December 23rd, 2007
03:55 PM ET
15 years ago

GOP contender will not rule out third-party run

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.

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Ron Paul
soundoff (235 Responses)
  1. Mayberry

    Ron Paul received contributions from over 100,000 different people this quarter. He received $18,000,000 from those 100,000 people. His support is wide and deep. Look around your town and notice you see RP signs everywhere. Grab a cup of coffee and go to

    December 23, 2007 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  2. Tom, Lake Worth, FL

    "Local control will just bring local tyranny."

    Posted By Lynn, Reno, NV : December 23, 2007 1:37 pm

    And national control will bring national tyranny.

    At least I can leave a local tyranny. Also, I would have a much better chance fighting a local Boss Tweed than fighting a Federal government pushing permanent war, the Patriot Act, torture, repealing habeas corpus, and disregarding the very same Constitution you claim you champion. And it's only going to get worse. All of your platitudes about "corrupt corporations" and "fiefdoms" running our lives does not scare me as much this.

    Keep drinking the Kool-Aid, Lynn from Reno, NV. The rest of us will try to save this country. Just don't tell anyone that you tried as well.

    December 23, 2007 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  3. Kunal, Burlington NC

    I do not even support Ron Paul (I'm a liberal democrat) but I did watch the interview. This story is completely slanted. He did not say slavery would end "eventually." That is a gross misrepresentation. This article also does not explain his opposition to the civil rights act of 1964, which was a reasonable stance (of which i disagree) but had nothing to do with race. And he did say he would vote against it today because of property rights issues. This article seems to be trying to portray Paul as racist, and that is simply not the case. He is a whole lot of things I do not agree with, but he is not a racist.

    December 23, 2007 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. Michelle, Pensacola Fl

    Lynn, you're playing right into Tim's hands with this. He didn't even allow Dr. Paul enough time to adequately answer, all the while switching topics back and forth to confuse him. Furthermore, your comment on the Constitution is lacking in knowledge. It was designed to be changed, not stay the same.

    This article is certainly not telling the truth. For those of us that actually paid attention, we heard Dr. Paul say that he was 99.9% certain he wouldn't run on the 3rd ticket.

    December 23, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. Spencer, Virginia

    What a terrible article.. I watched the whole interview and this article takes many things out of context. It seems it was written to marginalize Dr. Paul and paint him as extreme. But what else should I expect from CNN...

    December 23, 2007 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. John, Fredericksburg Virginia

    I don't think Ron Paul should run as a third party candidate if he were to lose the nomination. If he wanted the democrat to win that would be a great idea but ultimately his votes will be votes taken away from the Republican. I'm amazed at how well Ron Paul is doing in the Republican field I just went to this election blog at and he has 84 % of the vote in the polls. Its remarkable how good his supporters are with the internet.

    December 23, 2007 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  7. EB Rideout, Georgia

    He's the only one in ther current crop that's even the least bit interesting.

    The big gun conservatives will do their best to sink his campaign.

    I hope he pins their ears back, when all is said and done.

    December 23, 2007 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  8. Julius, G-ville NC

    Ron Paul is a great man. A modern day Thomas Jefferson, maybe not of the same penmanship but of the same integrity and patriotism. The reality he will be president becomes more evident with each passing day.

    December 23, 2007 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. Ryan J. - Portland, OR

    This article is HORRIBLY written. It completely misrepresents Ron's words and is written to give you a negative impression. Did you watch the show? Especially with the representation of Ron's words about the Civil War, I am disgusted. Horrendous, horrendous journalism here. Report the REASONS he opposed these things, not side notes in the conversation to put him in a negative light.

    Delete this ticker CNN. It is completely biased and plain inaccurate.

    December 23, 2007 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. John Radding, Houston, TX

    How stupid do you think we are?

    December 23, 2007 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  11. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Russert asked a GOP candidate a fair, straight-forward question and got lied to?!

    Say it ain't so!!!

    While he's at it, let him choose T. Boone Pickens as his running mate; after all Pickens is the maggot who has the cash, is from Texas and funded the Swift Boat Vets.

