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. David, Arlington VT

    "Paul also contended that the Civil War had been unnecessary because the United States would have gotten rid of slavery eventually."

    This statement is libel. It is a malicious distortion of Ron Paul's views. Fix it. He said they should have paid for the slaves and then set them free, as Britain had, instead of starting a war that took 600,000 lives.

    Because of this slander, you should fix this as well:

    "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."

    First of all you make it sound like he is the one that brought it up. Should be: "When asked about the Civil Rights Act..." Further, why not be honest and state he was against certain parts of the act that invaded private property rights, instead of leaving room for readers to think he might be racist. Ron Paul rejects racism whole heartedly. It is reprehensible that you could let one of your "journalist" slander an honest man like this.

    As for one of the comments above, Ron Paul is the only one who can beat Hillary or any other Democrat for that matter.

    December 23, 2007 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  2. M Fisher of Clarkston, MI

    The entire interview (~30 minutes) is up on YouTube. If you want news, watch it yourself.

    Articles like this one communicate zero genuine information other than how the writer's boss currently feels about the candidate.

    December 23, 2007 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  3. Fabian, Brooklyn NY

    wow .. what a twist of the words and meanings of the real interview...what a hit piece ... go and watch the real interview ... idk who put weasel in there that's retarded ... and no Dr. Paul isn't racist and against the civil rights act and the civil war ... he said things could have been done more sensibly ... every other country in the world got rid of slavery without having the go to war over it

    December 23, 2007 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  4. Jesse, Redmond, WA

    Nice Hit Piece CNN. Way to totally mis-represent what Ron Paul said on MTP. He didn't say eventually, he was pointing out there were other ways to end slavery without all of the dying.

    December 23, 2007 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  5. Dale Legan

    "Ron Paul says the civil war was unecessary because the US would have gotten rid of slavery eventually." This is inaccurate. He said the US should have bought the slaves and freed them like Europe and not killed 600,000 Americans and divide the country for a hundred years by the war of Northern Agression.

    His position would have ended slavery sooner without the war and hate. You made this quote up or have a serious hearing problem.

    by the way Months ago in the Washington Post Ron Paul said he wanted Walter Williams for VP.. Walter Williams is black. Nice try...

    December 23, 2007 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  6. Adam, Milwaukee WI

    I don't normally reply to internet blogs/stories, but this one proves that anyone can become a journalist. I watched the same interview and you forget to include Paul's argument points, which are essential to understanding his viewpoints on the issues discussed on Meet the Press. This is just really lazy journalism.

    December 23, 2007 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  7. DF Nathaniel Sand Lake, MI

    Spinning wheel, go to go 'round, I guess. When a candidate draws support from Americans across the board, who cares about his stats among GOP likelies. And who cares about spin pieces like this? He's the only true antiwar candidate. Meanwhile he's got the military voters. They know he doesn't view them as pawns on his global chess board. If the media actually let him present his platform (rather than defend out of context quotes from the 80s), he'd have a landslide victory. As it is, he might just make it to the Oval Office despite battling the Perpetual War Propagandists!

    December 23, 2007 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  8. Steven

    This is an absolutely abysmal piece of reporting, from a so-called reputable news source.

    He didn't say eventually, he proposed a peaceful alternative to the bloodiest war in American history like every other nation was able to do.

    I strongly encourage anyone with interest to youtube the interview and see for yourself the truth. This is just a hit piece.

    December 23, 2007 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  9. Zac, Wilmington NC

    Holy God this is perhaps the worst excuse for an article I have ever read in the history of reading articles! What the hell is wrong with people that write things like this? This is THE MOST SLANTED, BIASED, WRONG ARTICLE I HAVE EVER SEEN. How the heck does the author have a job? Seriously? If you actually WATCHED the interview this morning you would realize how WRONG this article is. It just makes me laugh and the obvious bias in the media at this point, it makes them seem realllllly stupid.

    December 23, 2007 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  10. david, fort wayne, indiana

    Hats off to Dr Paul for once again effectively confronting a hostile media talking head. How laughable that Mr Russert imagines that wanting to amend the Constitution makes one a non-Constitutionalist! Is he this stupid? Or does he think his listeners are? Russert was clearly in way over his head, and resorted to talking over Dr Paul in order (I suppose) to appear to have the upper hand. Newflash, Tim...Dr Paul ruled and you came across as a waterboy for the status quo. A giant was in your midst, and you had not the sense to realize it!

    December 23, 2007 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  11. Greg, Barrington, IL

    It is the ability of candidates such as Paul to get substantial support that is the really scary thing about the American consciousness, its level of decency and sense of justice. There is this huge portion of American people that are ready at a moment's notice to reject all the hard-fought progress we have made concerning the rejection of barbarism and savagery that lurks just beneath the surface of most conservative's beliefs. What a contradiction we are to support equality and justice (supposedly) and yet embrace the traditional attitudes of our Jim Crow era fathers..

