Texas Congressman Ron Paul has stated he will not seek re-election for his congressional seat in 2012. Instead, Paul says he will choose to focus solely on his bid for the Republican nomination and ultimately the White House.
Report from the Wall Street Journal:
Fed-basher Ron Paul is making an all-in bid in probably his last run for the presidency, and public frustration over monetary policy has rarely been higher. But is Mr. Paul’s radical vision of smaller government and free markets attractive enough to win the mainstream?
On Tuesday, Mr. Paul, 74 years old, said he wouldn’t seek re-election to Congress in 2012. The Texas Republican said he wants to focus on his presidential run, but also conceded that it is time to turn over representation of his Gulf Coast district to new blood.
Mr. Paul’s campaign will be interesting to watch. No other candidate brings such a steadfast view that government is woefully ineffective. No declared candidate has Mr. Paul’s track record of supporting radical economic policy.
“I don’t see any answers here in D.C.,” Mr. Paul said in an interview Tuesday. “There’s a lot of talk, but not solutions because they don’t want to change the function of government.”
As a libertarian, he has spent years on the edge of Beltway and Main Street politics, never capturing more than antiestablishment support and a hardcore antigovernment following. His backers have been fervent, but until now ineffective when it comes to electing their champion to higher office.
Mr. Paul believes this time is different. He believes that the stumbling economy and budget issues have awakened a new audience. Consider that the last time he ran in 2008, there wasn’t a Tea Party. Now as many as 20% of voters consider themselves part of the movement.
I have said from the beginning of this election season that Paul will likely find increased support this time around given the state of the country and fiscal disaster looming. Whether or not he can actually make a dent in the polls and win some primaries off it is another story, stay tuned.