Election 101: Ron Paul sets sights on 2012. Ten things to know about him.

The ‘intellectual grandfather’ of the tea party movement, Ron Paul is a dark horse pushing for an upset victory.

2. What is his platform?

Charlie Neibergall / AP
Rep. Ron Paul (R) of Texas speaks during a news conference on April 26 in Des Moines, Iowa.

It’s a unique mix of traditional conservatism and libertarianism that makes Paul such an unusual presidential candidate. He is fiercely antiwar and calls for an end to all military engagements overseas; he’s a proponent of fiscal discipline and harsh spending cuts; and he’s a strict constitutionalist who has long called for the dissolution of entire federal departments or institutions, including, famously, the Federal Reserve.

His unusual stances attract an equally unusual coalition of supporters: ACLU sympathizers and youths who like his opposition to the Patriot Act and his call to decriminalize marijuana; tea partyers who appreciate his strict fiscal message; religious voters who agree with his opposition to abortion; and antiwar types who back his opposition to the Iraq war.

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