(AP) Gramm puts pressure on Paul. Paul rejects plea to endorse McCain.Submitted by Jim Brown on Wed, 09/10/2008 - 13:25
By SUZANNE GAMBOA – 1 hour ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Rep. Ron Paul, the Libertarian-leaning lawmaker who attracted a devoted following in the GOP primaries, said Wednesday he rejected an appeal to endorse John McCain's presidential bid.
And Paul said the request came from Phil Gramm, the former McCain adviser whom the campaign jettisoned after he said the country was a "nation of whiners" about the economy.
Speaking to reporters at a news conference, Paul said Gramm called him this week and told him, "you need to endorse McCain." The Texas congressman refused.
"The idea was that he would do less harm than the other candidate," Paul said.
Paul won no primaries in the Republican nomination contest but developed a strong following on the Internet.
He appeared at a news conference with third-party candidates, including Ralph Nader and former Georgia Democratic Rep. Cynthia McKinney. Paul suggested backing the non-major party candidates.