The perception of a secret side deal between Ron Paul and Mitt Romney is now creating a major backlash from conservatives and relegating the Paul campaign to third-tier status. While major media have begun withdrawing embeds and reducing coverage of the Paul campaign, conservatives are increasingly angry with Paul (and Gingrich) for helping Romney. I never thought I would say this, but Rick Perry has been acting like a far more honorable and consistent conservative than Paul, who may well be engaging in old-style politics backroom behavior.

I have been warning about this for weeks. Paul owes his supporters and donors a full public explanation of his relationship with Romney. Paul and Romney both owe the public a full disclosure of any secret deals or undisclosed conversations between them.

ADVERTISEMENT

The issue is making Paul almost irrelevant. If Romney needs Paul's small number of delegates to be nominated, he is in very big trouble because Paul does not have many delegates. If Ron Paul believes that Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulErdo─čan: Turkey to announce findings of Khashoggi investigation on Tuesday Lawmakers point fingers at Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi's death Rand Paul: Saudi explanation of Khashoggi's death 'insulting' MORE will be on a Romney ticket, there is a better chance that I will be named starting pitcher for the New York Yankees on opening day.

The dominant trend in Republicans politics is huge pressure from conservatives on Newt Gingrich to drop out and support Rick Santorum, and growing conservative anger toward Paul, whose candidacy and conduct are now seen as major assets for Romney.

It is unfortunate that many major media are withdrawing coverage of the Paul campaign, though it is very understandable in light of Paul's conduct that is making him appear like a gadfly whose major function is to help Romney be nominated.

Paul has a very limited amount of time left to restore some purpose to his campaign. He is very close to being marginalized into insignificance. His romance with Romney is destroying his candidacy and creating a growing anger and backlash against him from conservatives. His behavior is damaging his own credibility and doing long-term damage to Rand, with the broader conservative movement that does not want Romney and does not appreciate Romney enablers.