[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/12/art.paul.gi.jpg caption="Ron Paul is suspending his presidential campaign."]WASHINGTON (CNN) – Texas Rep. Ron Paul announced Thursday he is suspending his bid for the Republican presidential nomination to focus his time on building an organization to help recruit and elect “limited government Republicans.”
“We want to elect constitutionalists, limited government Republicans across the country at the state and federal level,” said Paul spokesman Jesse Benton.
The congressman will speak about his political plans at the Texas Republican State Convention being held in Houston. Late Thursday afternoon, Paul launched a Web site for his new organization where he explained the decision to suspend his presidential campaign and form “Ron Paul Campaign for Liberty.”
“With the primary season now over, the presidential campaign is at an end,” Paul said in the letter. “But the larger campaign for freedom is just getting started.”
Arizona Sen. John McCain locked up the GOP nomination back in March, but unlike his fellow Republicans running for president, Paul never abandoned his White House bid.
Paul’s decision to leave the race is an acknowledgment he had no chance of winning the GOP nomination. But even in loss, Paul is one of a handful of candidates who walked away from this presidential contest a winner. His presidential campaign had a broad base of support that included traditionally fiscal and socially conservative Republicans to young people who were angry about the U.S. decision to wage war against Iraq.
The Internet helped to tie together his group of supporters who joined the “Ron Paul Revolution.”
“The work of the Campaign for Liberty will take many forms,” Paul wrote in the letter posted on his Web site. “We will educate our fellow Americans in freedom, sound money, non-interventionism, and free markets. We’ll have our own commentaries and videos on the news of the day. I’ll work with friends I respect to design materials for homeschoolers."
He added, “Politically, we’ll expand the great work of our precinct leader program. We’ll make our presence felt at every level of government, where just a few people with our level of enthusiasm can make a world of difference. We’ll keep an eye on Congress and lobby against legislation that threatens us. We’ll identify and support political candidates who champion our great ideas against the empty suits the party establishments offer the public.”
Paul will not endorse McCain, unless the Arizona senator “wants to change some of his positions,” Benton said. But Benton added that this effort in no way is intended to hurt McCain in November.