    December 23, 2007 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  12. Lee

    I did not see the interview today with Meet the Press, but I remember Rep. Ron Paul completely avoiding the question when asked during one of the debates if he would endorse the Republican nominee if it wasn't him.

    I hope that Rep. Paul does not try to run as a 3rd party candidate. The fact is that the last two Presidents started there administrations with less than 50% of the popular vote as a result of Ross Perot and Ralph Nadar. The legacy of that has been a divisiveness that seems to have no end in site. If you can not win in the primary, how can you win the general election when you have to please the whole nation instead of just one party? I am glad to see Rep. Paul in the race, but hope he accepts the will of the people and drops out if he doesn't translate that money into votes in the primaries. Otherwise we are domed to 4 or 8 more years of bitterness in America.

    December 23, 2007 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  13. Pastor Marvin, Indiana

    I am a black minister with a congregation of over 500 people and one of my members mentioned to watch the Meet the Press interview with Presidential hopeful, Ron Paul, and after church, they had a copy of the interview they recorded on a DVD and played it in front of nearly the entire church while we enjoyed our post-Sunday service meal. I find this characterization of Ron Paul to be quite absurd by not only the questions issued by Tim Russert, but after reading the news articles such as CNN, I am convinced that our media are the ultimate sinners by misrepresentation. This next Sunday, I plan on giving a speech to support Ron Paul and I challenge the IRS or any governing agency to strip away our non-profit status because I will lead the charge to the streets in my community. We have seen enough of the destruction of the United States by elected demagogues while each year they promise us another solution but fails to even scratch the surface to that of such a fine distinguished man in Ron Paul. I pray everyday for Dr. Paul's safety as it is a very rare time in our history when men like him and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr who come to our nation to teach us tolerance, love, and integrity.

    December 23, 2007 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  14. Walt, Belton, TX

    He'd even be willing to pull a Perot and turn the election into a minority Presidency so another "Clinton" could get elected. Not worthy of supporting such a fiasco again and Perot was a smart man. Can't say the same about Paul.

    December 23, 2007 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  15. Bryan, Denver, CO


    Amending the constitution is a built in constitutional process for changing thinks that you "don't like" about the constitution, or to be more accurate that are not working as the founders intended. Someone advocating the use of this process (Which, by the way, has been done on several occasions in the past) is not anti-constitutional. Perhaps, it would sever you well to do some more studying of the constitution before criticizing a candidate's position on it?

    Anyway, arbitrarily making changes on a whim because you're the President is the problem. One that none of the other candidates even care to address. Ron Paul understands the need for the balance between federal and state power, that's why he's not advocating a return to the Articles and is a constitutionalist. The key part of that word is "constitution."

    What seems to have escaped you is that there is no balance between power between the states and the federal government. The Federal government has all of the power. You can't take a medicine made in your state, that your state has legalized, and that your doctor prescribed you in your state if the Fedgov doesn't approve.

    December 23, 2007 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  16. Archie, Madison, WI

    What I find very odd, is that the author, Rebecca Sinderbrand, seems to share many of Ron Paul's stances on issues.

    Primarily, I point to this article she wrote concerning Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza:

    I would have hoped that Rebecca would have taken the time to read up on the target of her attack, Ron Paul, before spewing such stilted nonsense.

    My suggestion, to her, would be to read Ron Paul's issue stances on . After that, I would suggest googling "Ron Paul", filtering through the rabid support and opposition, and learn the "Real" Ron Paul.

    I would also suggest, very much, watching the "Candidates@Google" interview, which can be found here:


    December 23, 2007 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  17. Bob Tanchero

    Hey Rebecca Sinderbrand, are you purposefully leaving out Dr Paul's explanation for why he did not like the Civil Rights Act? Paul criticized the Civil Rights Act because it is a clear violation of private property rights. You left this out of your article. Perhaps to insinuate that Dr Paul is a racist? That's a very cheap shot. Dr Paul literally said, "This is a private property issue... it has nothing to do with race." Your piece is very misleading, and you should be ashamed. I hope your editors catch wind of this.

    December 23, 2007 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  18. Phil

    December 23, 2007 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  19. Will Pitts

    Dr. Paul refers to European solution to end slavery

    In the interview with Tim Russert, Dr. Paul referred to the successful method of ending slavery in Europe.

    Judge Andrew Napolitano also speaks of this in his book Constitution in Exile. In order to abolish slavery, Lincoln was presented with a solution that would prevent war. This method was successfully utilized by the governments in Europe without war. They purchased (justly compensated) the slaves from the slave owners and then gave the slaves their freedom. The European governments then outlawed slavery.

    The cost of this purchase by the US Government would have been insignificant as compared with cost of funding the Civil War and the loss of American lives.

    During the Civil war, many southern civilians that had no part in the war, other than living in the south, and did not own slaves, had their homes burned to the ground and their entire life savings taken from them during the looting of southern banks by the US Army. As a result, many southerners developed a deep seated resentment and unfortunately much of it focused against our black brethren. The tremendous loss of life and property and the unconstitutional acts committed under Lincoln’s administration against southern civilians were the root cause of the bad race relations between the southerners and blacks.

