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. Vinny, Dale City, Va

    I watched this video! He did not say we would have eventually gotten rid of slavery. He said there were many better options like purchasing their freedom. This entire story is biased, I even know that and I don't plan to vote for him. The constitution was SET UP to be amended because it must be flexible. How could you possibly try to put that in negative light. I have never been more disappointed in CNN.

    December 24, 2007 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  2. Fuzzy - Chicago, IL

    I have a dream, that one day soon, Republicans and Democrats. Independents and Liberterians will be able to join together and vote for a candidate based not on his party affiliation, but by the strength of his character and convictions to uphold, protect, and defend the U.S. Constitution.

    December 24, 2007 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  3. Li, Chillicothe, Ohio

    I watched the video and I think this article is trying to mislead. In my understanding, what Dr. Paul meant was that Civil War was not necessary because other Western Nations have abandoned slavery without going to war.
    Yes, Dr. Paul did not rule out third-party run, but that conclusion should never stand alone without 'with less than 0.01% chance'.

    December 24, 2007 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  4. Jeff, Dallas Texas

    Your article quotes Ron as saying, "I deserve one 'weasel' (then corrected) wiggle now and then, Tim." And THIS is what you call "journalism?!" You are just PROVING Ron's point about the mainstream media's move to fascism with rhetoric as contemptable as this.

    December 24, 2007 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  5. Liz C, Dover NH

    Did you actually go to school for journalism? That was the laziest piece of junk article I have ever read. And it was slanted and inaccurate. Find another job, Rebecca. That stunk.

    December 24, 2007 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  6. Paul Jay

    I don't usually curse but whoever did this is a blanka dee blank blank blank blank.

    You accuse us of being uncivil, yet your lies only push people away from you.

    I will only get my news from the internet from now on.

    Al Jazeria has more credibility then you guys!

    December 24, 2007 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  7. Joanna, Buda Texas

    You guys should be sued. Dr. Paul DID NOT say that "the United States would have gotten rid of slavery eventually". He said that slavery could have been abolished without the cost of 600,000 U.S. Citizens lives. Just as the British did, the U.S. government could have purchased the slaves and then released them. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT! At least TRY to have honest journalism.

    December 24, 2007 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  8. Estelle Edwards, Riverhead, NY

    Some folks on this forum have a poor understanding of the reality of the federal government as it has evolved today. They think the government is there to protect them. Then why is everything breaking down? – schools, the dollar, etc. Better question: how come the government stands in people's way when they try to exercise alternative choices to the status quo? (To Lynn in Reno, Nevada) What exists now is not a federal government that watches out for us. There is a collusion between the government and big business. You can see it with such policies as eminent domain, for example. The problem is a lot of people who have come through the public school system have been fed a lot of misinformation about the Civil War and other key historical events, and you can thank the so-called liberals and progressives for that. So now when people are told the facts that were left out of those history books, they think it's some group trying to practice 'revisionism'. Maybe it would help if people come to grips with the primary purpose of the public school system, and it's not to educate people. The purpose is to indoctrinate them!

    December 24, 2007 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  9. Jon, San Francisco, CA

    Ms. Sinderbrand,

    This article is so heavily biased that it doesn't even pass the giggle test for journalist integrity. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    Ron Paul did not say that the United States would have eventually gotten rid of slavery. He said we should have done what other nations did and simply bought all the slaves, set them free, and then outlawed slavery. This would have avoided a war that cost the lives of 600,000 Americans and seeded resentment that still lasts today between the Northern and Southern states.

    You also misrepresented what he said on every point in your writeup. You do an incredible disservice to the American people, but we know you're just part of the corporatist fascism taking over the country. Luckily, Americans are waking up and this is why Ron Paul is breaking every campaign fundraising record in history.

    December 24, 2007 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  10. David, Shawnee Mission, KS

    This gross misrepresentation of Ron Paul really should be deleted. I am not even a Ron Paul supporter, but I watched the interview on Meet the Press and can't help but notice that this article is completely off the mark. I hate to agree with Paul's people, but they're right, it's a biased piece.

    December 24, 2007 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  11. Jake, Vail Co

    This is really the most relevant part of Paul's interview. 100,000 Meetup Supporters, 100,000 Myspace friends, 125,000 donors, 10 million raised between 2 days this quarter and you want to know... if he's going to switch parties?

    December 24, 2007 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  12. reagan2008

    Thank you for your biased hate-filled post, Rebecca. Maybe you should listen more closely though.

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

    Ron Paul never said, "eventually." What he did say was this: (Paraphrased)

    Lincoln's solution to the problem got a lot of people killed. In Europe, slavery was ended without wars. The government could have offered a peaceful solution. He then suggested that we could have followed the model of some European nations, where the government bought (and immediately freed) all of the slaves, providing the slaveowners with a cash infusion that would help them to afford a transition to employing people to do the same work.

