ABC News talks to a representative from the Libertarian Party and finds that Texas Republican Ron Paul, who ran as the Libertarian presidential candidate in 1988, would find a welcome home in the LP once again in 2012:
Paul, long a favorite of the Libertarian Party, is drawing enthusiastic support from its leaders, who are openly pushing him to consider a third party run for the White House.
“Absolutely, that would be fabulous,” said Jim Lesczynski, media relations director for the Manhattan Libertarian Party.
Lesczynski says his party agrees with Paul on most of the major issues, calling him an “ideal candidate.” He added that Paul will do better than he did four years ago, but ultimately thinks he will fail in his bid to gain the Republican nomination.
Would Paul do it? As The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire observes, when the subject came up in recent interviews, Paul did not entirely dismiss the idea:
Mr. Paul, speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” said no one has asked him to make a third-party run. “I have no plans whatsoever to do it,” Mr. Paul said.
He conceded that an independent run by one of the GOP candidates “would cause a little bit of a problem.” But the Texas congressman also said a third-party bid wouldn’t doom Republicans, citing John Anderson’s independent bid in the 1980 presidential election. “Ronald Reagan did quite well with Anderson in it,” he said.
During a Fox News appearance last week, Mr. Paul declined to make a firm pledge that he wouldn’t run on a third-party ticket. With a laugh, he offered this instead during the Fox interview: “I pledge that I have no intention of doing it.”