February 9th, 2008
12:30 PM ET
15 years ago

Paul rules out third party bid, phasing back campaign

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/09/art.rpcpac.ap.jpg caption="Rep. Ron Paul speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday."]
(CNN) - It's perhaps the most Shermanesque statement Ron Paul has ever issued concerning the potential he'll run as a third party candidate.

"I am a Republican, and I will remain a Republican," Paul wrote in a letter to supporters posted on his Web site. "I am committed to fighting for our ideas within the Republican Party, so there will be no third party run."

But the Texas congressman, who has shocked the political world with his grassroots fundraising success and army of devoted supporters, vowed to press on with his campaign, while acknowledging the chances of a brokered convention are "nearly zero."

"But that does not affect my determination to fight on, in every caucus and primary remaining, and at the convention for our ideas, with just as many delegates as I can get," her wrote.

But Paul, who has had trouble converting his grassroots energy into support at the ballot box, revealed he's making cuts to his field staff, and indicated he will shift much of his attention to his home district and the reelection race he faces there.

"If I were to lose the primary for my congressional seat, all our opponents would react with glee, and pretend it was a rejection of our ideas. I cannot and will not let that happen," he said.

- CNN Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Ron Paul
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Kathy from PA

    How unfortunate that CNN decides to give Mr. Paul coverage now.

    Shame on you for your blatant blacout of his entire campaign.

    You will reap what you sow, and wonder if it was all worth it.

    February 9, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  2. Tom Wittmann


    You write:

    "Ok, yeah, Obama is a nice guy and appeals to the "multitudes", but what can he really do for US? I've heard alot of rhetoric, but nothing substinative"

    Whats about Hillary ??

    She speaks about a plan without any definition and funding support, stating that it
    offers coverage to 100% of Americans and Obama's does not. She does not know how to enforce it and I suspect that her real goal is to implement free
    healthcare paid by taxes similar to the disastrouus Canadian OHIP, which is abused by many and other flock across the border to get a decent medical attention.

    Factually, neither Obamas is defined nor funding supported, but it is outrageous
    that Hillary continues to propagate the falsety that it does not offer coverage to all!!
    IT OFFERS IT TO 100%, but does not impose it to whom does not want it and states that the latter will have to pay for any emergency asistance.

    The only way to achieve obligatory universal coverage is make it obligatory and pay for it by deductions from salary and other income, as in Germany.and many other countries. But as Ameicans does not want such, Hillary does not consider it!


    February 9, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  3. John, Milwaukee, WI

    Ron Paul, I sincerely wish you were the Republican nominee, as I would vote for you; I am an Independent.

    I do not believe, however, that your continued presence in this race does anything more than waste your supporters money.

    Go back to Texas and win your seat in Congress; perhaps, having highlighted the importance of the CONSTITUTION during your campaign, you may have awakened some Americans and you might just have a few more allies in Congress now...

    McCain is toast and will never be elected...

    February 9, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  4. Dennis Burns

    It's great to see the support that Dr. Paul has from all sections of America. I agree that when the Republican party left it's conservative roots it handed the election to the Dems. John McCain couldn't beat anyone that the Dems had up. But the real message from the Paul campaign is that this is the beginning of a revolution to take back the party and America, and not just in Washington, but in city halls, and town councils and state houses and in Congress. One man alone can not change the world, but with the inspiration of Dr. Paul, we will see a flood of conservative citizens running for partisan offices nationwide in the coming months and years. This is more than just a presidential campaign focused on one man, it is the beginning of a movement for freedom and it has only just begun. Check and see the bent of the Republican party in a couple of years and it will make the Reagan years look like a bunch of new dealers. Americans are sick of wasting money and losing civil freedoms to a bunch of self-serving hypocrites. Change is coming and many will be taken to task for they're actions.

    February 9, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  5. Dwain

    Wow the media decides to report on Ron Paul in long time. I am writing in Ron Paul's name even if he doesn't get the nominee. Everyone else should do the same! McCain is just as bad as the dems. We will have another four years of disaster and there will most likely be a draft so, Kids be prepared for this. Thousands of more american troop will die in these wars ahead of us. Our economy is going to crash so lets be prepared for this too. So buy your gold and silver now because the dollar is no longer going to be worth anything anymore. I am also refusing to get a national I.D. Card and you guys should do the same, no it doesn't mean we're terrorists or convicts or Illigals it means we are American Citezens fighting for our liberties.

