Last Updated:November 26 @ 09:57 am

Libertarian Ron Paul running for president on Republican ticket

By AP Staff

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas Rep. Ron Paul announced Friday that he will run for the GOP nomination for president in 2012, the third attempt for the man known on Capitol Hill as "Dr. No" for his enthusiasm for bashing runaway spending and government overreach.

"Time has come around to the point where the people are agreeing with much of what I've been saying for 30 years. So, I think the time is right," said the 75-year-old Paul, who first ran for president as a Libertarian in 1988.

Paul made his announcement in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America" from New Hampshire, where he planned his first event for his presidential campaign on Friday.

Three years ago, the former flight surgeon and outspoken critic of the Federal Reserve became an Internet sensation — and a prodigious fundraiser— when he made a spirited but doomed bid for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.

First elected to Congress in 1976, he is known for holding unconventional views while keeping a smile on his face, espousing a sort of modern Republican populism.

The obstetrician has delivered more than 4,000 babies and is personally against abortion, but he doesn't think the federal government should regulate it. That's a function of state government, he says.

He has also said he wants to abolish the Internal Revenue Service, favors returning the United States to the gold standard in monetary policy and wants the U.S out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Democrats have tried repeatedly to beat him in a congressional district that stretches from the outskirts of Corpus Christi to Galveston. But the independent swath of coastal Texas seems a good fit for the maverick doctor. He has 18 grandchildren, according to his website, and he and his wife of 54 years, Carol, are known widely in Paul's district for the cookbooks they give away to supporters.

"The secret to his success is his authenticity," said Democratic consultant Jeff Crosby, who grew up in Paul's district. "He's an authentic nut."

Crosby, who worked to defeat Paul in 2006 — unsuccessfully — described the difficulty he had trying to persuade voters to reject what he thought were the candidate's radical views.

"Just the mere fact that he does what he says he's going to do, regardless of how nutty or ineffective it may be, they like it," Crosby said. "A lot of folks along the coast have never expected much from government, and they're getting it."

Paul, a native of Pittsburgh, is both a spiritual father and actual father in the tea party movement. His son, tea party darling Rand Paul, won a Senate seat in Kentucky last year and has become an ardent proponent of spending cuts and smaller government.

As far back as 2007, long before people were evoking the fabled Boston Tea Party to symbolize their disgust with an overtaxing central government, Ron Paul was hosting a "Tea Party Fundraiser" aboard a shrimp boat near Galveston.

Organizer and Paul campaign volunteer Elizabeth Day remembers that supporters wore period dress and rolled fake barrels of tea into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

"When people come to believe in Ron Paul, there is a passion that burns within us," said Day, a 57-year-old oil company revenue analyst. "To me, Ron Paul is the tea party."

The elder Paul has built coalitions that include senior citizen "granny warriors" and pot-smoking libertarians. During his 1988 presidential run, High Times magazine, which caters to marijuana users, published a cover story under the headline, "Ron Paul: Pro-Pot Presidential Candidate."

Paul has expressed the view that the states, not the federal government, should regulate vices like pornography and drugs.

What sets Paul apart most from his GOP brethren are his views that defense spending needs to shrink and that the U.S. should get out of its two wars. Paul says the conflicts are financially unsustainable — and another drag on a battered U.S. dollar that he believes is on the verge of collapse.

He also disputes a fundamental underpinning of the war in Iraq, namely that Islamic terrorists must be stopped overseas before they can attack the United States.

"They came over here because we were over there," Paul said in the run-up to the 2008 campaign. "We occupy their territory. It would be like if the Chinese had their navy in the Gulf of Mexico."

Paul has routinely turned down pork-barrel spending for his own district, but he has earned praise at home for refusing to sign up for lucrative pension benefits to which he is entitled as a member of Congress. Paul took a break from the House after his failed 1988 presidential bid but was re-elected in 1996.

Though he has voiced support for term limits, Paul has been in Congress for almost 30 years. Thanks to a law first crafted for Texas-born President Lyndon Johnson, he was able to run for the House and the presidency at the same time in 2008. Supporters figure he'll do the same in 2012.

