Ron Paul: There Will Be No Third Party Run

There’s a statement from Congressman Paul up at the campaign blog:

Let me tell you my thoughts. With Romney gone, 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. But with so many primaries and caucuses now over, we do not now need so big a national campaign staff, and so I am making it leaner and tighter. Of course, I am committed to fighting for our ideas within the Republican party, so there will be no third party run. I do not denigrate third parties — just the opposite, and I have long worked to remove the ballot-access restrictions on them. But I am a Republican, and I will remain a Republican.

I also have another priority. I have constituents in my home district that I must serve. I cannot and will not let them down. And I have another battle I must face here as well. 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.

In the presidential race and the congressional race, I need your support, as always. And I have plans to continue fighting for our ideas in politics and education that I will share with you when I can, for I will need you at my side. In the meantime, onward and upward! The neocons, the warmongers, the socialists, the advocates of inflation will be hearing much from you and me.

Well, that answers that question as well as this one.

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  • Michael

    What are the limitations on Pauls’ campaign money? Could he use it to help other libertarian leaning politicians get elected? Could he use it for the Liberty Caucus?

    Anyone?

  • UCrawford

    Doug,

    But with so many primaries and caucuses now over, we do not now need so big a national campaign staff, and so I am making it leaner and tighter.

    Because it was really expensive assembling a crack staff who took a year to answer e-mails and didn’t know a damned thing about running a presidential race.

  • TerryP

    So much Hostility UC. Calm down.

  • UCrawford

    TerryP,

    Just calling them like I see them. He was the candidate with the best platform in a race where people were interested that platform and he screwed it all up with how badly he ran his campaign.

  • oilnwater

    you and mataconis acted like little girls throughout the entire past 365 days regarding paul. why cry about anything now?

  • TerryP

    I guess I just don’t understand your hostility. His orating skills and his ability to put together a competent campaign staff were never his strengths. His strengths were his stand on the issues. That has never changed. He is still by far the best when it comes to the issues. I think you were trying to pull something out of him that just was never there. He will never have the the ability to communicate as well as say Obama. He likely never had to put together a staff as large and experienced as the one he had to for this campaign and my guess is that initially he never dreamed it would get to the point it actually reached. When he first started putting together a staff for a run at the Presidency he had no money, no name recognition, and virtually no chance. So what would you do in that situation. You would put together a staff of people you know personally and are comfortable with. In his case that means people that have never been through a presidential run of this magnitude. Now once he starting making headway maybe he should have tried to add staff with a little more experience but he seems to be a person that is loyal to friends. Secondly, who among the experienced people were actually going to help Ron Paul. They had their careers to look after and if they were seen helping Ron Paul, a kook, an outsider, an enemy what would that have done to their future employment efforts.

    Now I am not commending him on the way he has run his campaign. Far from it. You are right that his campaign has not been run real well, but that is pretty easy for an armchair quarterback with 20/20 hindsight to say. Put us in the same situation and we likely would have performed even worse.

    I just think that you were putting way too high of expectations on him in the campaign management area. He has never truly been through it (you can’t count the 88 LP run as that doesn’t even come close to this run), his group of friends have never been through it, libertarians in general have never been through it at least successfully, and the people who have been through it wouldn’t likely give him the time of day let alone help him.

  • UCrawford

    TerryP,

    You raise valid points, but here are some of my problems with the Paul campaign. He was one of the biggest fundraisers among Republican candidates, but what did that translate into? Very few ads, he skipped major markets and an fielded an extremely sparse staff. The campaign never seemed to learn from their mistakes, and they had no infrastructure in place prior to starting out. In fact, Paul only started appointing precinct captains in the last couple of months. This isn’t something that you do as the race is in swing, this is stuff you do six months to a year prior. That’s not even something that it takes a genius to do, that’s Basic Campaigning 101…you start identifying people that are willing to help you early on and start giving them guidance as to where you want to go and what you want them to do. There were grassroots efforts out there ready to help him a year ago. Where was the campaign trying to rally them? Where was the contact? I can understand if Ron Paul didn’t have a crack staff assembled at the beginning, but he didn’t even hire enough staff to answer e-mails. I’ve seen a lot of stories about grassroots people getting pissed because they ask the Paul campaign for feedback and they got no replies. That’s unacceptable, especially after the fundraising really picked up. As for his weaknesses…how much of that did he actually try to improve on? Did he work with a speech coach? Did he work with anyone who could help him focus his message? Most of what I saw from Ron Paul in the last couple of months is the same stuff I saw a year ago…he rambles on from topic to topic and he never focuses enough on any one topic to get people to care. He just comes off as your grandpa bitching about the government. Combine that with his terrible handling of the newsletter scandal (a scandal that he’s had 11 years to prepare for) and it embarassed me that this is the libertarian in the spotlight.

