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. Hess Lakeland Fl

    Ron Paul will never get my vote because he is from the state of Texas and in my lifetime all of the Presidents from Texas was nothing more than war mongrels. They include Lyndon Johnson, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush and between them they have taken too many military lives for their own agendas, the armament dealers and for the huge oil companys such as exxon mobile etc.

    December 23, 2007 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  2. Bill, Baltimore, Maryland

    Having watched the interview, your last comment could use some serious qualification. You almost make it sound like Paul is pro-slavery. Get it right! Every other civilized country got rid of slavery without a civil war...we could have to! And Ron Paul said that.

    December 23, 2007 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    He didn't say he opposed the civil war because we would have gotten rid of slavery EVENTUALLY. He is opposed to it because there were better ways of doing it, and it could have been done much faster and less costly than a war.

    December 23, 2007 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  4. Tim, Brrandon Fl

    Oh hum the old media is at it again.. unable to analyze or articulate the positions of Ron Paul. Please do your reaserch and write a article with substance.. While I do not agree with Ron Paul on 100 percent of the issue I hate to see a misrepresntation of peoples postiions. It does an injustice to Journalism and the political process..

    Take care,

    December 23, 2007 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  5. Carolyn Connor

    Ha! Ha! Ha! A question about the Civil War? News media are really digging a hole for themselves! Thanks for the laugh you jerks!

    December 23, 2007 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  6. Jay, Spartanburg, SC

    I'm a Democrat, so I don't have a care either way, but I watched this interview this morning and for you guys to make a story out of this is absurd. The guy all but said he wouldn't run as a third party candidate and there were lots of other important points that he made that merit attention much more than this.

    December 23, 2007 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  7. Omowale Browne, Brooklyn

    Do Not Distort Ron Paul's Comments...

    Ron Paul suggested that slavery should have been ended in a peaceful, bloodless manner by the US government purchasing their freedom like every other civilized free nation.

    He DID NOT suggest that it would have been rid of in a passive manner.

    December 23, 2007 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  8. Tim, NY

    I felt the interview was poorly conducted. Not because Russert asked Ron Paul some tough questions, but because so much of the interview seemed dedicated to irrelevant questions such as "Do you think the Civil War was unecessary?" For the most part, I want to know where the candidates stand on "issues" and what their intentions are should they be elected. I can understand maybe asking a few random questions so that viewers can get an idea of someone's character, but I felt like Russert overdid it a bit and at times did not allow Paul to really even respond.

    Worse though is this "ticker". How does one get a job writing this kind of garbage? I feel like I've wasted so much time and money on school, seeing that someone somehow can get a title like "Associate Political Editor" and only be responsible for writing what seems to be about on par with a poorly run high school newspaper. Seriously, where do I sign up?

    December 23, 2007 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  9. Jonathan Friz, Boston, MA

    Wow, having seen the interview and how well Ron Paul did in spite of aggressive questioning it's amazing how biased, out-of-context, and un-professional this article is. If you have not seen the interview, I urge you to watch it for yourself. Paul is a man of ideas–who else would disagree with Abraham Lincoln on MS TV? Shame on you for this piece of propaganda.

    December 23, 2007 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  10. Cody B, Utah

    Wow this is libel and such a hit piece, just like the interview was, but ultimately Ron Paul came out on top. Any person who cares to research a little knows the Civil war had nothing to do with saving the Slaves. It was just a side affect. Ron Paul would rather have saved 600,000 lives and spending some money to free them, then fight an unnecessary war. I love this man!

    December 23, 2007 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  11. BC

    I was at a Trader Joe's yesterday wearing my Ron Paul shirt. The store manager came over to me and said, "I love this man's message. The country may not be ready for him though. He's a radical. These days, a true Constitutionalist is a radical. It's just sad that people are conditioned to believe what they are fed." Then he said that he planned to vote for Paul anyway.

    On the Civil War issue, Ron Paul's learned view is not all that different from that of Gore Vidal. The war was fought to preserve the union. Slavery was just one of the issues. It was a chance for Lincoln, who held very racist views, to flex his executive muscles. He went so far as to threaten those speaking out against the war with execution. For me, no cause is worthy enough to justify sacrificing 600,000 lives.

    December 23, 2007 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  12. shatari

    Amazing...The Lame Stream Media actually believes it can get away with such crap. Rebecca wake up to reality!!! Please tell me you didn't waist all your time and money in school to produce this kind of garbage.

    December 23, 2007 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  13. GoPaul, Davenport IA

    What's with the word 'weasel' crossed out in body of the article. Perhaps, the author is a 'weasel' for putting it in the article. Ron Paul never said 'weasel' in the interview. Is this author biased? Probably.

    Ron actually did very well in the interview. This article is misleading. Watch the interview on youtube to form your own opinion.

    December 23, 2007 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  14. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    Ron Paul is a very valuable asset to the republicans and they're not smart enough to use him. The right-wing theocrats are so entrenched that he has no chance. Even when he agrees with their religious views, his libertarian outlook is too damaging to their war-mongering christian nation jihadist crusades. He can only help the republican party shed their subversive anti-democratic wing,even if it means driving the bus off a cliff. There is no "electable" republican besides him. It's him or nobody. '08 is a Hillary/Edwards year.

