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. Richard, Concord, New Hampshire

    Ron Paul is the worst kind of politician. He presents himself as a man of the people and incites unclear constitutional ideals. But no one knows what he plans to do. I'm surprised by the number of people who have been deceived by his claims and donate money to his go nowhere, do nothing campaign.

    December 23, 2007 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  2. David Smith, Wesson MS

    So Lynn, I guess you are against the Bill of Rights, which are amendments to the Constitution. Ron Paul voted against the earmarks. Ron Paul will stop all corporate welfare. Ron Paul will stop the bankers robbing us throught the federal reserve. He says the government could have ended slavery without an invasion of the South, like all other civilized countries did. The great result of ending slavery came about at the expense of destroying and impoverishing the entire south for decades, making dirt poor sharecroppers out of everybody. The fact is there could have been a better result and the war was really over the right to secede from the union because slavery was still legal in the United States when the war was fought. The states provide most services for citizens and a Ron Paul administration would leave more money for those states to provide services they want, such as hiring teachers, which the federal department of education does not do.

    December 23, 2007 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  3. Jeff, Fort Mill, SC

    Wake up America, lets get out of these countries, build our defense here at home, stop allowing the federal government to take 30% of our wages and then spend it overseas.

    We live in a time where our government and media can create fear and the illusion of safety.

    Bottom line choose a candidate that run the country based on what the majority of Americans think and not what THEY think.

    December 23, 2007 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  4. Chad Forster, Branson Missouri

    Why is it that the media takes every opportunity they have to bash Mr. Ron Paul? Every second of his airtime he was attacked and it was painfully obvious the networks takes every chance they get to try and paint a bad picture of his character. I'll tell you why; the "powers to be" fear Dr. Paul and the breath of fresh air he brings to the table. Dr. Paul is the only candidate that speaks from the heart and is not afraid to speak up for the people of this great nation. Thank you Mr. Paul for standing up for the constitution, and the foundational principles our forefathers created for the people of the United States of America.

    December 23, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  5. Rose, Lincolnton, NC

    I just love how you distort Dr. Paul's word by leaving out key facts that fully elaborate his position for the comments on the Civil Rights Act and the Civil War. But I suppose these biases are sadly inevitable. Wiggle and weasel also have COMPLETELY different connotations. Please review the interview before writing, honestly.

    The portion that imposed upon property rights was his issue with the Civil Rights Act. It was not a "race" issue at all for him. You must understand the man is has a strict interpretation of the Constitution.

    And with concerns to the Civil War–he cited several examples where the issue of slavery had been settled peacefully in parts of Europe without spilling a drop of blood as in our Civil War. It's great how you twist it so he sounds like this really awful guy when in reality Dr. Paul has more integrity in his pinky than most.

    And Lynn, the problem with the Articles of Confederation was the states had TOO much power. I suggest you look at how it really happened before using this as an example to discredit Dr. Paul's views. Our Constitution does NOT advocate a strong federal government. Did you actually read it?

    December 23, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  6. J. Placer, Ridgway, PA

    You have GOT to be kidding me. A man with these kind of views on Equal Rights and even the Civil even in single DIGITS?

    Get this joker OUTTA here.

    December 23, 2007 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  7. Antonius, Los Angeles

    "He speaks against corruption and then rationalizes his use of earmarks for his district." -Lynn

    This strikes me as a very ignorant and misinformed comment. The money that is used for earmarks is GOING TO BE SPENT ANYWAYS. What do people not understand about that? If the money is already "SPENT ANYWAYS" is it not better to direct it to direct it in a responsible way (such is the JOB of a house rep) rather than to hand it over to a FEMA GULAG?

    contemplate that for a moment and consider that this is how the system works. Just because you are forced to work within the system does not mean that you don't want to change it. Ron Paul has introduced legislation to reform the Earmark corruption but surprise, surprise, no one else in Congress has stepped up to stop misappropriations.

    December 23, 2007 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  8. Fran, Houston, TX

    That's a pretty lame headline. What is this place?

    December 23, 2007 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  9. Dan, AZ

    Wow CNN... It always suprises me how low you're willing to sink.

    December 23, 2007 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  10. Bob, San jose, ca

    It was WIGGLE, NOT Weasal

    December 23, 2007 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  11. Ajay Jain

    Ron Paul will be the 2008 Republican "spoiler" and responsible for a Hillary win (12/20/07). You may quote me on this in January 2009 if not before (wink, wink)!!

    Go Hillary44 08!

    December 23, 2007 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  12. Jon Sanderson


    With all due respect to Ron Paul and his supporters, it's time to back a horse that can actually win. Mr. Paul has some good ideas and has been an effective fundraiser. But he lacks support in the critical early primary states and has no significant traction nationally. For the good of the GOP, please throw your support behind someone who can really beat the Dems in a general election: Romney, Giuliani, or maybe McCain. Thanks.

    December 23, 2007 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  13. Brian, Staten Island, NY

    Ron Paul simply said that 600,000 Americans did not need to die to accomplish what other nations did without a war.

