The Kentucky Senator and tea party favorite said that his father had always been his first choice, but was obviously not going to be the nominee now that Romney secured the nomination with the right amount of delegates.
I campaigned for [my father] when I was 11 years old, Rand Paul said Thursday night on Fox News. He's still my first pick, but now that the nominating process is over, tonight I'm happy to announce that I'm going to be supporting Gov. Mitt Romney.
Paul, who led a relatively small but fiercely loyal following that helped overtake several caucuses across the country and win a surprising number of delegates, acknowledged he had no chance of becoming the presidential nominee on Wednesday.
The libertarian announced three weeks ago he would no longer spend resources campaigning in primaries in states that have not yet voted to save money. However, he denied officially dropping out of the race and vowed to push his message by participating in the state convention process. He will still have delegates at the Tampa convention in August.
In a message to supporters Wednesday, Ron Paul clarified the strategy he had seemingly been pushing all along; to affect his party's platform rather than actually win the presidency.
I wanted you to get an update from me personally, since we have some great news! Paul said in the email.
When it is all said and done, we will likely have as many as 500 supporters as delegates on the convention floor. That is just over 20 percent! And while this total is not enough to win the nomination, it puts us in a tremendous position to grow our movement and shape the future of the GOP!
On Ron Paul's official website, activist and spokesperson Jack Hunter said that Ron Paul is becoming something much more important than a president.
Ron Paul conceding he won't be president and Rand Paul supporting the presumptive GOP nominee are but trivial anecdotes to the obvious and ongoing success of the most transformative political movement of our time: the revolution, Hunter wrote.
Will Ron Paul Endorse Romney, Too?
So far, Ron Paul has given no obvious indication of whether or not he'll endorse Romney, who secured the nomination on May 29 after the Texas primary. The Texas representative said in an interview with Bloomberg News April 30 his decision depends on what Romney's and the GOP's platform is come August.
If every single thing in the platform I disagree with, it's gonna be tough [to endorse him]. If it's 100 percent opposite of everything I've said on civil liberties, on war issues, on spending cuts, on monetary policy what could I do? he asked.
Paul continued: Hopefully he sticks to his guns about not raising taxes.
If Paul sticks to his word, than an endorsement of Mitt Romney -- if any at all -- will come at or after the convention rather than before it, as his son did. Until then, Paul is hoping that his army of delegates makes enough noise in Tampa to be heard and to sway the direction of the Republican Party.