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May 5, 2008

Wikipedia: Ron Paul

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Ron Paul
Ron Paul

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas’s 14th district
Assumed office
January 3, 1997
Preceded by Greg Laughlin

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas’s 22nd district
In office
January 3, 1979 – January 3, 1985
Preceded by Robert Gammage
Succeeded by Tom DeLay
In office
April 3, 1976 – January 3, 1977
Preceded by Robert R. Casey
Succeeded by Robert Gammage

Born August 20, 1935 (1935-08-20) (age 72)
Green Tree, Pennsylvania, United States
Political party Republican
Spouse Carolyn “Carol” Paul
Children Ronald “Ronnie” Paul, Jr.
Lori Paul Pyeatt
Randall “Rand” Paul
Robert Paul
Joy Paul-LeBlanc
Alma mater Gettysburg College
Duke University School of Medicine
Profession Physician, politician
Religion Baptist[1]

Ronald Ernest “Ron” Paul (born August 20, 1935) is a Republican United States Congressman from Lake Jackson, Texas, a physician, a bestselling author, and a 2008 U.S. presidential candidate.

Originally from the Pittsburgh suburb of Green Tree, Pennsylvania, he studied at Duke University School of Medicine; after his 1961 graduation and a residency in obstetrics and gynecology, he became a U.S. Air Force flight surgeon, serving outside the Vietnam War zone. He later represented Texas districts in the U.S. House of Representatives (1976–1977, 1979–1985, and 1997–present). He entered the 1988 presidential election, running as the Libertarian nominee while remaining a registered Republican, and placed a distant third.

Paul has been described as conservative, Constitutionalist, and libertarian.[2] He advocates a foreign policy of nonintervention, having voted against actions such as the Iraq War Resolution, but in favor of force against terrorists in Afghanistan. He favors withdrawal from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the United Nations, citing the dangers of foreign entanglements to national sovereignty. Having pledged never to raise taxes, he has long advocated ending the federal income tax, scaling back government spending, abolishing most federal agencies, and removing military bases and troops from foreign soil; he favors hard money and opposes the Federal Reserve. He also opposes the Patriot Act, the federal War on Drugs, No Child Left Behind, and gun control. Paul is strongly pro-life, and has introduced bills to negate Roe v. Wade, but affirms states’ rights to regulate or ban abortion, rather than federal jurisdiction.[3]

While Paul was a leading 2008 presidential candidate in Republican straw polls, he saw substantially less support in landline opinion polls and in various primaries. Strong Internet grassroots support was indicated by his popularity as a web search term,[4] his lead in YouTube subscriptions, and, on December 16, 2007, the largest one-day fundraiser in U.S. political history, netting over $6 million in 24 hours through an independently organized effort. His book about his ongoing presidential run, The Revolution: A Manifesto, became a New York Times and bestseller immediately upon release.


Early life and education

Paul was born in Green Tree, Pennsylvania, to Margaret “Peggy” Paul (née Dumont)[5] and Howard Caspar Paul, the second son of a German immigrant.[6] With an eighth-grade education, Howard co-owned Green Tree Dairy with his brothers Lewis and Arthur; the small-town truck farm stood just outside Pittsburgh. Paul was the third of five sons born during seven years in the Great Depression, and he shared one bedroom of their four-room house with his brothers William (the oldest), David, Jerrold, and Wayne. Paul began working at Harold’s dairy at age five,[7] and later delivered newspapers, worked in a drugstore, and became a milkman upon reaching driving age.[8] One customer on his milk route was baseball legend Honus Wagner.[9]

Excelling in track and field, he graduated from Dormont High School in 1953 with honors. He had a best mark in the 100-yard dash of 9.7 seconds[10] (the record was then 9.4 seconds);[11] as a junior, he was the 220-yard dash state champion[12] and placed second in the 440-yard run.[8] He also was on the wrestling team, played football and baseball, and was student council president.[8][9] After surgery on a knee injury, he took up swimming as a form of therapy.

A major university offered Paul a full track scholarship, chancing he could regain his prior speed; he declined it, unwilling to involve the university in the risk himself.[13] Rather, he paid for his first year at Gettysburg College with saved newspaper-delivery, lemonade-sale, and lawn-mowing money; he later received a small academic scholarship.[8] He delivered mail and laundry in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; managed the college coffee shop (the Bullet Hole) for one year; and joined the swim team. Inducted into the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity,[14] he served as pledge class president, house manager, and kitchen steward, planning and supervising cooks for all meals.[8][15] By his senior year, he was running track again; he set the then-third-best marks in college history in the 100-yard dash (9.9 seconds) and 220-yard dash (21.8 seconds).[16] He received his bachelor’s in 1957, majoring in biology.[12]

Marriage and family

Rand Paul speaking at a Ron Paul rally.

Rand Paul speaking at a Ron Paul rally.

