Would Ron Paul run as a third-party candidate? (video)
With a devoted following and a unique message, GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul could have incentive to run as a third-party candidate. But he says political realities make that impossible.
Rep. Ron Paul doesn’t pull his punches. The Texas Republican and presidential candidate with the near-cult-like following believes a letter from GOP leaders to the Federal Reserve urging no more stimulus is “too little too late” – by about 40 years.Skip to next paragraph
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He says he won’t run for president as a third-party candidate, because he would be excluded from the debates and because it takes great personal wealth to mount a credible independent candidacy. But he wouldn’t be surprised if a wealthy person did jump in “because of this chaos in the economic system.”
And he insists he hasn’t had any cross words with the GOP front-runner and fellow Texan, Gov. Rick Perry, despite a photo from the Sept. 7 debate that showed Governor Perry jabbing his finger at Congressman Paul. “That’s just a characteristic,” Paul said at a Monitor-hosted breakfast Wednesday. “If he talked to you, he’d probably do the same thing. He’d probably grab you.”
In this, his third run for the presidency, the libertarian-leaning Paul is like a kid in a candy shop. He has never had a bigger or more intense following, though polls show he’s a long-shot for the nomination. But no matter. He is raising money like never before, in day-long bursts called “money bombs,” and among young voters he is a rock star.
“The success of this message and the freedom movement is way beyond my expectations,” says Paul. “Who would have ever dreamed that after 100 years we’d be talking about the Federal Reserve at debates.“
Paul sees no reason why he can’t make it into the top tier of presidential candidates. “I think it’s exposure, and I think that’s where we’re making great progress, because we usually have the biggest rallies.” Four years ago, he says, 6,000 or 7,000 people came to see him in Philadelphia. “Zero coverage!”
True, the mainstream media often downplay Paul in their reporting, but now “there’s a thing called the Internet, there’s alternative media,” he says. “And believe me, it’s helped tremendously.”