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Mainstream GOP Having A Hard Time Reconciling Ron Paul's Popularity

The Powers That Be within the Republican Party are up in arms by the popularity of Rep. Ron Paul, who doesn't exactly exemplify mainstream Republicanism. Republican Publicity Department Fox News Channel must have heard some loud outcries from

The Powers That Be within the Republican Party are up in arms by the popularity of Rep. Ron Paul, who doesn't exactly exemplify mainstream Republicanism. Republican Publicity Department Fox News Channel must have heard some loud outcries from their disinformed teabaggin' audience about their choice to show the 2010 CPAC crowd booing Ron Paul in discussing his 2011 CPAC straw poll win, possibly because the booing was louder than the 2011 footage. They couldn't be trying to discredit him, could they? So they trotted out B-grade talent Bill Hemmer to apologize:

The situation stemmed from Fox News playing a clip of Paul’s 2010 victory in the CPAC straw poll and incorrectly identifying it as his 2011 victory. While Fox News told Mediaite that it was a mistake, the Paul supporters believed it was done because the 2010 video had more audible booing. Today,[..]Fox News’ Bill Hemmer, who interviewed Paul in the original segment in question, said delivered this statement on air:

“It was clearly a mistake. We used the wrong videotape. There are similarities in the shot between last year’s event and this year. [..]

Ron Paul won both years. However, there were audible boos in 2010 while you heard a lot more cheering this year. It’s an honest mistake. We apologize for the error and we look forward to having Representative Paul back on our show very soon.”

But in fairness to Fox News, they're not the only conservatives having a hard time swallowing the popularity of Ron Paul. Sen. John Thune (R-SD) is convinced that the CPAC straw poll was rigged:

Count this as another sign that John Thune might be in favor of running, after all -- a lengthy defense of his showing in last weekend's straw poll.

Thune told the Argus Leader on Tuesday that he's not dismayed by the findings, which he thinks were "engineered" by supporters of certain candidates.

Scores of Paul supporters, for example, could be seen packing the conference, and few political experts give the libertarian-leaning congressman much a chance of winning the GOP nomination.

"I think that poll is receiving less and less credibility and legitimacy because it's engineered by people who ship folks in for that," Thune said.

Also, Thune pointed out that ballots had to be submitted by Friday afternoon, about the time the senator was on the CPAC stage giving a speech, so many of them probably were cast before people had a chance to hear him.

"The more important issue is the overall reception you get in response to your message," Thune said of his CPAC appearance.

Former Alaska Gov. "Sarah Palin got 3 (percent), so I don't think that is a very good metric to go by.

You read that right. If Half-Governor Word Salad can't get more than than 3% from CPAC, then you know it's not a real poll. Thune appears to be dipping his toe in the Republican Presidential waters as well, so his comments may simply be sour grapes over not enthralling the CPAC crowd as much as Paul.

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