While at Dormont, schoolmate Carol Wells had asked Paul to escort her to a sweet-16 Sadie Hawkins party, which was their first date. They kept in touch while attending colleges in different states. Over a 1956 park picnic before his senior year at Gettysburg, Paul proposed marriage to Wells; the couple were wed on February 1, 1957, at Dormont Presbyterian Church before 300 guests.[8][17]

They have five children, who were baptized Episcopalian:[9] Ronnie, Lori, Rand, Robert, and Joy. There are eighteen grandchildren.[18] Three children are also doctors:[19] Robert specializes in family practice; Joy in ob/gyn like her father; and Rand in eye surgery, in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Rand is also founder of Kentucky Taxpayers United and often speaks on Paul’s behalf.[20][21] Paul supported his children during their undergraduate and medical school years, preventing their participation in federal student loans because the program was taxpayer-subsidized. He has rejected a Congressional pension for the same reason.[22][23]

Carol compiled recipes and photos from the large Paul family into a cookbook, originally for 14th district constituents.[19] The book reached five editions and inspired a family “Recipe of the Week” on Paul’s Congressional campaign website.[24][25]

He spends as little time in Washington as possible,[26] usually going home to Lake Jackson on weekends to avoid “Potomac fever”.[27][28]

Military service and medical career

Paul considered becoming a Lutheran minister like two of his brothers[10] (Jerrold has a doctorate in counseling and attended Princeton Seminary; David pastors Trinity Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan).[7][13] Instead he decided to pursue a medical degree at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina, attaining it in 1961. He interned and began residency training, both in internal medicine, at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit (1961–1962);[29] Carol meanwhile ran a dance school in their basement and raised collies.[8]

The medical training was soon interrupted when he received a draft notice and entered the U.S. Air Force during the Cuban Missile Crisis.[30] He remained in the military during the early years of the Vietnam War.[31] He served active duty as a flight surgeon from 1963 to 1965, attending to the ear, nose, and throat problems of pilots in South Korea, Iran, Ethiopia, and Turkey, but was never sent to Vietnam. Based out of Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio, Paul achieved the rank of captain[9][32] and obtained his private pilot’s license.[15] The experience of performing physicals on helicopter pilot candidates, at a time when he saw many copters being shot down, deeply affected Paul; he later considered his indirect association with Vietnam as a catalyst for his rejection of interventionist foreign policy.[33]

Paul received a higher wage from the Air Force than during his initial residency, $700 per month;[34] he joked that he was “fantastically rich”.[15] While in San Antonio, he also moonlighted three nights a week in a local church hospital’s emergency room for $3 per hour, and became involved with Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign.[13] He then served in the Air National Guard while completing his residency (1965–1968), having switched to ob/gyn at the University of Pittsburgh.[35] His residency research into causes of pregnancy toxemia was subsequently published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology.

He moved to Surfside Beach, Texas, on July 3, 1968, and eventually delivered more than 4,000 babies.[36] Assuming the practice of a retiring doctor in Lake Jackson, Texas, in a single day, Paul became the only ob/gyn doctor in Brazoria County,[15] reportedly delivering 40–50 babies a month and frequently busy with surgery.[26] His practice refused Medicare and Medicaid payments; he worked pro bono, arranged discounted or custom-payment plans for needy patients,[23] or otherwise “just took care of them”.[37]

Early Congressional career

During his early days, Paul was influenced by Friedrich Hayek’s Road to Serfdom, which led him to read many works of Ayn Rand and Ludwig von Mises while still a medical resident in the 1960s. He came to know economists Hans Sennholz and Murray Rothbard well, and credits to them his interest in the study of economics. He clearly remembers August 15, 1971, when President Richard Nixon closed the “gold window” by implementing the U.S. dollar’s complete departure from the gold standard, as the day he realized what the Austrian school economists wrote was coming true.[33] That same day, the young physician decided to enter politics, saying later, “After that day, all money would be political money rather than money of real value. I was astounded.”[26]

First campaigns

Inspired by the monetary crisis he saw predicted by the Austrian school, Vietnam War funding, rampant inflation, and wholesale welfare,[15] Paul became a delegate to the Texas Republican convention and a Republican candidate for Congress. Incumbent Robert R. Casey defeated him in the 22nd district; Democrats won 1974 heavily. When President Gerald Ford appointed Casey to head the Federal Maritime Commission, Paul won a 1976 special election to fill the empty seat. Paul lost some months later in the general election, to Democrat Robert Gammage, by fewer than 300 votes (0.2%), but defeated Gammage in a 1978 rematch and won new terms in 1980 and 1982.

Paul led the Texas delegation to nominate Ronald Reagan for president in 1976: (left to right) Paul, Jack Fields, and Reagan aboard Air Force One.

Paul led the Texas delegation to nominate Ronald Reagan for president in 1976: (left to right) Paul, Jack Fields, and Reagan aboard Air Force One.

