Factbox: Presidential candidate Ron Paul

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 31, 2011 9:43 AM
Factbox: Presidential candidate Ron Paul

(Reuters) - Ron Paul, a congressman from Texas, is one of the leading candidates in Tuesday's Iowa caucuses, the first contest on the road to the Republican presidential nomination.

Here are some facts about Paul.

* Paul, 76, is considered a godfather of the Tea Party movement for lower taxes and limited government.

* During campaigning, he has warned of eroding civil liberties, a Soviet Union-style economic collapse in the United States and violence in the streets. He once wrote a book called "End the Fed," referring to the U.S. Federal Reserve, and has called for eliminating the central banking system that underpins the world's largest economy.

* Paul has a level of mobilization other candidates lack and thus a loyal base of supporters who are expected to come out on Iowa caucus night on Tuesday.

* This is Paul's third bid for the White House. In 2008, he ran for the Republican presidential nomination as an anti-war candidate, raising $35 million in small donations from a fervent group of backers, but failed to win any primary or caucus. In 2008, he came in fifth in the Iowa caucuses.

* As part of his small government philosophy, Paul has refused his congressional pension. When working as a doctor he refused to accept Medicare or Medicaid payments and would not let his children accept federal student loans.

* Reuters reported a direct-mail solicitation for a Paul campaign two decades ago that warned of a coming "race war" in America and a government conspiracy to cover up the impact of AIDS. Paul is now under fire for connections to extremist right-wing views. He says a ghostwriter on his campaign wrote the document.

* Paul is part of the only father-and-son team serving together in the U.S. Congress. His son, Republican Rand Paul, is the junior senator from Kentucky.

* A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Paul settled in Texas where he began an obstetrics and gynecology practice. He says he's delivered more than 4,000 babies.

(Reporting by JoAnne Allen and Lily Kuo; Editing by Deborah Charles and Vicki Allen)