Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) said Monday in a surprise announcement that he will no longer be campaigning in states that have not yet held primary elections.

"Our campaign will continue to work in the state convention process," he explained in a campaign email. "Moving forward, however, we will no longer spend resources campaigning in primaries in states that have not yet voted. Doing so with any hope of success would take many tens of millions of dollars we simply do not have."

The statement would seem to indicate that while he's giving up on the remaining primary races, Paul's not out of the running completely.

Though badly trailing presumptive nominee Mitt Romney, Paul has been gaining marginal ground by helping his supporters take over local and state Republican parties, mastering the old rules of party politics to jam as many of his delegates into the Republican National Convention (RNC) as possible.

While it would be impossible at this point for Paul to overtake Romney in delegates, he's stated repeatedly that his long term goal is a transformation of the Republican party away from its current neoconservative leadership, to align the GOP with a more libertarian philosophy.

The only question remaining now for candidate Paul is whether he will have enough delegates to bargain with Romney for a speaking slot at the RNC in August.

(H/T: The Hill)

Photo: Albert H. Teich /