Paul was the first Republican representative from the area; he also led the Texas Reagan delegation at the national Republican convention.[38] His successful campaign against Gammage surprised local Democrats, who had expected to retain the seat easily in the wake of the Watergate scandal. Gammage underestimated Paul’s support among local mothers: “I had real difficulty down in Brazoria County, where he practiced, because he’d delivered half the babies in the county. There were only two obstetricians in the county, and the other one was his partner.”[39]

House of Representatives

Paul was the first member of Congress to propose term limits legislation in the House,[40] where he also declined to attend junkets or register for a Congressional pension while serving four terms.[41] His chief of staff (1978–1982) was Lew Rockwell.[42] In 1980, when a majority of Republicans favored President Jimmy Carter’s proposal to reinstate the draft, Paul argued that their views were inconsistent, stating they were more interested in registering their children than they were their guns.[40] He also proposed legislation to decrease Congressional pay by the rate of inflation; he was a regular participant in the annual Congressional baseball game;[38] and he continued to deliver babies on Mondays and Saturdays during his entire 22nd district career.[26]

During his first term, Paul founded a think tank, the Foundation for Rational Economics and Education (FREE).[43] Also in 1976, the foundation began publication of the first monthly newsletter connected with Paul, Dr. Ron Paul’s Freedom Report[44] (or Special Report). It also publishes monographs, books, radio spots, and (since 1997) a new series of the monthly newsletter, Ron Paul’s Freedom Report, all of which seek to create a greater public awareness of the principles of limited government.

On the House Banking Committee, Paul blamed the Federal Reserve for inflation,[36] and spoke against the banking mismanagement that led to the savings and loan crisis.[9] The U.S. Gold Commission created by Congress in 1982 was his and Jesse Helms’s idea, and Paul’s commission minority report was published by the Cato Institute in The Case for Gold;[33] it is now available from the Mises Institute, to which Paul is a distinguished counselor.[45]

In 1984, Paul chose to run for the U.S. Senate instead of re-election to the House, but lost the Republican primary to Phil Gramm.[46] He returned to full-time medical practice[36] and was succeeded by former state representative Tom DeLay.[47] In his House farewell address, Paul said, “Special interests have replaced the concern that the Founders had for general welfare. Vote trading is seen as good politics. The errand-boy mentality is ordinary, the defender of liberty is seen as bizarre. It’s difficult for one who loves true liberty and utterly detests the power of the state to come to Washington for a period of time and not leave a true cynic.”[42]

1988 presidential campaign

For more details on this topic, see United States presidential election, 1988.

In the 1988 presidential election, Paul defeated activist Russell Means (an Oglala Lakota) and musician Frank Zappa to win the Libertarian Party nomination for president.[9] Though an early adopter of Reagan, Paul criticized the unprecedented deficits incurred under Reagan and Vice President George H. W. Bush, Paul’s opponent.[41] On the ballot in 46 states and the District of Columbia,[48] Paul placed third in the popular vote with 432,179 votes (0.5%),[49] behind Bush and Michael Dukakis.[50] Paul was kept off the ballot in Missouri, and received votes there only when written in, due to what the St. Louis Post-Dispatch called a “technicality”.[51]

As the “Libertarian standard bearer”,[52][53] Paul gained supporters nationwide who agreed with him on many positions—gun rights, fiscal conservatism, homeschooling, and abortion—and won approval from many who thought the federal government was misdirected elsewhere. This nationwide support base encouraged and donated to his later campaigns.[26] 2008 campaign chair Kent Snyder first worked for Paul on the 1988 campaign—when U.S. Senator John McCain told him, “You’re working for the most honest man in Congress.”[13][19]

Paul said he sought more during his presidential run than reaching office—he spread his libertarian ideas, often to school and university groups regardless of vote eligibility: “We’re just as interested in the future generation as this election. These kids will vote eventually, and maybe, just maybe, they’ll go home and talk to their parents.”[48] He traveled the country for a year speaking about issues such as free market economics and the rising government deficits:[52] “That’s why we talk to a lot of young people. They’re the ones who are paying these bills, they’re the ones who are inheriting this debt, so it’s most likely these young people who will move into this next generation in government.”[54]

After the election, Paul continued his medical practice until he returned to Congress.[9][55] He also co-owned a coin dealership, Ron Paul Coins, for twelve years with Burt Blumert, who continued to operate it after Paul returned to office.[56][57] He spoke multiple times at the American Numismatic Association’s 1988 convention.[56] He worked with FREE on such projects as establishing the National Endowment for Liberty, producing the At Issue public policy series that aired on Discovery Channel and CNBC,[43] and continuing publication of Dr. Ron Paul’s Freedom Report.

In 1985 Ron Paul & Associates (RP&A), Inc. (minority-owned by Paul), also began publishing The Ron Paul Investment Letter[58] and The Ron Paul Survival Report;[26][59] it added the more controversial Ron Paul Political Report in 1987.[60] Articles were largely unbylined but often invoked Paul’s name or persona. In 1992, RP&A earned $940,000 and employed Paul’s family as well as Lew Rockwell (its vice-president[61] and sometime editor)[62] and seven other workers. An American Libertarian editor publicly named Rockwell as a ghostwriter for Paul in 1988, conveying a “common belief” suggested by Murray Rothbard and current among other libertarians;[61] Rockwell later acknowledged involvement in writing subscription letters, but attributed the newsletters to “seven or eight freelancers”.[63]

Later Congressional career

Paul's Congressional portrait.

Paul’s Congressional portrait.