    But 140 years later...I would have to ask Russert, "What does this have to do with the price of tea in China?"

    December 23, 2007 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  20. J. Francisco, Yakima, WA

    Ron Paul appologist are NUTTY!

    One is free to hold on to his/her opinion, but people do not have free reign wiggle/weasel with facts! [facts/truth: universaly/majority accepted and respected "worldly" truths, empirical information]

    December 23, 2007 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  21. Will Pitts, Jacksonville, FL

    Russert asked "Who in Israel wants to attack Iran?"

    Excerpt from "US Must Reevaluate Its Relationship With Israel"
    by Scott Ritter(UN Weapons inspector) written December 17, 2007 has the answer Dr. Paul was looking for.

    "The statements by Israeli officials concerning the recent National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran and its nuclear program are perhaps the best manifestation of this reality. Avi Dichter, Israel's public security minister, has condemned the NIE as a flawed document, and in terms that link the American analysis to a cause-and-effect cycle that could lead the Middle East down the path of regional war. Like many Israelis, including the prime minister, Dichter disagrees with the American NIE on Iran, in particular the finding that Iran ceased its nuclear weapons program in 2003. The Israelis hold that this program is still active, despite the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has reached a conclusion similar to the NIE's based upon its own exhaustive inspection activities inside Iran over the past five years.

    In threatening the world with war because America opted for once to embrace fact instead of fiction, Israel, sadly, has become like a cornered beast, lashing out at any and all it perceives to threaten its security interests. The current Israeli definition of what constitutes its security interests is so broad as to preclude any difference of opinion. Israel's shameless invocations of the Holocaust to defend its actions not only shames the memory of those murdered over 60 years ago, but ironically dilutes the impact of that memory by linking it with current policies that are cruel and intolerant. The message of Holocaust remembrance should be "never again," not just in terms of the persecution of Jews, but in terms of man's inhumanity to man. The birth of the Israeli state, as imperfect and controversial as it was, served as a foundation for the pursuit of tolerance. However, Israel's current policies, rooted in ethnic and religious hatred, are the antithesis of tolerance."

    December 23, 2007 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  22. Paul, Tampa, FL


    Nothing will make a Democratic victory more secure than for this crazy Texan to split out the fiscal conservatives from the sanctimonious, racist and xenophobic conservatives.

    December 23, 2007 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  23. Allen, Atlanta, GA

    Incredible! The media is absolutely determined to keep this guy's campaign alive. Tom Tancredo had to drop out of the race last week because the media was successful at "starving" his campaign. Why? Because he had a "politically incorrect" message. But because Ron Paul trashes the Iraq war
    effort and the nation's foreign policy in general, the media showers him with accolades and keeps his campaign alive artifically. If the Tancredo campaign
    had gotten one third the publicity Ron Paul and his nutty supporters have received, not only would he still be in the race, but he would probably be polling near the top. I hate it when the media abuses its role as gatekeeper in order to further its own biased agenda. In order to break into the top tier of American politics, you have to be a "media darling" (either the right rhetoric, the right hair,
    or the right pedigree). And this is reflected in the sorry group of "frontrunners" in both parties. I wonder if we dumb media consumers will ever wise up and start doing our own thinking instead of relying on the Anderson Cooper and Bill O'Reilly types to do it for us.

    December 23, 2007 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  24. Jim, Kansas City, MO

    Lynn, the main problem with your comment is that corupt corporations already have free reign. The Federal goverment does very little about corporations expoitation of consumers as that is where are large portion of campaign contributions come from. And how can you possibly assume reducing federal involvement in our daily lives will drive this country into fiefdoms? You still have law enforcement. Laws will still be enforced. Leave the fear mongering to the Bush administration.

    Besides, the only reason the warlords have such influence in Afghanistan is due to us driving out the Taliban. As much as you may dislike their extreme religious beliefs, it is those beliefs that kept the opium trade under control. We removed that control and now the opium business flourishes.

    You best re-read the Constitution as well. It doesn't even come close to supporting a strong federal government, if fact just the opposite. It was written to keep federal govenment out of our lives.

    Ignorance is a poison.

    December 23, 2007 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  25. Mick, Los Angeles, CA

    Dr. Ron Paul is the only candidate that can SAVE the United States of America. Most people, even the intelligent ones, do not fully understand the problems we face. If most people did understand the problems with our government today, more and more Libertarians would be in office, not Democrats or Republicans. Ron Paul has a wonderfully optimistic vision for our country. I support it 110%. In order to help you understand better, read "Restoring the American Dream" by Robert J. Ringer, or "Constitutional Chaos" by Andrew P. Napolitano. We are being forced to pay unconstitutional taxes, forced to fight unconstitutional wars, and provoking foreign radicals causing terrorism. We have to stop the fascism and socialism and vote for Libertarians or main party candidates that have the same platform as Dr. Paul. If Dr. Paul does not win this election, may God have mercy on us all.

    December 23, 2007 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
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