    CNN thanks for finally reporting on Ron Paul it really made a difference!

    Give me liberty or give me death

    February 9, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  6. ben

    "But that does not affect my determination to fight on, in every caucus and primary remaining, and at the convention for our ideas, with just as many delegates as I can get," her wrote.

    Should be he wrote, not her wrote

    February 9, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  7. Willie McGill

    Senator Obama says he wants to help people. However, during Senator Obama's tenure as Illinois State Representative and U.S. Senator, Senator Obama has not helped the status of Negroes. In Chicago, an overwhelmingly percentage of African Americans are high school drops. In Chicago, African Americans are experiencing high unemployment. If Senator Obama has not helped African Americans, how is he doing to offer hope to Anglos, Hispanics and other Americans?

    February 9, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  8. chuck

    "have a clear conservative — a clear, strict interpretation of the Constitution of the United States, then you don't have to worry about what their decisions will be, because it's pretty obvious that people who strictly interpret the Constitution of the United States are worthy of our confidence."

    Should this be the standard to be a PRESIDENT..then it should be clear that Ron Paul is the only canadate that fits that standard

    February 9, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  9. I Used To Be A Democrat

    Dear Ron Paul,

    I disagree that you are a Republican. Your Libertarian ideals are what are making you so popular. Libertarianism is back, and you have shown the way. Reject the parties of corporatism, big taxes, and world wars... Republicans and Democrats are one and the same. You have nothing in common with them.

    That is why I am voting for you.

    "I used to be a Democrat"

    February 9, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  10. Marc

    "But that does not affect my determination to fight on, in every caucus and primary remaining, and at the convention for our ideas, with just as many delegates as I can get," her wrote.

    There's a typo in this sentence. It should be "he wrote," not "her wrote." Just a heads up.

    February 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  11. Seekster

    I still say Ron Paul is a nut but I am now prepared to say proudly that he is a Patriot as well.

    February 9, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  12. Lucy

    One of my parents is a minority but I support Ron Paul. To whomever stated he's a closeted racist, I'm sure Hilary and the rest of the Republicans are 'closeted' racists as well. I know, I know, McCain has an adopted child from Bangladesh but I know lots of folks married to Asians or Asian adopted kids and they are still racists.

    Anyway it's appalling how Ron Paul has been treated by the media. How is Paul a lunatic? Is not wanting war lunacy? Is voting against the Patriotic Act lunacy? Is voting against Real ID lunacy?

    How can Americans be fed up with the war but go around an vote for "100 years of war" McCain. Hilary voted for the war herself. It makes no sense. Americans don't want the war to continue but are so eager to vote for someone who'll let it linger for who knows how long. Then someone like Paul, who wants to end this war ASAP and who does not want war against Iran is considered a lunatic?

    This was my first time voting so please CNN, FOX, and the American people I ask all of you why is it normal to LOVE war. Why do you give so much attention to candidates who love war. Why is loving war normal? I don't understand. Why are we people who don't want war crazy? Why will loving war make me a normal person in the eyes of the media and my fellow Americans.

    February 9, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  13. ben

    Isn't a shame the only real republican is going down in flames. I would vote for Ron Paul because I am a republican.
    I will never vote for Mccain. He is just an old man who really has done anything for
    this country. Sure he is a war hero. What about the thousands of young Americans
    who died in that ridiculois war?
    What about the young men who died in this oil war with Irak?
    Incidentally it is not a war!! We won the war when we disposed with Sadam!!

    February 9, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  14. Mike

    Keep going Ron Paul. You provide a service to the country. A mighty oak tree begins with a seed!

    February 9, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  15. Web Smith

    It's ironic that Ron's ideas are now considered to be insane when most of what is going on in the country is insane.