For more details on this topic, see Texas’s 14th Congressional district.

1996 campaign

In 1996, Paul was re-elected to Congress after a tougher battle than he had faced in the 1970s. Since the Republicans had taken over both houses of Congress in the 1994 election, Paul entered the race hopeful that his Constitutionalist goals of tax cuts, closing agencies, and curbing the UN would have more influence,[64] but he quickly concluded “there was no sincere effort” toward his goals.[15] The Republican National Committee focused instead on encouraging Democrats to switch parties, as Paul’s primary opponent, incumbent Greg Laughlin, had done in 1995. The party threw its full weight behind Laughlin, including support from House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Governor George W. Bush, and the National Rifle Association. Paul responded by running newspaper ads quoting Gingrich’s harsh criticisms of Laughlin’s Democratic voting record 14 months earlier.[41] Paul won the primary with support from baseball pitcher, constituent, and friend Nolan Ryan (as honorary campaign chair and ad spokesman) and tax activist Steve Forbes.[9][26]

Paul’s Democratic opponent in the fall election, trial lawyer Charles “Lefty” Morris, received assistance from the AFL-CIO, but Paul’s large contributor base outraised Morris two-to-one, giving the third-highest amount of individual contributions received by any House member (behind Gingrich and Bob Dornan).[65]

While Paul was able to paint Morris as a tool of trial lawyers and big labor, Morris ran numerous ads about Paul’s advocacy of federal drug law repeal, and about the “Ron Paul” newsletters,[26] some of which had contained derogatory comments concerning race and other politicians, making them a public issue for the first time.[66][67] Particularly, after the Los Angeles riots of 1992, the Political Report—alluding to a contemporary scientific study finding that “of black men in Washington … about 85 percent are arrested at some point in their lives”[68][69]—proposed “that 95% of the black males in Washington DC are semi-criminal or entirely criminal”, and stated that “the criminals who terrorize our cities … largely are” young black males, who commit crimes “all out of proportion to their numbers”.[70] Paul’s campaign replied at the time that voters might not understand the “tongue-in-cheek, academic” quotes out of context, and rejected Morris’s demand to release back issues; Paul went on to win the election in a close margin. It became the third time Paul had been elected to Congress as a non-incumbent.[9]

Later campaigns

In 1998 and again in 2000, Paul defeated Loy Sneary, a Democratic Bay City rice farmer and former Matagorda County judge,[26] by running ads warning voters to be “leery of” Sneary.[27] Paul accused Sneary of voting to raise his pay by 5%, increasing his travel allotment by 400% in one year, and using increased taxes to start a new government bureaucracy to handle a license plate fee he enacted. Sneary’s aides said he had voted to raise all county employees’ pay by 5% in a cost-of-living increase. Paul countered that he had never voted to raise Congressional pay.[64][71] In both campaigns, the national Democratic Party and major unions had continued targeting Paul with heavy spending.[26]

In 2001, Paul took “moral responsibility” for the comments printed in the “Ron Paul” newsletters, telling Texas Monthly magazine that they were written by unnamed contributors and did not represent his views.[72] He said newsletter remarks referring to U.S. Representative Barbara Jordan (which called her a “fraud” and a “half-educated victimologist” whose “race and sex protect her from criticism”) were “the saddest thing, because Barbara and I served together and actually she was a delightful lady.” The magazine defended Paul’s decision to protect the writer’s confidence in 1996, concluding, “In four terms as a U.S. congressman and one presidential race, Paul had never uttered anything remotely like this.”[26] RP&A, the chief publisher, was dissolved the same year.[61]

An online grassroots petition to draft Paul for the 2004 presidential election garnered several thousand signatures.[73] On December 11, 2001, he told the independent movement that he was encouraged by the fact that the petition had spread the message of Constitutionalism, but did not expect a White House win at that time.[74] Further prompting in early 2007 led him to enter the 2008 race.

Unlike many political candidates, Paul receives the overwhelming majority of his campaign contributions from individuals[75] (97% in the 2006 cycle), and receives much less from political action committees (PAC’s) than others, ranging from 2% (2002) to 6% (1998).[76] The group Clean Up Washington, analyzing from 2000 to mid-2006, listed Paul as seventh-lowest in PAC receipts of all House members; one of the lowest in lobbyist receipts; and fourth-highest in small-donor receipts.[77] He has the lowest PAC receipts percentage of all the 2008 Republican presidential candidates.[78][79]

Paul continued to be re-elected to Congress, starting his tenth term in January 2007.[80] In the March 4, 2008, Republican primary for his Congressional seat,[81] he defeated Friendswood city councilman Chris Peden,[82] obtaining 70.18% of the vote.[83]

Relationship with district

After 2003 Texas redistricting, Paul’s district is larger than Massachusetts,[84] with 675 miles (1,100 kilometers) of Gulf of Mexico coastline between Houston and Corpus Christi, Texas, covering some 22 counties. Even so, Paul opposes programs like federally funded flood insurance (typically supported by coastal and rural representatives) because it requires those outside flood zones to subsidize those within, but prohibits those within from choosing their own insurers. In an overwhelmingly rural region known for ranching and rice farms,[33] Paul opposes farm subsidies because they are paid to large corporations rather than small farmers.[85] Despite his voting against heavily supported legislation like farm bills, Paul’s devotion to reducing government resonates with 14th district voters:[26] in a survey, 54% of his constituency agreed with his goal of eliminating the U.S. Department of Education.[86]