    The thing that irritates me about this is, he basically reinforces with mainstream voters the image of libertarians of being completely inept and unfit to govern, and after watching Paul’s campaign I can’t really blame them for feeling that way. It’s an image that many of us try to shake, that libertarians are kooks, because we actually have ideas that can work, practically and not just in theory. And I think Paul owed it to his supporters to make a real effort at winning (especially considering the dearth of other pro-liberty candidates in the race, especially once it became clear that there was a market for his ideas) and I got the impression he just wanted to sit up there and go on about topics he liked to talk about without having to go through the difficult work of tailoring his message so it would sell. Basically, I was disappointed that he never really seemed to take the presidential race seriously, and I am kind of pissed about that. I think that liberty-minded people in this country deserve a candidate who aspires to be more than just a protest vote.

  • UCrawford

    TerryP,

    Now once he starting making headway maybe he should have tried to add staff with a little more experience but he seems to be a person that is loyal to friends.

    In government, loyalty is not as important as competence and accountability. That’s a lesson Ron Paul should have learned from observing the administration of George W. Bush.

  • http://www.orderhotlunch.com Jeff Molby

    You raise valid points, but here are some of my problems with the Paul campaign. He was one of the biggest fundraisers among Republican candidates

    No, not even close. Please stop perpetuating that.

    Romney, Rudy, and McCain had all raised more by June than Paul did all year.

  • TerryP

    UC

    I agree with you that his campaign has been poorly run. The thing is that I am not dwelling on that but would rather try to sell the ideas behind his campaign. I think that we have gotten so stuck on his poor campaign managment performance that we have forgotten his ideas. His ideas is what we need to be talking about, not his campaign management. His ideas are what will keep this movement going forward after this election. If we get so frustrated over how he handled his campaign management we will put the ideas on the back burner or just go back to being apethitic. His ideas, or more importantly, the ideas of our founders, will sell beyond Ron Paul and we need to keep our eye on that ball, not on railing about Ron Paul’s weaknesses. We need to keep selling the idea of freedom and not get so bogged down in the minutaue of newsletters, and he should have done this or that, etc.. It is what it is. You can’t go back and change things. You can only move forward and dwelling on the past and what we should have done will not move us forward. I agree that we need to learn from our past but we certainly do not need to dwell on it or get so frustrated about it that we lose sight of our ulitmate goals. Quite honestly I believe that you and Doug have gotten so caught up in newsletters, campaign management, and bening right that you have lost focus on what is really important: the freedom movement. I agree that some of the things he has done or not done has not helped, but you dwelling on them is not helping either.

  • TerryP

    UC you said

    “Basically, I was disappointed that he never really seemed to take the presidential race seriously, and I am kind of pissed about that. I think that liberty-minded people in this country deserve a candidate who aspires to be more than just a protest vote.”

    You know I agree with you to some degree. I am disappointed some as well, but he was the best person running at the time. You say we deserve a better candidate. That may be true but name one that is running that is better. If we deserve a better candidate than we need to get a better candidate to run, instead of railing on the candidate that is running. We need to be mad at ourselves for not getting a better candidate to run. If you were a better candidate maybe you should have run or maybe you should have gotten someone else even better to run. You can’t get mad at Ron Paul for not being a better candidate. He is what he is. And he is by far the best candidate running for President right now at least in the terms of liberty. I hope we get a better candidate in the future but until then I will back the best candidate we have now. I will not run him down for the things that he has done poorly but try to hold him up for the risks that he took to try and bring liberty back to the forefront of peoples thinking. If we wait around until we have the perfect candidate without any problems we will be waiting forever. I am not going to wait that long.

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    TerryP,

    We’re really probably not that far apart and I’m sympathetic to a lot of what you’re saying and agree with you to a degree as well.

    I think that we have gotten so stuck on his poor campaign managment performance that we have forgotten his ideas. His ideas is what we need to be talking about, not his campaign management. His ideas are what will keep this movement going forward after this election.