    December 23, 2007 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  15. joze46

    The funny comment made about all those former advisors Hillary Clinton had and now work for Obama, also as advisers, is largely tossed around with every Mainstream Media commentator as Obama makes a great snit against Hillary Clinton. Here, Hillary makes a chuckle and said she would like to hear about that one. Then Obama makes the snit, that he would also like her as an advisor too. Many chuckles from everyone. Here, Hillary had an opportunity to fire back however she didn’t. One could respect Hillary’s silence, yet recognize Obama’s comment as an arrogance of deficiency, leading the country by advisors other than his own vision. Something he always says about change but obviously doesn’t know how or know were he is going. And so clear that’s the funny part.

    But here, most every commentator, Journalist gives Obama the edge about this snit remark. From my prospective Hillary’s comment fired back is on target and shows Obama’s sallow “reasoning”. Many of the electorate in the country don’t realize the only reason Obama won big in Illinois is because he ran against Allen Keyes who scared the day lights out of everyone in the state. The Republicans most likely gave the election specifically to help Obama win. I personally saw Keyes at a rally and am convinced he is way too weird.

    The troubling thing to me is when I talk to many Blacks I hear different responses about Obama’s religion. Obama is supposed to be a Christian. Yet, Obama appears to keep his Islamic name. Well, I wonder about that and how committed is he. Just as he votes present most of the time in the Illinois Senate, is Obama just presently a Christian? If he was baptized why not take a Christian name? Why is he on the fence with his religion? Will he be on the fence with his changes? That’s all I’m asking Barrack Hussein Obama.

    December 23, 2007 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  16. Elaine McKillop, Esq.

    Rebecca, Ron Paul will be the nominee of the Republican party and will be the next president of the United states, so why would he have to run as anything bur a Republican? Remember, our candidate will raise 20 million this quarter, and those Old Media polls, are using out dated information and out dated methods. You folks from the Old Media are a bit slow, just to get you up to speed, we are having a Revolution. Every one is invited, you just have to get with the program, read the Constitution, it's a libertarian manifesto. We are taking our country back with a message for liberty that is being heard around the World. Your misguided ramblings remind us of just how irrelevant you are. l

    December 23, 2007 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  17. Republicae, Charleston, SC

    Strange, did you see the same interview that I saw, because it doesn't seem like you did from your commentary.

    December 23, 2007 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  18. Republicae, Charleston, SC

    I find it interesting that so many seem to either twist or ignore what Dr. Paul says. Concerning "earmarks" he stated that he submits all "earmarks" that come across his desk from his constituents and rightly so, it is his job to represent his constituents however, he also stated that in all his life he has never voted for one "earmark" even those of his constituents. It is amazing that a politician in Washington can maintain his principles and the transparency of his office. I applaud him!

    December 23, 2007 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  19. Jay, Tucson, AZ

    Where do you find the clowns that write your articles? I'd like to hire a few for my son's birthday party. Hopefully I can find one with better grammar skills, though. I'd hate to set a bad example for the young ones.

    December 23, 2007 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  20. Republicae, Charleston, SC

    Matt said: “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.”

    Obviously Matt, you haven’t read very much. I suggest you go to the Ron Paul Library, there is absolutely no vagueness in the positions that Dr. Paul takes or the policies he advocates.

    December 23, 2007 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  21. Kyle, Huntsville Alabama

    As much as you try this will all blow up in your faces when Ron Paul wins. You can't stop people from thinking for themselves.

    December 23, 2007 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  22. Republicae, Charleston, SC

    Mike said: “Ron Paul…. a Republican only in name just dug himself a hole if anyone was actually watching him on Meet the Press.”

    Mike, let’s look at what the real Republicans look like…take a look at the 1952 Republican Party Platform..tell me who it sounds like: Ron Paul or the other so-called “republicans”.

    1952 Republican Party Platform excerpt:

    “We maintain that man was not born to be ruled, but that he consented to be governed; and that the reasons that moved him thereto are few and simple. He has voluntarily submitted to government because, only by the establishment of just laws, and the power to enforce those laws, can an orderly life be maintained, full and equal opportunity for all be established, and the blessings of liberty be perpetuated.

    We hold that government, and those entrusted with government, should set a high example of honesty, of justice, and unselfish devotion to the public good; that they should labor to maintain tranquility at home and peace and friendship with all the nations of the earth.”

    December 23, 2007 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  23. Brian, Los Angeles, CA


    Do you just pick and chose any words so you can do a nice slander job, or do you not know any better? Either way, you don't belong in the New Media. I am appalled by your "reporting." Would you put the weasel word in any other candidate article? If you are going to quote Paul voting against the Civil Rights Act, why don't you do yourself a favor and explain why he did it.

    There are things I would like to say to you, but I won't because I would go to your level or writing. You should be ashamed of yourself

    December 23, 2007 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  24. Bob Ficalora Montauk NY

    I incorporated a new political party in 2005 using a Charter under the laws of the State of Washington – The Republican Democracy Party (RDP). I have since gotten two trademarks for the party: "Democratic Republican" and "The Democratic-Republican Party" both of which are now ready to be used.

    The beauty of the idea is the RDP Charter and plan – to hold quarterly caucuses in the precincts followed by state legislative district assemblies restricted to caucus participants.

    The charter can be reviewed at

    The Ron Paul campaign can run with this program. I have attempted to approach him in the past. There is no force more powerful in our constitutional republic than the resolve of the people assembled. I believe that we can create that force behind Ron Paul!

    December 23, 2007 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  25. TO Crow Lyman, SC

    If you want to know what Paul said on the Russert program, all you have to do is go to and watch the program. Then you won't have to be mad at the reporter for his article.

    December 23, 2007 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
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