Paul has shifted hundreds of millions of dollars into his home district by conveying constituents’ earmark requests to committee, such as for Texas shrimp promotion, but he routinely votes against most spending bills returned by committee.[49][87] Earmarks permit members of Congress, rather than executive branch civil servants, to designate spending priorities[88] for previously authorized funds directed otherwise.[87] Paul compared his practice to objecting to the tax system yet taking all one’s tax credits: “I want to get their money back for the people.”[89] In The Revolution: A Manifesto, Paul states states is views on earmarks this way. “The real problem, and one that was unfortunately not addressed in the 2007’s earmark dispute, is the size of the federal government and the amount of money we are spending in these appropriations bills. Cutting even a million dollars from an appropriations bill that spends hundreds of billions will make no appreciable difference in the size of government, which is doubtless why politicians and the media are so eager to have us waste our time on this [earmarks].” [90]

Paul also spends extra time in the district to compensate for “violat[ing] almost every rule of political survival you can think of [in D.C.]”.[26] He often logs over 300 miles (500 kilometers) daily, and is famous for attending civic ceremonies for veterans, graduates, and Boy Scouts, often accompanied by his grandchildren. His staff helps senior citizens obtain free or low-cost prescription drugs through a little-known drug company program; procures lost or unreceived medals for war veterans, holding dozens of medal ceremonies annually; is known for its effectiveness in tracking down Social Security checks; and sends out birthday and condolence cards.[26][87]

In 2001, he was one of only eight doctors in the House; even fewer had continued to practice while in office. He is occasionally approached by younger area residents to thank him for attending their births.[26]


Main article: Legislation sponsored by Ron Paul

Paul authors many more bills than the average representative, such as those that impose term limits, or abolish the income tax[91] or the Federal Reserve; many do not escape committee review. He has written successful legislation to prevent eminent domain seizure of a church in New York, and a bill transferring ownership of the Lake Texana dam project from the federal government to Texas. By successfully amending other legislation, he has also barred funding for national identification numbers, funding for federal teacher certification,[26] International Criminal Court jurisdiction over the U.S. military, American participation in any U.N. global tax, and surveillance on peaceful First Amendment activities by citizens.[92]

In March 2001, Paul introduced a bill to repeal the 1973 War Powers Resolution (WPR) and reinstate the process of formal declaration of war by Congress.[93] Later in 2001, Paul voted to authorize the president, pursuant to WPR, to respond to those responsible for the September 11, 2001, attacks.[94] He also introduced Sunlight Rule legislation, which requires lawmakers to take enough time to read bills before voting on them,[95] after the massive Patriot Act was passed within 24 hours of its introduction. As one of six Republicans to vote against the Iraq War Resolution, Paul (with Oregon representative Peter DeFazio) also sponsored a resolution to repeal the war authorization in February 2003. Paul’s speech, 35 “Questions That Won’t Be Asked About Iraq”,[96] was translated and published in German, French, Russian, Italian, and Swiss periodicals before the Iraq War began.[87]

Paul says his fellow members of Congress have increased government spending by 75% during George W. Bush’s administration.[97] After a 2005 bill was touted as “slashing” government waste, Paul wrote that it decreased spending by a fraction of one percent and that “Congress couldn’t slash spending if the members’ lives depended on it.”[98] He said that in three years he had voted against more than 700 bills intended to expand government.[99]

Paul has introduced several bills to apply tax credits toward education, including credits for parental spending on public, private, or homeschool students (Family Education Freedom Act); for salaries for all K–12 teachers, librarians, counselors, and other school personnel; and for donations to scholarships or to benefit academics (Education Improvement Tax Cut Act).[100] In accord with his political positions, he has also introduced the Sanctity of Life Act, the We the People Act, and the American Freedom Agenda Act.[101]


Paul serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee (having been on the Western Hemisphere and the Asia and Pacific subcommittees); the Joint Economic Committee; and the Committee on Financial Services (as Ranking Member of the Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade and Technology subcommittee, and Vice-Chair of the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee).[102]

Paul was honorary chair of, and is a current member of, the Republican Liberty Caucus, a political action committee which describes its goal as electing “liberty-minded, limited-government individuals”.[103] Paul also hosts a luncheon every Thursday as chair of the Liberty Caucus, composed of 20 members of Congress.[9] He is a founding member of the Congressional Rural Caucus, which deals with agricultural and rural issues, and the 140-member Congressional Wildlife Refuge Caucus.[104] He remains on good terms with the Libertarian Party and addressed its 2004 convention.[105] He also was endorsed by the Constitution Party’s 2004 presidential candidate, Michael Peroutka.[106]

Paul was on a bipartisan coalition of 17 members of Congress that sued President Bill Clinton in 1999 over his conduct of the Kosovo war. They accused Clinton of failing to inform Congress of the action’s status within 48 hours as required by the War Powers Resolution, and of failing to obtain Congressional declaration of war. Congress had voted 427–2 against a declaration of war with Yugoslavia, and had voted to deny support for the air campaign in Kosovo. A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit, ruling that since Congress had voted for funding after Clinton had actively engaged troops in the war with Kosovo, legislators had sent a confusing message about whether they approved of the war. Paul said that the judge’s decision attempted to circumvent the Constitution and to authorize the president to conduct a war without approval from Congress.[107]

2008 presidential campaign

Main article: Ron Paul presidential campaign, 2008
Ron Paul at the Free State Project's Liberty Forum.

