GOP hopeful Ron Paul on NBC's Meet The Press Sunday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Texas Rep. Ron Paul refused to rule out a third party bid Sunday if he fails to win the Republican Party presidential nomination.
When Tim Russert of NBC’s 'Meet the Press' asked the Texas congressman if he’d consider an independent bid, he replied: "I have no intention of doing that."
When pressed by Russert to state unequivocally that he would not, Paul demurred. "I deserve one
weasel wiggle now and then, Tim!"
Paul lost to Phil Gramm in the 1984 Texas Republican primary for the U.S. Senate. Four years later, he ran for president as the Libertarian Party nominee.
The Republican presidential contender - who has an intensely loyal national following - is pulling in record fundraising sums, prompting speculation that he may continue his White House bid even if he does not fare well among Republican primary voters.
Paul is currently averaging single-digit showings in most recent surveys of GOP voters nationally and in early-voting states.
During the Sunday interview, Paul criticized the Civil Rights Act, pointing out that Barry Goldwater opposed it. But he would not say he whether would vote against the legislation today. "I get more support from black people than any other Republican candidate, according to some statistics," he added.
Paul also contended that the Civil War had been unnecessary because the United States would have gotten rid of slavery eventually.