    He didn't propose that America should've waited for slavery to end on its own. He said that the way we ended it was not ideal, and he was correct.

    Is it better to end slavery by killing thousands of Americans, or without anyone having to die?

    Furthermore it wasn't even the slave owners who died in the Civil War for the most part, it was the poor whites, blacks, and even some of those slaves we were fighting to save who were gunned down for the cause.

    Slavery could've been ended without waiting and without killing. THAT is what Ron Paul believes.

    December 24, 2007 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  13. William A, Cedar Rapids, IA

    Whoever wrote this article should seriously consider returning to journalism school (assuming that he/she went at all). I'm an undecided, but I watched the interview and I thought Dr. Paul had some good things to say and justified some very difficult positions.

    I've always felt that the Political Ticker is a bit simplistic and trite, but really CNN folks? Really?

    The discrepancies between the interview and the article are apparent to anyone who has seen both. It'll be a real shame if this article influences those who didn't get a chance to see the real deal this morning but had to read this pathetic write-up instead.

    This will the last time I visit this page.

    December 24, 2007 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  14. Jake, San Diego CA

    His supporters can crow about Ron Paul, but on Meet the Press we saw the real man. He speaks against corruption and then rationalizes his use of earmarks for his district. He waffles just like John Kerry as well on a whole host of issues that Russert brought up. He says he loves the Constitution and is a strict constructionist, but then thinks it is fine to advocate amending the Constitution in the places where he doesn't like it. Ron Paul's whole agenda is set up to let corrupt corporations have free reign, and reduce this great country to corrupt fiefdoms like in Afghanistan where warloads hold the power because there isn't a government strong enough to deal with them. Ron Paul has a terrible vision for this nation. It was tried under the Articles of Confederation and failed. It was a civil and economic disaster for our new nation. That is why we have a Constitution that advocates a strong federal government. We need power in both the states and the federal government, not just in the states. Local control will just bring local tyranny.
    Posted By Lynn, Reno, NV : December 23, 2007 1:37 pm

    Amending the Constitution is constitutional. So I don't see how that isn't strictly constitutional.

    As far as earmarks, how would you feel if you paid taxes and got none of the money you paid in return? Paul doesn't support the system but he still has to represent his district, that is what a congressman's job is, to represent the people, not do what's best for yourself.

    Turn a blind eye to the truth if you want but this is the only candidate that will speak it whether you like what you're hearing or not.

    I'd much rather vote for a man who won't pander for my vote than just another phony who makes empty promises and then does whatever he or she wants. At least you know what one of them will do.

    December 24, 2007 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  15. reagan2008

    To Lynn (Reno):

    Regarding Earmarks: Ron Paul puts the earmarks in because as a congressman, he believes he has a duty to represent his district. He also votes against the earmarks he puts in.

    Regarding the Constitution: Amendments are part of the constitution. Our founding fathers had the foresight to see that we may have to alter the document as times changed and wrote a procedure in to do so. It is perfectly within the strict construction of the constitution to advocate for an amendment. What is NOT okay is to "reinterpret" the constitution "in light of modern times." Ron Paul also advocates a repeal of the income tax amendment. Russert was really reaching on that question and came out looking like a fool for asking it.

    "Ron Paul's whole agenda is set up to let corrupt corporations have free reign"
    Ron Paul is against corporate welfare. Lobbyists don't even bother visiting Ron Paul's office at the Capitol, because they know he can't be bought. It is the "regulators" and those who want the government to micro-manage the economy who are in the pockets of big-business. Large corporations don't want a truly free-market, as that would force them to actually compete. Through regulations they can limit competition and create a barrier to entry that ultimately leads to you receiving inferior products and services.

    Your comment about the Articles of Confederation and such is just entirely ludicrous and I had a lot of trouble controlling my laughter. However, I would like to point out that if local control leads to local tyranny (which we already have with such fun concepts as eminent domain), then what stops Centralized federal control from leading to national tyranny?

    Protect your freedoms. Keep the government out of your life. You will be a happier person if the government stopped trying to micromanage and just worried about protecting your rights.

    December 24, 2007 02:00 am at 2:00 am |


    December 24, 2007 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  17. thegreatland

    This article and the Meet the Press interview were total hitpieces! SHAME!

    Logic is lost on some people.
    Join Dr. Paul – the leading Republican fundraising candidate, recently named a Time magazine "Person of the Year," and the only candidate from ANY party who will tell us exactly when he will end the war.
    Others have done fabulous jobs of refuting much of the allegations regarding race. As Ron Paul will tell you, liberty knows no color.