Ron Paul at the Free State Project’s Liberty Forum.

Ron Paul being interviewed the day of the New Hampshire primary in Manchester.

Ron Paul being interviewed the day of the New Hampshire primary in Manchester.

“Pleasantly surprised” by his exploratory committee’s findings, Paul formally declared his candidacy for the 2008 Republican nomination on March 12, 2007, on C-SPAN.[30][108] His campaign has very strong grassroots support, as reflected in dozens of wins in GOP straw polls, his lead in web searches[109] and YouTube subscriptions, and “surprisingly strong” fundraising[110] with several record-breaking events. Military contributions surpassed all Republican candidates,[111][112] and donations came heavily from individuals,[113] due significantly to a robust online presence and supporters’ creative use of viral marketing.[114] Supporter-organized moneybomb fundraisers netted $4.3 million on November 5[115] and $6.0 million on December 16; the latter was widely regarded as the single largest one-day fundraiser in political history.[116] Paul raised more than any other Republican candidate in fourth-quarter 2007.[117] Paul’s name was a number-one web search term as ranked by Technorati, beginning around May 2007,[4] and he has led other candidates in YouTube subscriptions since May 20, 2007.[118]

Some race-based “Ron Paul” newsletter passages had been re-aired in 2007 by the New York Sun[119] and the New York Times Magazine.[9] However, on January 8, 2008, the New Republic released many previously unpublicized quotations attributed to Paul,[120] charging him with “an obsession with conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeply held bigotry.” One issue (previously quoted by Charles Morris) was said to refer to the 1992 Los Angeles rioters as “barbarians” and to suggest that rioting only stopped when it came time for “blacks to pick up their welfare checks”; others reportedly gave tactical militia advice and advanced conspiracy theories.[121][122][123] In a press release, Paul repeated that the quotations came from several other writers “when I was out of Congress and practicing medicine full-time,” and again denounced and disavowed the “small-minded thoughts”, citing his 1999 House speech praising Rosa Parks for her courage; he said the charges simply “rehashed” the decade-old Morris attack.[124] Paul was defended by a “shocked” Wolf Blitzer,[125] and by Nelson Linder, president of the Austin NAACP chapter.[126] Reason cited Paul’s 1996 defense of the newsletters,[127] but later published evidence from “a half-dozen longtime libertarian activists” that Lew Rockwell had been the chief ghostwriter.[61]

Though projections of 2008 Republican delegate counts have varied widely, Paul’s count has consistently been third among the three candidates remaining after Super Tuesday. According to CNN[128] and the New York Times,[129] through Super Tuesday, Paul had received 5 delegates in North Dakota, and was projected to receive 2 in Iowa, 4 in Nevada, and 5 in Alaska based on caucus results, totaling 16. However, Paul’s campaign projected 42 delegates based on the same results, including delegates from Colorado, Maine, and Minnesota.[130]

In the January 22 Louisiana caucus, Paul placed second behind John McCain, but uncommitted delegates outnumbered both candidates’ pledged delegates, since a registration deadline had been extended to January 12.[131] Paul said he had the greatest number of pledged Louisiana delegates who had registered by the original January 10 deadline, and formally challenged the deadline extension and the Louisiana GOP’s exclusion of voters due to an outdated list;[132][133] he projected 3 Louisiana delegates. The Super Tuesday West Virginia caucus was won by Mike Huckabee, whose state campaign coordinators reportedly arranged to give 3 Huckabee delegates to Paul in exchange for votes from Paul’s supporters.[134] Huckabee has not confirmed this delegate pledge.[135]

Paul’s preference votes in primaries and caucuses began at 10% in Iowa (winning Jefferson County) and 8% in New Hampshire; on Super Tuesday they ranged from 25% in Montana and 21% in North Dakota, where he won several counties outright, to 3% in several states. After sweeping four states on March 4, McCain was widely projected to have a majority of delegates pledged to vote for him in the September party convention. Paul obliquely acknowledged McCain on March 6: “Though victory in the political sense [is] not available, many victories have been achieved due to hard work and enthusiasm.” He continues to contest the remaining primaries,[136] having added, “McCain has the nominal number … but if you’re in a campaign for only gaining power, that is one thing; if you’re in a campaign to influence ideas and the future of the country, it’s never over.”[137] His book about his ongoing presidential run, The Revolution: A Manifesto, became a New York Times and bestseller immediately upon release.[138][139][140][141]

Political positions

Main article: Political positions of Ron Paul
Paul at the 2007 National Right to Life Committee Convention in Kansas City, Missouri, June 15, 2007.

