Mitt Romney's campaign needs the backing of Ron Paul's fervent supporters if he wants to have a chance of beating President Barack Obama, prominent conservative thinker Max Pappas told Sean Hannity on his Fox News show.

Max Pappas, vice president of Public Policy and Government Affairs at the conservative group FreedomWorks, made the point during a panel discussion about who former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney should choose as his running mate.

A number of names have been touted for Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick, for a wide number of reasons.

But Pappas made a point that hasn't been voiced very often in mainstream media discussions of the Mitt Romney veepstakes: and that is that the backing of Ron Paul's supporters will be critical to Romney's re-election campaign.

In fact, Pappas ventures during the conversation to say that Romney needs to pick someone that will make Ron Paul supporters happy if he wants to have any chance of beating President Barack Obama when voters head to the polls in Novemeber.

Here's what Max Pappas told Sean Hannity on Fox News:

Well, I think you got one element out there that's going to be pretty important, that's where are the Ron Paul guys gonna go. And Romney needs the Ron Paul guys if he's gonna win,

Hannity asks, Who will it be, who should it be?

And Pappas continues with his line of thinking as follows:

So, does he bring in [Ron Paul's son, U.S. Sen.] Rand Paul? Maybe not, I think that would upset a lot of people. He might go milquetoast, maybe go with [U.S. Sen. Rob] Portman.

Pappas makes an interesting point when he suggests that Ron Paul supporters are so vital to Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign hopes. Paul has tens of thousands of strident supporters, and many of them say they will not vote for Romney or Obama if Paul is not on the ballot, as they believe they are two sides of the same plutocratic, corporate-run coin.

Ron Paul backer Mat Larson explains his position during a YouTube response he posted Monday:

[Pappas] was completely correct. If Romney does want to win he will need the Ron Paul supporters. Unfortunately -- we've been saying this for a long time -- we're not ever going to support Romney. So what we're telling the GOP, and this man finally told the GOP that if Romeny wants to win, they need us, but unfortunately we won't be following him, so they're not going to win, Larson says.

If the GOP wants to win, they need to put Ron Paul up there for nomination, and to run against Obama, because plain and simple we're not going to sacrifice our principles to go vote for Romney. We're not just toe-the-party-liners. We're not just gonna vote for the party because we think it's anyone but Obama. Romney is Obama, so why would we vote for him, too. He's exactly like him. At some point of time in his career he has been exactly like Obama. And that is the scary part.

Press play below to watch a video of Pappas appearing on Hannity's show on Fox News, followed by Larson's discussion of his views about how Ron Paul supporters will vote in the 2012 presidential election in November: