(CNN) - Rep. Ron Paul will not step aside even if Mitt Romney soon clinches the 1,144 delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination, the candidate said Monday.
"If tomorrow, Romney had the absolute number, I would probably continue in a modified way to maximize the number of delegates to go to the convention," Paul said on CNBC's "Squawk Box," adding that his supporters insist he stay in the running.
– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
Paul, who's making his third bid for president, has failed to win a single contest this cycle and trails in the delegate race with 72 delegates to Romney's mammoth 685 delegates, according to CNN estimates. Newt Gingrich, meanwhile, has 138 delegates.
Even still, Paul compared dropping out of the race now to walking off the track in the third lap of a mile race.
"You don't quit because you happen to be behind. You want to see how you do," Paul said. "And who knows, maybe somebody will stumble. You can't ever tell."
Paul pointed to possible delegate gains in next couple of months, when the two largest states-Texas and California-hold their primaries.
Referring to the current political system as "flawed," Paul acknowledged that his presidential campaign is largely fueled by the wish to influence the national dialogue.
"Yes, you run to win," Paul said. "But there is certainly no doubt I don't shy away from the fact that it has a lot to do with changing the nature of the debate."
The longtime congressman from Texas has been campaigning in states that hold contests on Tuesday, especially in Rhode Island and Pennsylvania, in his quest for more delegates. Despite his low standing in the polls, Paul has seen strong fundraising figures, with $10.4 million raised in the first quarter of this year.
"The market is telling me that this campaign is very, very viable," Paul said. "They want to win if they can, they want to maximize the delegates and they do want to have an impact. That is very important to every single supporter."
Giuliani endorses Romney, downplays being running mate
Huntsman compares GOP to Communist Party of China
RNC formally backs Walker in recall
And why shouldn't he? This weekend he won 20 out of 24 delegates in Minnesota!
Ron Paul may as well be talking to himself, alone in the middle of the forrest................... No one cares.
This will be a monumental election. The Republicans have no chance without Ron Paul supporters; yet at every turn they've worked to marginalize them.
Obama has no chance against Ron Paul as there couldn't be a greater contrast.
This is all very obvious to Romney as well; notice how he refuses to have anymore debates? He's scared the contrast would show him being just like ObBushma.
WOW CNN you never fail to be so agians RON PAUL. OBAMA Romney no diffrence. Both GOLDMAN Sucks puppets. People are waking up. TURN OFF CNN and FOX, heck the tv for that matter. Ron Paul is the type of politician that comes around once a life time and thanks to the MEDIA they have all but ignored him. ITS NOT OVER FOR A LONG SHOT
CNNs "estimates" are way off. Dr Paul has had much success gaining delegates. He is winning strongly here in Missouri. The rallies in California and Texas dwarfed our rallies here and the rallies here were huge, thousands of people. I'm glad to see CNN finally starting to lift the blackout of this political movement. I will say thank you guys! FINALLY. Now can we see you give to some of the events taking place some coverage?
Good for you Mr. Paul! The rest of the cowards dropped because they were told to, make that creep Mitt Romney work for every delegate he gets!
Call him Ron Quixote.
So here we are. After months of being TOLD who was going to be your candidate, Dr. Paul is not only still in it, he is gaining momentum exponentially. Though it should have been a clear sign that “something very dishonest” was being perpetrated on the American people and the rest of the world by them M$M, the general public wanted to trust their television and believe that it wouldn’t intentionally lie to us or be manipulated by some invisible hand. So what does everybody think now? I could post a hundred links that prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt, but only someone who was completely blind couldn’t see it clearly at this point. So what does this indicate then? There has been an international effort to deceive us! Why? I believe that there is an effort to overthrow the American way of life as we know it. This election cycle appears to be a pivotal point in history. If you haven’t honestly researched Dr. Paul’s message and political history, I beg you to at least research it for yourself away from the propaganda driven media outlets. No one is perfect, but Ron Paul clearly has his country’s best interest in mind. Of all the candidates and the current president, only Ron Paul has spoken up for our liberties. This alone should make the decision easy. It’s time we put someone in office who honestly upholds the job of the President of the United States.
They are coming for you and your country.
Fight back! Ron Paul 2012!!!!
The M$M's new name...wait for it...THE OLD MEDIA !!!!!!!!!
You are done for, and we won't forget!
I like how MSM continues to dismiss Ron Paul and say that he is trailing in delegates but half the time, they don't bother to say that their delegate count is just a vague guesstimate
“You don’t quit because you happen to be behind. You want to see how you do,” Paul said. “And who knows, maybe somebody will stumble. You can’t ever tell.”
Does Ron Paul know something that the rest of us don't?
Aye, fight and you may lose. Vote establishment, and you'll win... at least a while. And dying in your bed, many years from now, would you be willin' to trade all the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell your children that while they muzzled your candidate, you voted for freedom....
Your forefathers picked up rabbit rifles and stood up to an empire. They cared less about their chances of wining and more about the principles they were standing behind. How sad it is that in America today, many of us would rather support a winning team, than put their name behind a righteous one.
Ron Paul is the ONLY Republican I will vote for and if he doesn't get the nomination, I hope he runs third party. If I cannot vote for RP, I will vote for Obama by default
"has failed to win a single contest this cycle"
Ron Paul won Minnesota
Ron Paul needs to stop smoking whatever he's smoking and take a deep breath of reality. You've won nothing and the Republican party isn't going to draft you. Now get back to Congress and get to work.
It doesnt look good for our boy RP.
However it would be insane to even entertain the idea of voting for anyone else.
Its all a big joke, but I dont think anyone will be laughing.
Have you heard about this "Ron Paul 2012" video game coming out in the summer? Imagine a cross between "Super Mario Brothers", "Schoolhouse Rock", and "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?". Written by a Ron Paul supporter, proceeds are supposedly to go towards the Paul campaign. Cute.
Perhaps an even more Minnesota newsworthy is the following:
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota's debt-plagued Republican Party faces an eviction hearing next week for its party headquarters after failing to pay its rent payments since August.
Only people that are smoking are the ones that follow every word of the media. Ron Paul has well over 100 delegates. Do some research and check out Youtube for uncontrolled news.
Something to celebrate today. At least there is a picture and an article about Ron Paul after a decade!
The teabaggers and Ron Paulbots will run wild at the convention. GOBP heads will explode nationwide.
Any vote for Obama or Romney is a vote for the bankruptcy of the American government, never ending war and the destruction of our civil liberties.
The flat earth society is alive and well.
Who is Ron Paul ?
He needs to make sure the younger people are voting. That is Paul's problem. He doesn't reach the audiance that votes.
Ron Paul, the Green Party, and all other "3rd" parties need to keep at it. More and more people are getting fed up with the Status Quo, that both Romney and Obama represent. Military spending, loss of personal rights, clueless government – they both LOVE it.
In my state more people each election are getting out to vote and vote for something other than the same-old Repub-Demo circus side show. Some day soon the "fed-ups" will kick the clowns out.