    In terms of the earmark issue, Ron Paul voted against his own earmarks. The inclusion of funds for his county is akin to saying "I think this is a poor way to manage the budget, but if the money is going to be spent somewhere, I would prefer if my people receive some benefit for their tax dollars."

    Keep in mind, Ron Paul consistently votes against farm subsidies in his own rural, agricultural district. And he gets re-elected.

    December 23, 2007 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  14. Nashville, TN

    CNN, please have the dignity to at least pretend you're not trying to smear this man. You should be ashamed and take this down!!

    December 23, 2007 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  15. Charles C. , Covina, CA

    Ron Paul answered every question well.

    Regarding the earmarks, he has a responsibility to see to the needs of his constituency. I don't know where you all get the idea that he's a corrupt politician for trying to help his district. I don't like the idea of earmarks much either, but if he doesn't try to divert funds to his district, they'll end up going to someone else's anyway.

    Also, the Civil War quote at the bottom is misleading. He said, in the interview, that there was a better way to get rid of slavery than to let 600,000 Americans die for it. He also said that the British gov't bought the slaves and set them free, which could've been an option cheaper than a civil war.

    Regarding the Civil Rights act, in the interview he said he wouldn't vote for it if it was written the same way it was in 1964. His issue was with gov't passing laws to control property, not with race. He made that clear.

    Why is this article trying to smear Ron Paul? This should be retracted immediately. This is the most biased writeup I've ever seen.

    December 23, 2007 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  16. Seth Eastman, Kaiserslautern Germany

    This ticker is unbelievably biased not in the favor of Ron Paul. Please watch the entire interview and make your own judgment.

    December 23, 2007 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  17. Stephen, AK

    I think MTP is a show all canidates must go thru because it's a tough show. And so is being President. I like Ron he has my vote and some of my money and I hope he wins but I don't want softball interviews either. As for your article, I think your out of context.

    December 23, 2007 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  18. John Habble

    If you watched the interview and think you can claim we've now seen the "true" Ron Paul – you are sadly mistaken. The difference between Paul and other candidates is that he actually has reasons for his actions outside of appeasing some group of potential voters. It's called integrity and almost non-existent in American politics today.

    If you see Paul's comments in a negative light- you simply do not understand them and should research before forming your opinion. Thus is the problem of todays typical voter- they take everything at face value and love to be fed how they feel. It's easier than thinking for yourself.

    In a fantasy world everyone would be able to make mistakes and the government would just print money to make it better. Oh yes- this is the world we live in and it won't last. Open your eyes America and see the lies your so-called top-tier candidates want you to take as reality. Without Ron Paul as our next president- you personal worth and our countries worth will be nothing.

    This years election coverage is a horrible abomination trying to be passed off as journalism.

    December 23, 2007 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  19. Nancy Sellers, Washington, DC

    Talk about misleading story.
    No. 1. What part of 'wiggle' don't you understand, Ms. Sinderbrand? He said wiggle, not weasel. Check MSNBC's transcript.

    No. 2. Ron Paul said the British ended slavery not by a civil war; rather by purchasing the slaves and giving them freedom, which would have been cheaper in dollars and 600,000 U.S. citizens lives. What part about saving 600,000 U.S. citizens' lives don't you like?

    Hmmm. Makes me wonder if CNN or its owners financially benefits from the military-industrial complex.

    December 23, 2007 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  20. jsag raleigh NC

    This succeeds in paraphrasing Mr Paul out of context and I would expect that other news sources will pick this up and credit cnn. Congrats for intentionally misrepresenting points about slavery and the civil rights act. Please see the video, watch and inform yourselves.

    December 23, 2007 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  21. Dan, Idaho Falls, Idaho

    There's no need to support this guy. If he's as good as some say, he will be president eventually anyway.

    December 23, 2007 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  22. Roburt, New Haven, CT

    Did you actually WATCH Meet The Press with Ron Paul? What an absolute abysmal "review".

    December 23, 2007 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  23. CJM, Minnesota

    I can't believe I live in a country where one of the biggest, most respected and well-known news organizations can put out something that is obviously incorrect (to anyone, supporter or not, that has watched the interview in full).

    Thanks CNN for reinforcing Paul's view of our country moving in a fascist direction. Surely, the big businesses like yourself abuse their power in order to push their own agenda on the people.

    December 23, 2007 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  24. Jerry, St. Louis

    Except for his stance on abortion and his religiosity I would vote for him as a Libertarian candidate but not as a Republican. George & company have soured me on voting for any Repulican and I want no part of religion in my government.

    December 23, 2007 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  25. charlie, miami , fl

    Hey lynn why dont you do some research before you post a comment, his job as a representative, is to represent the people, hence the name. if they want something he is supposed to ask for it. its up to him to vote for it or against it. he is nothing like kerry so get that out of your head. he may not agree with what his constituents want but he has to ask for it, thats why why they voted for him.

    December 23, 2007 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
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