NEW YORK (
) -- Ron Paul's campaign insisted it's still in the race, but its explanation clarified very little.
"At this point, [endorsement of Mitt Romney] is still premature, because Dr. Paul is still a candidate," Jesse Benton, Paul's chief strategist, said during a conference call on Tuesday. "I would never say never. I do not believe that that is likely, but we don't deal in absolutes and close everything out."
| Ron Paul
Paul's campaign announced Monday that it
wouldn't spend any more resources on upcoming primaries
so that it could, instead, focus on collecting as many delegates as possible from state conventions.
A snap reaction resulted in multiple news reports that Paul had effectively ended his campaign, but Paul's team reiterated Monday and in Tuesday's conference call that that simply wasn't true.
"That [the nomination] is still up for grabs," said Benton.
But Benton also acknowledged Romney's campaign had spoken to Paul's team about which of the congressman's platforms they could and couldn't get behind -- a practice unsuccessful GOP candidates have used to bolster support for the presumptive nominee.
Shortly after he mentioned communication with the Romney campaign, Benton said it would help Romney earn Paul's endorsement, but he said it would largely be left up to what his supporters want.
"Dr. Paul's calculus, I think, are going to be what his supporters want, and how they're received and embraced," Benton said.
Benton said the campaign would continue to actively grab delegates in Louisiana, Washington, Missouri and Iowa -- states where former Republican hopeful Rick Santorum either won or grabbed a large portion of straw-poll votes.
So though Paul's campaign has said it's still in the race, it also said it has negotiated with Romney about political platforms and said an endorsement isn't impossible.
-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.