Door Open a Tad for a Ron Paul Independent Run?

Via today’s Meet the Press, Ron Paul left a slight door open for a third party run:

MR. RUSSERT: If, if you do not win the Republican nomination for president, will you run as an independent in 2008?

REP. PAUL: I have no intention to do that.

MR. RUSSERT: Absolute promise.

REP. PAUL: I have no intention of doing that.

MR. RUSSERT: Well, but no intention’s a wiggle word.

REP. PAUL: Well, OK, I deserve one wiggle now and then, Tim. I mean, what the devil…

MR. RUSSERT: So no–so no Shermanesque statement.

REP. PAUL: You know, I…

MR. RUSSERT: “I will not sun as an independent.”

REP. PAUL: Well, I can be pretty darned sure that I have no intention, no plans of doing it, and that’s about 99.9 percent. I don’t like people who are such absolutists, “I will never do this, or I will win, I’m going to come in first.” I don’t like those absolutists terms in politics.

MR. RUSSERT: But the door’s open a little bit.

REP. PAUL: Not very much. It really isn’t.

Interesting. I suspect that it won’t happen (because he is going to win the GOP nomination, of course!) but I found the statement interesting, as at one point the word was (supposedly, at least) that he had pledged not to run if he did not get the nomination.

FILED UNDER: 2008 Election, US Politics, ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Hal says:

    My impression from watching the interview was that he’s going to go all the way. There’s enough rich techno-libertarians on the internet to keep his boat afloat and there’s a very nice fault line in the GOP that he is very comfortable driving a wedge down. Eight ball sez: third party run.

  2. Don’t worry about a Ron Paul third party run. He’ll either win the nomination, or we’ll get him to run for the RNC chair.

  3. Paul says:

    Assuming the GOP nominates someone like Huckabee or Guiliani, why would Paul want to give up a seat in Congress to take on the measly RNC job of fundraising for a party that doesn’t practice much of what he stands for?

    Paul’s comically simplistic theorizing on the Civil War shows that he hasn’t fully realized he is running for POTUS and isn’t at a mensa meeting anymore. It is so easy to throw around fresh but crazy thoughts like the paper money myopia when you aren’t in any danger of being in charge of anything, I wonder if he would be able to become a little more disciplined if he actually became President?

  4. The Civil War stuff was pretty remarkable, really, and didn’t exactly show a grasp of the politics of the time. It was less Mensa meeting than BSing with friends over beers in college.

  5. jkhutz says:

    Civil War comments show that the man is a TRUE scholar (as opposed to someone who swallowed whole the myths pushed in public “skoolz” !)

    Anyone familiar with either historical (i.e. the politics at the time of the Civil War and shortly thereafter) or recent (“Lincoln Revisited” etc.) will know that the “Log Cabin Lincoln” is as much a myth as the “Cherry Tree George Washington” — and that Dr. Paul’s comments regarding both the unconstitutionality of Lincoln’s actions and the false ex post facto justification of the “Civil War” as being to end slavery are quite correct, as are his comments regarding the PEACEFUL ending of slavery in other nations (PRIOR to its end in the U.S. mind you) — are all well documented historically.

    And this validates that Ron Paul’s knowledge exceeds simply American history, but also embraces a solid knowledge of world history as well (both subjects I’m fairly certain Mr. Russert has little beyond a superficial acquaintance with — he would likely earn a solid “F” in were he to have attended anything other than an American “rubber-stamp” university). Sadly, Mr. Russert is not alone — most Americans have little knowledge of their own actual history, much less that of the rest of the world (I went to school with many of you, and quite frankly you didn’t learn anything about history that wasn’t “packaged-up” for you in a Saturday morning “Schoolhouse Rock” cartoon snippet and could be stated in a cute song, the result of which is that nearly all American students of the last half century are sadly misinformed.)

  6. I am not sure what public school or school house rock has much to do with anything.

    While it may well be that the war was avoidable, the notion that slavery could have been ended simply purchasing the slaves and freeing them is absurd, as the point of contention was that the southern states needed to maintain the institution of slavery, and the a major issue that sparked the war in the first place was the issue of westward expansion and whether slavery would be allowed or not.

    The comparison to the UK simply isn’t apt and the notion that the slaves could simply have been bought up and slavery then outlawed is ridiculous. The southern states would never have allowed that to happen.

    I don’t disagree, btw, that many of Lincoln’s actions were unconstitutional. That fact, however, doesn’t mean there was some easy fix to the slavery issue. Indeed, the slavery issue had been festering since independence and there were no simple solutions to it.

    I am not sure that your retort demonstrates a great knowledge of history, btw.

  7. floyd says:

    Mr. Taylor;
    As a starting point, I recommend Shelby Foote’s “Civil War” For unbiased accuracy.
    The simplistic official public school disinformation is wholly inadequate to scratch the surface of the subject, let alone the notion of expounding.
    While strategic information abounds on the subject, acquiring accurate political history of the War requires diligence.
    As usual, to the victor goes the pen of history,and there is a clear impulse to rationalize a sympathetic motivation.

  8. Is there anything in my response that suggests all I know about the subject is my K-12 history education?

    I find the assumptions made rather odd. Beyond that, simply asserting that public school history education is inadequate (no shocker there)does not, in any way, bolster Paul’s “we should have bought all the slaves and that would’ve averted war” thesis.

  9. floyd says:

    The actual cause[s] of the war render your conclusion on Ron Paul’s assertion correct.
    I meant to cast no aspersions.
    Perhaps I should only retract my comment’s address to you, as too specific, and leave it as intended to all parties of the discussion.
    It should have been so, excuse me.

  10. My apologies for misinterpreting your comment-I inadvertently took it as an extension of the “School House Rock” comment above, but in re-reading it I see that you were just making a general suggestion for reading.

    Cheers and Merry Christmas.

  11. Paul is likely using the possibility of a third party run as a bargaining chip to assure the GOP continues to support him in the 2008 Congressional Race.