Paul at the 2007 National Right to Life Committee Convention in Kansas City, Missouri, June 15, 2007.

Paul has been described as conservative, Constitutionalist, and libertarian.[2] His nickname “Dr. No”[26] reflects both his medical degree and his insistence that he will “never vote for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution.”[36] One scoring method published in the American Journal of Political Science[142] found Paul the most conservative of all 3,320 members of Congress from 1937 to 2002.[143] Paul’s foreign policy of nonintervention[144] made him the only 2008 Republican presidential candidate to have voted against the Iraq War Resolution in 2002. He advocates withdrawal from the UN and NATO for reasons of maintaining strong national sovereignty. He supports free trade, rejecting membership in NAFTA and the World Trade Organization as “managed trade”. He supports tighter border security and ending welfare benefits for illegal aliens, and opposes birthright citizenship and amnesty;[145] he voted for the Secure Fence Act of 2006. He voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists in response to the September 11, 2001, attacks, but suggested war alternatives such as authorizing the president to grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal targeting speific terrorists.

Paul adheres deeply to Austrian school economics; he has authored six books on the subject, and displays pictures of classical liberal economists Friedrich Hayek, Murray Rothbard, and Ludwig von Mises (as well as of Grover Cleveland)[49] on his office wall. He regularly votes against almost all proposals for new government spending, initiatives, or taxes;[27] he cast two thirds of all the lone negative votes in the House during a 1995–1997 period.[26] He has pledged never to raise taxes[146] and states he has never voted to approve a deficit budget. Paul would abolish the individual income tax by scaling back the federal budget to its 2000 spending levels;[91][147] he would also rely on excise taxes and tariffs. He would eliminate most federal government agencies as unnecessary bureaucracies. Paul also sharply opposes inflation as a longterm erosion of the U.S. dollar’s purchasing power due to its lack of commodity backing. Paul “wouldn’t exactly go back on the gold standard”,[148] but instead has pushed to legitimize gold and silver as legal tender and to remove the sales tax on them. He advocates gradual elimination of the Federal Reserve System for many reasons, believing that economic volatility is decreased when the free market determines interest rates and money supply.[149] He favors allowing workers to opt out of Social Security to “protect the system for everyone”.

Paul strongly supports Constitutional rights, such as the right to bear arms, jury nullification, and habeas corpus for political detainees. Civil liberties concerns have led him to oppose the Patriot Act, federal use of torture, presidential autonomy, a national ID card, domestic surveillance, and the draft. Citing the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, Paul advocates states’ rights to decide how to regulate social matters not directly found in the Constitution. Paul calls himself “strongly pro-life”,[150] “an unshakable foe of abortion”,[151] and believes regulation or ban[152] on medical decisions about maternal or fetal health is “best handled at the state level”.[153][154] (He says his years as an obstetrician lead him to believe life begins at conception;[155] his pro-life legislation, like the Sanctity of Life Act, is intended to negate Roe v. Wade for ethical reasons and to get “the federal government completely out of the business of regulating state matters.”)[156]

He opposes federal regulation of the death penalty,[153] of education,[157] and of marriage, and he would revise the military “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy to focus on disruptive sexual behavior (whether heterosexual or homosexual).[158][159] A free-market environmentalist, he asserts private property rights in relation to environmental protection and pollution prevention. He also opposes the federal War on Drugs, desiring the states to decide whether to regulate or deregulate drugs, including medical marijuana. Paul pushes to eliminate federal involvement in and management of healthcare, which he argues would allow prices to drop due to the fundamental dynamics of a free market. He is an outspoken proponent for ballot access and numerous election law reforms.