    December 23, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  12. andy

    Wow! Misinterpretation. Paul did not and was not saying that slavery would have ended, "eventually" as the author of this article stated. He simply was saying that there was an alternative way to end slavery (instead of war). He suggested that we should have ended slavery by buying the slaves and releasing them using government funds. The civil war was due to the fact that the slave owners PAID for them and viewed freeing them as STEALING. If they were paid, we could have avoided losing 600,000 lives. THAT is what paul was saying. He was not saying that slavery would have just naturally ended!!!

    December 23, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  13. Matt, New York, New York

    In regards to Ron Paul's Civil War comment and anyone who supports his ridiculous claim-

    The Civil War was not merely about slavery! Slavery was one of many issues used to represent the struggle between the Federal government and state's rights. It is over simplification to say the Civil War was based entirely on slavery. The Civil War was the natural result of the built up tension between the Northern and Southern States for fifty years. War is sometimes necessary and a pacifist position is never a good position for a President to take.

    Ron Paul is a blatant opportunist and populist. He is using vague Republican ideals to gain support. Does anyone know exactly what he stands for?

    Right, eliminate all government run organizations like the IRS. Wouldn't that put many thousands out of work? And pull the USA out of all alliances and treaties. No one should even give him any serious thought.

    December 23, 2007 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  14. Dale Davis, Glendora, California


    December 23, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  15. Mike, Odessa TX

    Ron Paul.... a Republican only in name just dug himself a hole if anyone was actually watching him on Meet the Press.

    December 23, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  16. Tim Tebow, Gainesville, Florida

    CNN you are a joke. How could you allow such inaccuracies in your writeups. I can't wait till he becomes president, not everyone in this nation is nieve enough to believe everything that is said on this joke of a news program, good try, and good luck in your horrible attempts to mold America.

    December 23, 2007 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  17. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    To Angelo in Pittsburgh:

    Yes, let's analyze why the Republican Party was created. It evolved in the 1850's renamed from the Whig Party, whose sole purpose was to fight Jacksonian Democracy.

    That's a fine standard!

    Look at all the major, national disasters caused by politics and your Republican Party is right at the front of the parade!!

    December 23, 2007 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  18. Greg, Chicago, IL

    What is Ron Paul doing with his millions of dollars? I doubt he has spent a cent. I bet, he has embezzled the funds into his own coffers.

    December 23, 2007 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  19. Mr. Travis White, South Range, Wisconsin

    It was an awesome interview with Russert and I think Ron Paul did good. This article on the other hand is awful. Why didn't they just say that Ron Paul is .1% sure he's running as a 3rd Party Presidential candidate and that he's also racist and wouldn't have ended slavery.

    Join the Ron Paul Army.

    December 23, 2007 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  20. Steven, Santa Clara, CA

    This is a classic media tactic, whether intentional or not. Focus on trivial controversies, such as whether or not Paul will run as a third-party, to give the illusion of a "hard hitting" report. This allows the media to ignore real controversies, such as issues of spending and foreign policy, while still looking like an "unbiased" news source.

    December 23, 2007 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  21. Derek, Honolulu, HI

    This was probably the most slanted interview I've ever seen. How can Tim Russert justify ignoring the two biggest planks in Dr. Paul's platform (foreign policy and the monetary reform), while digging up every little ounce of dirt that he could find (quotes from 20 years ago, quotes from disgruntled staffers a decade ago, etc). This is absurd.

    Go Ron Paul!

    December 23, 2007 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  22. T Smith, Chicago IL

    This article could not have skewed the facts more if it had tried. I am not a supporter of Ron Paul, but this article is just horrible. First, he never gave the impression that he would run on a third party ticket. He just said he would not completely 100% rules it out (this is something everyone in politics would say). Second, he just said slavery could have been ended without war like it was in every other country in the world.

    December 23, 2007 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  23. Jon Miller

    This is why people distrust the mainstream media.

    December 23, 2007 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  24. mactaggart

    I agree with the other posters here. There are several mistakes in this post.

    December 23, 2007 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  25. James Benz

    Who's Ron Paul?

    December 23, 2007 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
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