    I want to address the issue of Dr. Paul's earmarks for his district. First, you must realize that Dr. Paul does not vote for unbalanced budgets, nor tax increases, nor even salary increases for himself. If we had more of this type of principled leadership, we wouldn't have such a problem in Washington.

    While Paul opposes taxes, he realizes, unlike Tim Russert and some of the couch potato pundits here, that his district pays taxes. Dr. Paul inserts earmarks into spending bills in an effort to get the taxes his district paid BACK to his district. Its his way of creating a temporary fix until YOU realize how good he could be for the United States. I plead with you... please don't be misled by those who marginalize Dr. Paul. He has principle. What's so wrong about that?

    Join Dr. Paul – the leading Republican fundraising candidate, recently named a Time magazine "Person of the Year," and the only candidate from ANY party who will tell us exactly when he will end the war.

    Google Ron Paul with key words: "Hope for America" "john stewart" and "franklin pierce" for some great HONEST coverage of Dr. Paul

    December 24, 2007 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  18. Chris, Boston MA

    For those who are bashing Ron Paul, please just take a look at his voting record and read what he has actually said throughout the 20 years he's spent in Congress. Compare his voting record and speeches made by the candidate you are thinking of voting for. I wouldn't ask if I hadn't done the same.

    December 24, 2007 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
  19. Tony, Mpls, MN.

    People must realize that the civil war wasn't as much about slavery as it was about European bankers wanting to destroy the US by dividing it.

    The US didn't have a central bank like the federal reserve at the time and were a prosperous country. The financial powers of Europe, namely the Rothschilds couldn't allow our country to continue or it would threaten the international bankers domination of the worlds money.

    Here are two interesting quotes. One from Lincoln about slavery, the other by Otto von Bismark on the European bankers and our civil war.

    “My paramount objective is to save the Union and it is not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it.”
    –Abraham Lincoln.

    “The division of the United States into federations of equal force was decided long before the Civil War by the high financial powers of Europe. These bankers were afraid that the United States, if they remained as one block and as one nation would attain economic and financial independence, which would upset their financial domination over the world.
    –Otto von Bismark

    December 24, 2007 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
  20. Ron Ferrara

    How we twist and turn and only show what CNN wants to show to fill their agenda. what sham of reporting this columist should be fired! She is probably a Hillary supporter. And it shows.
    Ron Ferrara
    Crown Point, Indiana

    December 24, 2007 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
  21. John Boyer

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

    that is not what he said. eventually? he proposed that there were other methods to get rid of slavery. why not state that.

    and you people were going to spin his answer for running again no matter what. If he said he wouldn't and he did, you would call him a hypocrite. If he said he wouldn't run no matter what, it would be an "early" message to his supporters that he wouldn't follow through or consider running, despite the odds and their support.. If he leaves a small "wiggle room" its that he "refused" to rule out the possibility. Refused? Paul new exactly what you people were trying to do.

    and lets be serious, the only reason this question KEEPS being posed in nearly EVERY interview (ITS ALREADY BEEN ASKED, WHY DO YOU KEEP ASKING IT IF YOU DONT HAVE AN ANGLE?) is to assert that he doesn't have a chance, giving reason for doubt with potential supporters. its not so much a question as it is an accusation.

    your use of colorful language must have garnered an A+ in english.

    December 24, 2007 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  22. Grinch in America

    While I'm not on the Ron Paul bandwagon yet – I watched Meet the Press and what Ron Paul said was:

    "The Civil War was unnecessary BECAUSE it did not have to be fought in the 1st place. INSTEAD in Paul's opinion there was a better option which would have not only saved 100,000s of lives but would have ended up costing less in the long run as well!! He proposed that all of the slaves could have been purchased and then given their freedom. Lincoln allowed the tensions to build up to the point where the South felt war was the only option – without his even trying to offer them other alternatives!!! - He feels Lincoln was as inexperienced as obambi 😉 "

    Word has it that if Obama doesn't get the Dem nod that he will declare himself Independent2 and run with Bloomberg... (He wants to be in the White House soooo bad.)

    December 24, 2007 03:13 am at 3:13 am |
  23. dave, salina, ks


    December 24, 2007 03:21 am at 3:21 am |
  24. The Grinch in America

    Uh joze46 you wrote a very insightful comment about obambi – but whoops it posted in the wrong topic 🙂

    does that sometimes...

    December 24, 2007 03:22 am at 3:22 am |
  25. D Montoya, El Paso, TX

    If its any of the front runners I hope you do run Ron. Try hooking up with Hagel another progressive REAL republican... What a ticket....

    December 24, 2007 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
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