Books authored

  • (1981) Gold, Peace, and Prosperity: The Birth of a New Currency (PDF), Lake Jackson, TX: Foundation for Rational Economics and Education. OCLC 7877384. Retrieved on 2007-07-30.
  • Paul, Ron; Lehrman, Lewis; U.S. Gold Commission (September 1982). The Case for Gold: A Minority Report of the U.S. Gold Commission (PDF), Washington, DC: Cato Institute (2d ed. Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2007). ISBN 0932790313. OCLC 8763972. Retrieved on 2007-07-30.
  • (1983) Abortion and Liberty. Lake Jackson, TX: Foundation for Rational Economics and Education. ISBN 0912453028. OCLC 9682249.
  • (1983) Ten Myths About Paper Money: And One Myth About Paper Gold. Lake Jackson, TX: Foundation for Rational Economics and Education. OCLC 11765863.
  • (1984) Mises and Austrian Economics: A Personal View (PDF), Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute (2d ed. 2004). OCLC 19968524. Retrieved on 2007-07-30.
  • (1987) Freedom Under Siege: The U.S. Constitution After 200 Years (PDF), Lake Jackson, TX: Foundation for Rational Economics and Education (2d ed. Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2007). OCLC 19697005. Retrieved on 2007-07-30.
  • (1990) Challenge to Liberty: Coming to Grips with the Abortion Issue. Lake Jackson, TX: Ron Paul Enterprises. OCLC 46960450.
  • (1991) The Ron Paul Money Book. Plantation Publishing.
  • (2000) A Republic, If You Can Keep It. Lake Jackson, TX: Foundation for Rational Economics and Education. OCLC 45414993. Retrieved on 2008-03-23.
  • (2002) The Case for Defending America. Lake Jackson, TX: Foundation for Rational Economics and Education. OCLC 49744552.
  • (2002) The Ron Paul – Liberty In Media Awards – 2001. Jersey City, NJ: Palisade Business Press. ISBN 1893958841.
  • (2003) The Ron Paul – Liberty In Media Awards – Vol. 2 – 2002. Jersey City, NJ: Palisade Business Press.
  • (2004) The Ron Paul – Liberty In Media Awards – Vol. 3 – 2003. Jersey City, NJ: Palisade Business Press. ISBN 1893958248.
  • Upton, Fred, and Paul, Ron (2005). Indecency in the Media: Rating and Restricting Entertainment Content: Should the House Pass H.R. 3717, the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act?. Washington, DC: Congressional Digest Corp. OCLC 81150568.
  • Rangel, Charles B., and Paul, Ron (2006). Compulsory National Service: 2006-2007 Policy Debate Topic: Should the All-Volunteer Force be Replaced by Universal, Mandatory National Service?. Bethesda, MD: Congressional Digest Corp. OCLC 84912971.
  • (2007) A Foreign Policy of Freedom: Peace, Commerce, and Honest Friendship. Lake Jackson, TX: Foundation for Rational Economics and Education. ISBN 0912453001. OCLC 145174995.
  • (2008) Pillars of Prosperity. Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute.
  • Paul, Ron; Haddad, Philip; Marsh, Roger (April 2008). Ron Paul Speaks. Guilford, CT: Lyons Press. ISBN 1599214482. OCLC 199459258.
  • (2008) The Revolution: A Manifesto. New York, NY: Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 0446537519. OCLC 191881970.

Other contributions

  • Paul, Ron; Hayashi, Terry; Pardo, Victoriano; and Fisher, Edwin (1969). “Evaluation of Renal Biopsy in Pregnancy Toxemia”. Obstetrics and Gynecology 34: 235–241. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Retrieved on 2007-12-13.
  • Pearl, Sandy; Beutel, Bill; Alis, Bob; Weingold, Dave; Paul, Ron; Bartsch, Ed. (1980). Born Again [Videotape]. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Instructional Resources Center. OCLC 7407395.
  • Vieira, Jr., Edwin (1983). Pieces of Eight, Paul, Ron (foreword), Fort Lee, NJ: Sound Dollar Committee. ISBN 27301727. OCLC 9919612.
  • Skousen, Mark; Weber, Chris; Ketcher, Michael, eds. (1987). The Closing Door, Paul, Ron (introduction), Bethel, CT: Institute for the Preservation of Wealth (2d ed. 1988). ISBN 0938689037. OCLC 17209571.
  • “Being Pro-Life is Necessary to Defend Liberty” (1999). International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy 19 (3-4): 11. MCB University Press, Ltd. ISSN 0144-333X. OCLC 89482648.
  • Minns, Michael Louis (2001). How to Survive the IRS, Paul, Ron (foreword), Fort Lee, NJ: Barricade Books. ISBN 1569801703. OCLC 44860846.
  • Paul, Ron; Bartlett, Roscoe; et al. (2001). The United Nations & the New World Order (Videotape). Brunswick, OH: American Portrait Films, Inc. ISBN 1573411329. OCLC 56793278.
  • von NotHaus, Bernard, ed. (2003-09-01). The Liberty Dollar Solution to the Federal Reserve, Paul, Ron (Chapter 21: Abolish the Fed), Evansville, IN: American Financial Press. ISBN 0967102529.
  • Fortman, Erik; Lavello, Randy (2004). Webs of Power, Paul, Ron (interview), Austin, TX: Van Cleave Publishing. ISBN 0975967002. OCLC 61026033.
  • Jaeger, James; Baehr, Theodore; Griffin, G. Edward; Paul, Ron; Vieira, Edwin. (2007). Fiat Empire: Why the Federal Reserve Violates the U.S. Constitution [DVD]. Beverly Hills, CA: Cornerstone-Matrixx Entertainment. OCLC 192133806.
  • Haugen, David M., and Musser, Susan, eds. (2007). Human Embryo Experimentation, Paul, Ron (Chapter 9: No form of stem cell research should be federally funded), Detroit, MI: Greenhaven Press. ISBN 0737732431. OCLC 84152907.
  • Haugen, David M., ed. (2007). National Security, Paul, Ron (Chapter 1-7: The federal debt is a threat to national security), Detroit, MI: Greenhaven Press. ISBN 0737737611. OCLC 144227284.
  • Belloc, Hilaire, and Chesterton, Cecil [1911] (2007). The Party System, Paul, Ron (foreword), Norfolk, VA: IHS Press. ISBN 1932528113. OCLC 173299105.
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