During a Fox News interview with Martha MacCallum today, Texas Congressman Ron Paul declared that the battle for the 2012 Republican nomination is “more of a power struggle than a philosophical struggle.” He suggested, in other words, that his Republican rivals are not running for president out of a sense of civic obligation – as one would hope – but as a means to enhance their own political careers.
As cynical as this may sound, the retiring Congressman – who is now serving his twelfth term – has campaigned hard to position himself as the only presidential candidate willing to cut wasteful government spending and bring our troops home. And since Republican leaders, in his view, have historically failed to fundamentally reform Washington, he doesn’t put much faith in his GOP rivals to govern effectively, either.
By his own admission, Congressman Paul recognizes he has the ability to dramatically affect the outcome of the November election. If anything, this begets an important and unavoidable question: Will Ron Paul launch an independent bid for the presidency if he loses the Republican nomination?
Though he has stated ambiguously in recent months that he has no intention to do so, I was struck by something he said earlier today.
“It’s not strictly about me,” he asserted when asked about his presidential prospects. “I’m not looking for any power at all.”
Well, if that’s the case, then the retiring Congressman’s comments seem to repudiate the idea – once and for all – that he is considering a third party run. Besides, if he was to throw his hat in the ring, President Obama would almost certainly win reelection. Thus, if his intentions are truly benign and he really wants to “have influence on the future of the country,” endorsing the Republican nominee (if, indeed, he loses the nomination), would be a good start.