Former Texas GOP gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina counts herself among the die-hard Ron Paul followers who won't let age, unconventional views or the professed tea party proclivities of other candidates shake her away from the soft-spoken presidential contender.

"All the Republicans say we need to reduce spending," said Medina. "They talk about it, but they don't actually deliver on those promises. He's different."

GOPUSA Editor's Note: Just this week Ron Paul announced his stand on the killing of Osama bin Laden, preferring bin Laden be tried in the US instead of being killed in the field. That statement is available in the following video.

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  1. mrbillComment by mrbill
    May 13, 2011 @ 9:41 am

    Dr. Paul has a lot of good ideas. I don’t agree with them all, but then, I don’t agree with anyone 100%. One of his biggest draw backs is his age (75). I suggest he announce his running mate early because us voters are going to be thinking of his age even if we profess not to. We will consequently take a strong look at his VP.

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    • Dick_ColumbiaMOComment by Dick_ColumbiaMO
      May 13, 2011 @ 10:51 am

      mrbill:  I am also worried about Dr. Paul’s age.  And this is written by someone who is in his upper 70s.  Although I like to think that I am in as good a shape as 10 years ago, reality tells me differently.  I’ve been a supporter of Dr. Paul’s now for five years and I have read every weekly column he has written over that period of time.  Like you, I think he’s going to have to find a well-known, younger, more mainstream conservative VP very soon or he will not have a chance.

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  2. pistol packing mamaComment by txgoatlady
    May 13, 2011 @ 12:33 pm

    I was not aware that Debra Medina is a Ron Paul supporter. I am a little surprised. While I am all for states rights, I think isolationism is a doomed policy. I also think trying terrorists like OBL in civilian courts is a bad idea.

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    • willerComment by willer97
      May 13, 2011 @ 7:31 pm

      You are correct. Isolationism is a doomed policy. It’s great though that Ron Paul supports Non-interventionism, not isolationism. They are two different things. A isolationist believes that they do not trade, have relations, or anything else, with other countries. A non-interventionist believes in trade, good foreign relations, and such. What a non-interventionist doesn’t believe in is taking sides in conflicts that do not concern them. If we get attacked, fire away, but if we are sitting over here, and Israel decides to invade Iran, then don’t get involved. Not saying not to work diplomatically, just not militarily.

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  3. bgannyfComment by babs
    May 13, 2011 @ 12:39 pm

    I live in Texas – have watched his voting record for a long time and am not “sold on Paul”

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  4. Dick_ColumbiaMOComment by Dick_ColumbiaMO
    May 13, 2011 @ 2:44 pm

    txgoatlady:  Because Dr. Paul believes in “non-interventionism”,I.E.stay out of other countries civil wars which includes preemptive invasions, he is often accused of isolationism.  He believes in a very strong military that puts our country in a position of strength.  He wants any foreign country to know that if they’re considering “messing” with us – we will crush them. 

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    • adminComment by GOPUSA Staff
      May 13, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

      Oops, our bad.  The video wasn’t showing up but it’s there now. Just click to play.

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  5. Liberty4310Comment by Liberty4310
    May 13, 2011 @ 3:13 pm

    I think Dr. Paul has a number of good ideas, but his isolationism is a deal killer for me.  We need to wait awhile to see who else joins the race.  So far, I’m not excited about anyone.  But whoever the candidate is, he or she will be 100 times better than the incumbent.

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    • kawika963Comment by kawika963
      July 6, 2011 @ 5:38 pm


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  6. Dick_ColumbiaMOComment by Dick_ColumbiaMO
    May 14, 2011 @ 7:14 am

    After watching the video, I am reminded that Dr. Paul has extreme libertarian views that I cannot endorse.  It’s these types of comments that earns Dr. Paul his undeserved label as a “nut”.  In an ideal world,I see Dr. Paul as the Treasury Secretary to a “tea party” conservative president.  His belief in Austrian economics is his main strength to correct the “economic ills” of this once great Republic.

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