    I was a libertarian long before I heard about Ron Paul so my feelings about the ideas don’t really have much to do with how well or how badly his campaign was run…I’ll still be arguing for small government no matter who’s in charge. I actually didn’t think Paul had a good shot at winning (because it was a smaller campaign) so I’m not bothered that he lost, but it was extremely frustrating to me how ineptly the campaign was run. Our goal as libertarians should be to convince mainstream voters that the people pushing our ideas are worth voting for and I think Paul’s campaign reinforced the stereotype that we’re not, which is going to make it tougher for the next libertarian-leaning candidate to do well.

    You can’t get mad at Ron Paul for not being a better candidate. He is what he is.

    I agree with you there. I’m not actually mad at Ron Paul, nor do I hate him…I’m just frustrated with him. That said, I’m glad he’s choosing to remain in Congress because I think he’s got some value there. I think that the presidential run was more indicative of the Peter Principle finally applying to Ron Paul and not a matter of him being a horrible person.

    Quite honestly I believe that you and Doug have gotten so caught up in newsletters, campaign management, and bening right that you have lost focus on what is really important: the freedom movement.

    I think there’s validity to that and sometimes I think we do veer into tunnel vision on the campaign stuff…that said, I think it’s actually in the best interests of libertarians in the long run to distance themselves somewhat from Paul, mainly because of the race-baiting in the newsletters. I don’t believe Paul’s a racist, but I do believe he tolerated race-baiting policy arguments from his staff when it suited him politically and that he’s been willing to keep those people around out of personal loyalty. It was a short cut, it was a horrible decision, it was the wrong path for a libertarian to take, and I think it damages us in the long run to be associated with that. Too many people see us already as apologists for racists (who often hide behind the banner of “States’ Rights”) and we should make our opposition to that sort of thing public when it arises. As Fusionist Libertarian once pointed out, libertarian arguments don’t work if you’re using small government arguments to turn angry voters against minorities…it undermines the basic foundation that we need to have some level of trust in each other. That doesn’t work when you’re classifying people as animals.

    If we wait around until we have the perfect candidate without any problems we will be waiting forever.

    I can understand that approach, but I think it’s more important for us to live our lives and not expect a politician to come along and fix the problems for us. A Paul presidency would have been interesting, but considering the dearth of support he had and his questionable leadership ability I have a feeling that he would have been a one-term president who struggled and got caught up in needless distractions to everyone’s detriment. I understand that no politician is going to be perfect, but until I find one with similar positives to and less negatives than those Paul possessed I’m okay with not getting behind anyone just for the sake of picking a leader.

  • Craig

    It makes you wonder if Ron Paul would have done better if he had toned down his opposition to the Iraq war, since many conservatives claim to agree with him on fiscal issues and domestic policy. I suspect he would have done worse, since Hunter and Tancredo were House members with superior conservative credentials to the front runners, yet made less impact on the race than Paul.

    So how would a big-time pro-liberty candidate sell a non-interventionist foreign policy to Republican voters? Is it possible? How about focusing on the inherent silliness of borrowing money from other countries to pay for the defense of other wealthy countries like Japan, the UK, Germany, Italy, and South Korea? How about saying we will withdraw slowly from Iraq, on a timetable worked out with the Iraqi government?

  • http://trumpetbob15.blogspot.com/ trumpetbob15

    Craig,

    It was not so much that he was anti-war, but that was ALL he was. Given an opportunity to promote liberty in domestic policy, he turned it back around to the war and foreign policy. Ron Paul essentially became another Hunter and Tancredo, a one-trick pony. Unfortunately for Paul, his trick didn’t turn on conservatives like Tancredo’s immigration stance did so the other, non-one-trick candidates didn’t actually have to debate him on that one. They were able to write him off fairly early as that anti-war guy.

    Regarding your other point, I believe the best way a pro-liberty candidate gets across non-interventionism is to promote trade rather than war. Accept the current mess in foreign policy and promote libery on the domestic side. When asked about foreign policy, advocate more trade and try to avoid blaming America for areas where Americans aren’t to blame. Accept the blame where appropriate. It comes down to the idea that if someone believes in a pro-liberty candidate on domestic issues, it is easier to get that person to believe on foreign issues.

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    trumpetbob,

    I believe the best way a pro-liberty candidate gets across non-interventionism is to promote trade rather than war. Accept the current mess in foreign policy and promote libery on the domestic side. When asked about foreign policy, advocate more trade and try to avoid blaming America for areas where Americans aren’t to blame. Accept the blame where appropriate. It comes down to the idea that if someone believes in a pro-liberty candidate on domestic issues, it is easier to get that person to believe on foreign issues.

    Couldn’t agree more.