Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) appeared again on the Tonight Show starring Jay Leno last night. He seemed to authoritatively put paid to the dreams of some of his fans that even at this late date he might go third party.
Paul admitted his lack of a RNC speaking slot was probably because he refused to endorse Romney, and hinted that he agreed his son Rand's speaking slot was likely a political sop to Paul's fans (and over 2 million primary and caucus voters–Paul hinted that he knows many, many more people who would not vote in a GOP primary would likely vote for him).
Paul hit Romney's "nice" speech for ignoring foreign policy and the troops, even though Paul notes that the perceived peace candidate generally tends to win national presidential elections. (Paul notes Clint Eastwood got cheers for suggesting we should bring the troops home, as Paul would have himself.)
Then Leno asked the big question: Thinking about a thrid party run?
"No, not much," said Paul, joking about resting up for a 2016 run. Then: "The system is very biased; we talk a lot about democracy, we send our troops overseas…but democracy is not all that healthy in this country because if you're a third party you don't get into debates. The truth is if I tried in last several years to do what I have done in a third party I probably wouldn't have made it to your show…."
Paul then trails off noting that some might conclude there is no real difference between the two major parties, and that not even an enormous amount of money would have propelled him to victory right now, since "we are taking on a lot of special interests, the military-industrial complex, financial interests, Keynesian economics, we made pretty good strides but still have a little ways to go" in intellectual and ideological education of the public before a candidate like him would win.
Paul also told Leno he considers Paul Ryan's deficit hawk reputation fraudulent, and that though he expected to vote this year, he would not say who for.
The Leno video:
As far as Paul's party affiliation goes, Paul told Bloomberg News last week regarding the Republican Party that it "is not my party. I do not like politics at all. I think both parties are Keynesian economists, and support positions that I do not like. So, the party, in many ways is irrelevant."
And then, who is this mystery person Paul will vote for? There is some reason to believe, even though he has not endorsed him, that it might be Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson. Paul told a Fox reporter he thinks Johnson "wonderful" in this pro-Johnson campaign clip full of Paul fans talking up Johnson's qualities: