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Could you imagine any of these folks warming up to Ron Paul and his followers during the campaign? Further evidence of why it was so important for John McCain and the GOP to get their ass kicked. I hope Katon Dawson means what he says here, as the GOP has been a single-issue party for years now. Here’s a reminder. Writes WSJ’s Susan Davis:

“For much of the 2008 campaign, Texas lawmaker and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul and his supporters served as a thorn in the side—or a punching bag—for the mainstream GOP establishment.

Yet today, the six men vying to run the Republican National Committee praised the grassroots enthusiasm Paul tapped into during his campaign—and discussed how they would like to capture that enthusiasm to expand the party’s appeal.

“Ron Paul certainly brought a whole new generation of voters and I think it’s important going forward that we recognize the strengths and the attributes of these individuals who are out there actively building the party and building a movement, a consensus if you will, on certain issues. We can’t look that in the eye and say ‘No, we don’t want that,’” said former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, adding that the RNC needs to find “creative ways” to work with candidates supported by Paul and his followers, and to work with Paul directly to that end.

“I think, at this stage at this party, everyone who can help us should be brought into the room to help us,” Steele said.

South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Katon Dawson recalled memories of Paul’s supporters campaigning during his state’s early primary.

“I witnessed early on the Ron Paul army in South Carolina,” Dawson said, stressing the importance of building new coalitions. “I want people involved in my party that will hang off bridges and paint on their cars and make up t-shirts. There was a passion that I saw of those people for him and his ideas. Do we agree with all of them? No, but we are a party that has to embrace differences.”

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