nominee.

[Political Malpractice: The very partisan strategy around men's reproductive health.]

In Maine, 21 of the state’s 24 delegates going to the convention will support Paul, the Associated Press reports, and did so despite confusion over ballot tampering. Likewise in Nevada, Paul garnered 22 of the 25 delegates and in Iowa 23 of 28 delegates are Paul supporters.

“Despite the establishment's media desperately attempting to have people believe otherwise, Ron Paul now has a real shot of taking the nomination and stealing victory from the jaws of defeat,” writes Jeffrey Phelps in the Denver Examiner. “All together, this weekend watched Ron Paul win at least 66 national delegates, in these three states alone.”

Romney, of course, only needs to collect about 300 more delegates to clinch the nominee – and there’s a sense among Iowa Republicans that perhaps that state did not mean much to Romney over the weekend.

“If Mitt Romney wanted more delegates, his campaign would’ve spent one staff hour and one penny on it. They didn’t,” Iowa’s Republican nominating committee member Monte Shaw told the Des Moines Register. “There’s no conspiracy going on here. It’s called hard work. It pays off. If people don’t like it, they should get more motivated in four years.”

President Obama, meanwhile, was out on the campaign trail maintaining that he does not intend to return to health care conditions prior to passing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

“I refuse to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut by eliminating medical research projects into things like cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. I refuse to pay for another tax cut by kicking children off of Head Start programs; or asking students to pay more for college; or eliminating health insurance for millions of poor and elderly and disabled Americans on Medicaid,” Obama said during a speech in Columbus, Ohio. “And as long as I’m President of the United States, I will never allow Medicare to be turned into a voucher that would end the program as we know it. We will not go back to the days when our citizens spent their golden years at the mercy of private insurance companies. We will reform Medicare -- not by shifting the cost of care to seniors, but by reducing the spending that isn’t making people healthier. That’s what’s at stake in this election.”

For more of our primaries coverage, visit Political Malpractice: Healthcare in the 2012 Election.