Representatives of McCain’s and Paul’s campaigns urged their supporters to put their votes behind Huckabee. McCain’s goal was to stop Romney, his closest competitor in the national polls, from picking up momentum; Paul’s goal soon became clear.
As the Huckabee and Paul campaigns huddled, they reached an arrangement: Paul would throw his support to Huckabee in exchange for three of the 18 national delegates that Huckabee could claim with the victory.
“We struck a deal with the Huckabee people,” Edward Burgess, a spokesman for Paul’s campaign, told NBC affiliate WSAZ-TV of Huntington.
“They came to us and dealt with us honorably and with respect. And so we told them that if Dr. Paul didn’t make it through the first round, that we would go for their man,” Burgess said. “They pledged us three delegates to the Republican National Convention.”
McCain staffers, meanwhile, began parading around the hall carrying signs telling their delegates to vote for Huckabee.