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. John, California

    Dr.Paul said we should have abolished slavery peacefully like every other country.

    " the slaves and release them. How much would that cost compared to killing 600,000 Americans and where it lingered for 100 years?"

    December 24, 2007 03:37 am at 3:37 am |
  2. Tim

    This is a pretty bad respresentation of the actual interview. Watch it on YouTube yourself to get a better idea.

    December 24, 2007 03:44 am at 3:44 am |
  3. John, California

    This headline in incredibly misleading. Shame on you Rebecca Sinderbrand. Also, adding the word "weasel" and crossing it out; Classy.

    Readers please check out the full interview on youtube.

    December 24, 2007 03:45 am at 3:45 am |
  4. Glen, Arp, Texas

    I thought that Dr. Pauls idea of paying for the slaves instead of having a Civil War that cost this country 600,000 dead was spot on.
    If you do any research you would know that the Civil War wasn't about slavery any way, It was about States Rights vs a centralized government.

    December 24, 2007 04:29 am at 4:29 am |
  5. dk

    Though I do find myself agreeing with some of what Mr. Paul says it is far outweighed by the things I disagree with. I hear him talk about abolishing Social Security and Medicare. I'm just curious if he were to do that what happens to all the money we have put into the system for years? Does he refund it? DO we just lose it? What happens Ron?

    It's easy to say lets abolish this program and that program but that fixes nothing. How does he make reparations to the trillions of dollars working people have put into those systems? Lets have some real answers Mr. Paul. I've paid in for years and if it gets abolished then I want a refund and I don't think that is too much to ask. I'd love to know how he pulls that off without bankrupting the country.

    December 24, 2007 05:14 am at 5:14 am |
  6. Nick, Los Angeles CA

    Whether or not you support Ron Paul, and I'm sure many many journalists do not, when you continue to lie about and misrepresent him, you only legitimize his campaign and make his followers more fervent.

    The Meet the Press appearance was on national television for goodness sake! Do you honestly think it's so obscure that you can simply say whatever you want about it and that no one will notice that you're deliberately and blatantly distorting it, or is it that you feel the American public is so stupid as to not be able to watch the interview themselves and actually comprehend what was said?

    December 24, 2007 05:32 am at 5:32 am |
  7. Todd Seible

    This article is biased!

    You Mis-Quote the Congressman!!

    Dr. Paul said wiggle.. over a non-issue, and you scratched through the word weasel. How sad you are!

    Your show lack of integrity as a journalist with this article.. so sad.

    Ron Paul is a man who votes No on any bill that is against the Constitution.

    This voting record is real.. and if you understand the Constitution you would know this!

    Please Read the Constitution!

    Dr. Ron Paul served 5 years in the military as a surgeon, a 10 term Congressman, and has delivered over 4000 Babies!

    He is a man of great Integrity and has been in public service for 25 years.

    Please dont disrespect a true patriot with misquotes and half truths!

    As a journalist.. you should honor the oath you took, and have some of your own integrity!

    December 24, 2007 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  8. Gary, Oshkosh, WI

    Dear Rebecca, Just remember one thing when your writing your articles on people or things you don't agree with. 1. "What goes around comes around" and your day is coming......"Thou Shall Not Lie"

    December 24, 2007 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  9. JB Boston MA

    As I said last week, MTP will determine the men from the boys. Paul is a toddler.

    All you Paul fans are mistaking the message for the messenger. The message is a good one. Unfortunately, the messenger is incapable of putting two coherent sentences together.

    December 24, 2007 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  10. Darryl Schmitz

    Major polling organizations and major media, you need to do some SERIOUS soul-searching. Your soul.. you know, that thing you sold to the devil.

    December 24, 2007 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  11. Terry, El Paso, TX

    I say, "Go, Paul, go." A third party on the Conservative side will split the Republican vote a little and help more rational candidates to be elected. However, I suspect that Paul will be persuaded that splitting the right-wing nut vote is contrary to his own interests.

    December 24, 2007 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  12. Cody Harding, Kinsley, KS

    I keep hearing the phrase 'Wake Up' associated with the Ron Paul 'Devolution', yet all of his supporters seem to be asleep.

    Because you have to be asleep to believe the version of the American Dream they're pedaling. His financial policies would make our current economy seem utopian, his foreign policy would get a positive grin from the Tokugawas, the Caliphates, and the Roman Empire from earlier years. Oh, and wait until he destroys the federal reserve and the Board of Education. With the FBI in close behind, because he doesn't want a 'government policing everything'.

    Go ahead and vote for him. I, however, will vote for reason.

    December 24, 2007 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  13. JB Boston MA

    All of you Paul supporters are a joke!

    So, let me get this straight. The North was supposed to simply offer to buy all the slaves in order to stop slavery. Slavery was legal! The south did not want to sell their slaves. How would the farms function?