    If, in the process of psychological evaluation, it is discovered that you are spending money that you don't have, the money that you are spending is only pretend and you are forcing people to take it as payment at the point of a gun, you are choosing servitude over freedom, you are voluntarily giving away your wealth, you are leaving the door to your home open to allow people to enter to take your possessions, you are murdering innocent people because terrorists are out to get you, and you justify all of this by saying that things are different now, do you think that they would allow you to walk the streets?

    February 9, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  16. Lee

    To all of you posting comments about the Hillary vs Obama article, the comments link is at the end of the story, not above the headline. Follow the directions. That is why so many of you in Florida voted for Pat Buchanon or George Bush back in 2000.

    February 9, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  17. T. Lessane

    I was kind of hoping he would stay in it and play the "ralph nader: role in the general election, only on the conservative side....to this day, part of me is convinced Nader is secretly on the take from the RNC, b/c if he really wanted to make change (or at least have a chance to implement policy) he would run for congress with a realistic chance of winning (yeah I know it sounds silly, but still)...

    And even though I am an Obama supporter, I certainly would have liked Paul (and Kucinich, Gravel) to get more media attention in the name of fairness in the media at least in regard to attention/exposure, which in this season might be oxymoronic.

    February 9, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  18. Bob M.

    Ron Paul, im sure is a good person, and has lots of good ideas, but he is too out there, would never be able to get the things done he talks about. It wouldn't work, and he just does not have the backing to go anywhere as president. If he had more people behind him, he might go further, but the numbers tell the story. It does not have anything to do with the media. If he was a viable candidate, and he had anything to say that would work, the media would see it and report on it. Wake up people, if you want to find out more about a candidate, its not the responsibility of the media, it is your responsibility. You have to make decisions for yourself, not rely on others to do it for you. They all have web sites. I know I have researched and read up on several candidates, and what they stand for, and what experience they have and have made an informed decision on who I will vote for, which has not changed since I decided months ago, but at least I am informed on the issues, and who I think will make the best president, based on change, unity of our country, dipomacy with other countries, issues in our country, ability to be bipartisan and work well across the table, management style, education, speaking style and so on, It does not have anything to do with color, gender, party, race. It has everything to with the mess our country is in, and who the best person is to help us get out of it and how they work with others.

    February 9, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  19. John Smith

    The Hillary supporters remain BLIND to several major facts:

    The Clintons carry with them:

    1. Special disgust by most Independents and Republicans.

    2 Excessive dirty baggages (Blue dress interns etc), by their own designs.

    3. Are very unpopular (especially Hillary) in the U.S. and around the world b/c of the last few years of the Clinton scandals, impeachment etc.

    4. Are actually fighting, not for the "soul" of the nation or the Dem party, but to lay the foundation for Chelsea to be President in the future.

    5. Hillary may be "famous" because of Bill, but she is "un-electable" b/c of her high NEGATIVES (compared to Gore and Kerry); there will be people who will come out to VOTE against Hillary (including this Independent observer). So, the Dems better wake up!!! Any woman nominee but Hillary can do a better job. May be Laura Bush should compete, given her recent 8 years of experience!!!!!

    February 9, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  20. Eric from GA

    Jake, the most effective way to get your point across, particularly when your goal is to promote your candidate over another should not be to disparage the other candidate.

    Hillary is a tremendous politician, without question, and if she were to garner the nomination, I'm sure that she would do a fine job in representing the Democrats in the general election against John McCann.

    Personally, I'm a supporter of Obama. And my support for him has nothing to do with race or gender or dislike or disregard for any other candidate. In fact, I respect each candidate remaining in the race no matter their party affiliation.

    And conversely, I disagree with EACH (including Obama) on certain platforms. For instance, Hillary's stance on freezing interest rates to help the current housing crunch or mandating Universal Healthcare are both, in my opinion, bad ideas for the economy as currently constructed.

    Obama and McCain's stances on illegal immigration which would allow an illegal to stay in the US forever simply by paying a fine, I feel is unfair to those who put in the time and effort to come to the US legally.

    The bottom line is, no one candidate is going to make all of your dreams come true. But for me, Obama's message resonates because it harkens back to the fundamentals to which this country was formed. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. A government of the people, by the people, for the people.

    This country was once universally viewed around the world as great, and I believe we can be great again. And in my humble opinion, Barack is the leader that can make that dream a reality.

    February 9, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
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