With his 2012 White House bid, Rep. Ron Paul is hoping the third time is the charm. The Texas Republican previously ran for president in 1988 as the Libertarian Party candidate and again in 2008, when he sought the GOP nomination. Though unsuccessful, Paul's 2008 bid galvanized a group of loyal, fiscally conservative, libertarian-minded supporters who strongly supported the outspoken lawmaker and donated millions to his campaign. Those supporters, who are especially savvy and active online, have remained dedicated to Paul and form the base of his support in the 2012 race.
Paul is a conservative -- fiscally and socially -- who also has libertarian views. He is an advocate of a limited, constitutional federal government and a champion of states' rights and the 10th Amendment. On his campaign website, he boasts of having never voted for legislation in the House unless it is explicitly authorized by the Constitution. On foreign policy, Paul often clashes with other conservatives and Republicans because he does not support aggressive approaches to U.S. foreign policy or aggressive use of U.S. military force.
Paul served in Congress in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and he returned to Congress in 1997, where he currently represents Texas' 14th Congressional District. He serves on the House Financial Services Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
In the 1960s, Paul graduated from Duke Medical School, then he joined the Air Force as a flight surgeon. In the late '60s, Paul and his wife moved to Texas, where he started an obstetrics and gynecology practice. The couple has five children and 18 grandchildren. Rand Paul, one of the couple's children, recently joined his father on Capitol Hill as the junior senator from Kentucky; father and son are both favorites of the conservative, grass-roots tea party movement. The elder Paul has said he will not seek re-election to the House in 2012 so that he can focus on his presidential bid.
He Said What?
You know, they mocked me for my foreign policy and they laughed at my monetary policy. No more. No more. The people are coming over here. So, I would say whatever happens is going to be good because the people have woke up.
-- -- Paul on CNN's State of the Union, 6/11
There is truly a revolution going on in this country. We live in a time where we don't just need a change in attitude and a change in ideas. We need to change our philosophy about what this country is all about.
-- -- Paul speaking to the Conservative Political Action Conference, 2/11/11
It is very American to talk about secession. That's how we came in being. Thirteen colonies seceded from the British and established a new country. So secession is a very much American principle...
-- -- Paul in a YouTube video, 4/09