    Idiotic! It would have enabled slavery to exist for many many more years. And not like it existed thru the mid 1900's. We would have continued to use slaves for many more years before a) the North had the money to buy the slaves b) The South would allow something like that c) The people of the South would recognize blacks as being free.

    The United States cannot be compared to other european countries because we were so reliant on slavery. And, there was a true belief that blacks were inferior. And, there was a great divide between the North and South, with the South being very concerned about what the North was up to.

    This guy said we should do away with Public Schools.

    Legalization of ALL drugs. He clarifies that by saying he thinks drugs are bad and teaches his children that they are bad. Good for his children, but what about the children that don't have hands on parents???????

    Again, the message of small federal government and strong state governments is a great message. This guy is a kook!

    What is most amusing with all of this, if a Ron Paul fan addresses my post (which I doubt anyway) they won't address the issues I bring up. Because they cannot address issues. They mention the macro view (small federal government, sticking to constitution) but never explain how to actually implement that. Why? Because you can't! Paul tried yesterday and failed miserably!


    December 24, 2007 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  14. Phil Memphis, TN

    Such honest is refreshing? So if i honestly say I would stand by and watch while Americans are abused and just "let the situation work itself out", that is refreshing? This guy is either crazy as a loon, or, worse yet, the most dangerous threat in the race.

    December 24, 2007 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  15. karissa, santa rosa, ca

    That is one of the worst hit pieces I have seen to date. Watch the video if you haven't yet. This piece misrepresents Paul. Even if you don't agree with everything he says, he speaks the rare truth.

    December 24, 2007 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  16. Nashville, TN

    CNN, thank you for at least correcting the "weasel" issue, and for taking off the sarcastic quotations on the word "eventually" at the end of the article. Putting quotes on that word, as you know, implies that Dr. Paul did not have a solution for quickly ending slavery without a civil war, and he most certainly did. You, however, chose to end the article there, in a poor attempt to smear the good doctor. Shame.

    December 24, 2007 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  17. MS, Jacksonville, FL

    I understand that everybody has their own opinion, but when reporting on an actual interview, your opinion really doesn't matter. Be lucky that I'm not running because I would make the media responsible to the people and not the big corporate interests that you people represent. You and your brethren of terrible journalists should be deported to Antarctica where the only living beings that you can affect are penguins. Go Ron Paul!!! You don't just have to beat the other candidates, you have these people to beat as well.

    December 24, 2007 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  18. John, Ponte Vedra, FL

    Posted by Jon Anderson: "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."

    What you don't understand is that "beating the Dems" in the general election is not our primary goal. Our primary goal is Saving our Republic. Supporting the likes of Romney, Giuliani or McCain aint gonna help us achieve our goal!

    December 24, 2007 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  19. Brad, Stockton, CA

    The trouble is that Americans tend to see only two valid parties with no real differences between the candidates of either. Anyone who runs as neither a democrat or a republican is a serious contender for my vote.

    December 24, 2007 11:00 am at 11:00 am |

    i really hope he does not run as an independant. if he wins the republican nod it would be great. but if he loses then he wont win the independant and he would just take those votes from the democrats. we cannot have another republican in the white house unless it is ron paul.

    December 24, 2007 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  21. Mark, Pasadena, CA

    JB from Boston:

    Brazil had a massive slave population and did not have to go to war to end it. In their case, the geography was inverted – the North used the slaves for sugar cane production while the South was the industrial center. Today, the country with the largest population of African origin is Nigeria, followed by Brazil. Are you saying that the US is less capable than Brazil?

    December 24, 2007 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  22. Brock d'Avignon

    I showed my daughter what Meet the Press used to be in its 60 year retrospective. Honest liberals, not dishonest character assassins like the one who mis-paraphrased virtually every significant point the guest (Ron Paul) made in summaries misquoted everywhere. An executive producer should relook at the broadcast and then fire the hit-piecer; all other media should note the audience response below and call for a re-write of what was really asked and answered in news briefs. Emphasis news.

    December 24, 2007 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  23. Wouldn't you like to know?

    Gee, when did CNN start hiring fourth-graders who flunked Listening 101 to do political blogs? Must be because the public child indoctrination camps are not in session for the annual violation of the separation of church and state called Xmas.

    Go watch the interview and decide for yourself. This article is so incorrect that it belongs in the "fiction" department. My 4-year-old can write better, and he can't write yet!

    December 24, 2007 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  24. Paul Denver, Colorado

    Rebecca Sinderbrand this is a totally unprofessional "article" and is an insult to the standards of journalism.

    Putting the word "Weasel" and crossing it out is a lowlife tactic. Cherry picking out of context and outright slander.

    You should be ashamed. You are clearly biased.

    December 24, 2007 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  25. Michael Spears, Charlottesville, VA

    Who edited this tripe?
    If you are going to go after Dr. Paul, at least use facts.

    December 24, 2007 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
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