Reason Ron Paul will not run third party in 2012: Rand 2016


The 2012 primary race is far from over and Ron Paul is not out of the hunt with only 3 contests complete. But I wanted to address the third party question. The establishment press most recently embodied by Brian Williams on Monday night are addicted to asking Ron Paul the third party question again and again for 5 years. There is a reason that the same political establishment that attempts to marginalize the Ron Paul candidacy also repeatedly asks him if he will run as a third party candidate. Those asking the question are hoping to cast Paul and his followers out into the wilderness of third party politics. A wilderness where candidates no longer have the privilege of participating in debates or appearing on TV or even radio. Just ask Gary Johnson how his campaign is going if you can find him. Or how many Sunday morning shows Chuck Baldwin was on during his 2008 run.

The genius of the Paul campaign is that by running in the Republican race he has been able to spell out his message to US voters by contrasting himself with the mainline GOP candidates. And while the media can attempt to marginalize him, there is such a stark contrast between him and every other candidate that his small amount of air-time is amplified by the freshness of his arguments.

It is important to keep the Republican avenue open for not only his son Rand in 2016, but also for constitutional conservatives in local races such as Justin Amash of Western Michigan, the 31 year old heir apparent to Ron Paul in the House of Representatives. And then for the hundreds of candidates that will be born out of the Liberty movement over the course of the next several decades.

If Rand Paul does indeed run for the GOP nomination in 2016 he will likely take the trail blazed by his father. He was able to win a statewide race in Kentucky for Jim Bunnings Senate seat by beating an establishment Republican in the primary and then beating his Democratic opponent by 10 points in the general election. Rand presented a more nuanced view on national defense. In this early video from his Senate campaign Rand lays out the difference in his approach to national defense from his father. This nuanced approach coupled with his relaxed, intellectual delivery on the stump made him an elite candidate from day one.

A third party run by Ron Paul in 2012 would make the presidential campaign path much more difficult for Rand in 2016, a year when the field will be much stronger than this cycle. Any harm caused by a 2012 third party run, which Rand would back either directly or by proxy would effectively shut the door on a 2016 Republican run. I think the 2016 cycle is likely to bring out the candidates that the Republican Party was swooning over just months ago, namely Palin, Paul Ryan and Chris Christie. With a field like this it will be important to have very few obstacles to overcome on day one.

I think the ultimate question will be whether the Liberty movement began by Ron Paul will take over the Republican Party leaving the current mainline Republicans to break off into a third party. The other outcome would be the Liberty movement failing to take over the Republican party but growing strong enough to establish their own third party alternative that will be part of the mainline political process. I think there is no question a break down will come in the next eight years.

Additional Reading:

Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom by Ron Paul

The Tea Party Goes to Washington by Rand Paul

Filed Under: FeaturedNational Politics


About the Author: Andy is a graduate student who lives in Milwaukee.

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  1. Derek says:

    Maybe he is setting it up for Rand Paul to run in 2016, but my fear is that by then it will be to late. I believe that the true goal should be to help break this system of democrat/republican party politics. Ron Paul could help break this cycle. Even if he doesnt win as a 3rd party candidate if he ran as one, he would still cause an uproar. He has a massive following regardless of what the media claims. I believe he could wake the nation up if he ran as a third party candidate.

  2. José Mora says:

    Another good reason Ron Paul will not run 3rd party is that he still has a good shot at winning the GOP nomination.

  3. JohnBalzer says:

    The observations in this article are sound. There is an additional dynamic just taking place. Gary Johnson has weighed the Paul phenomena and is now considering picking Rand Paul for his running mate this 2012 election. This will stir things up rather handily.

  4. Steve says:

    Rand is an Isolationist! Just like his father! He will never get more than 10% just like his father Ron!

    • Priyank says:

      Ron Paul isn’t an isolationist but a non-interventionist. He believes that the US should stop meddling in the affairs of other nations and stop playing the role of policeman of the world. On the contrary he believes that we should be speaking and trading with other countries instead of imposing sanctions on them. Lead by example not force.

    • Dave says:

      Ron and Rand Paul are not isolationist. They are non interventionist. There is a big difference. Get the facts straight.

    • Vic says:

      Steve, you are obviously one of those people that hate RP simply because he has a movement. It’s blatantly obvious that you did no reading or possibly even understood him in debates, and that you probably just watch CNN, FOX, and read MSM news. You are instantly sniffed out because of you calling him an isolationist; even the MSM finally cannot stave off the fact that he is NOT an isolationist but a non-interventionalist. He wants free trade and friendship among countries, but he does NOT want to barge in to other country’s political business. Get the difference? No? Then get educated. I am still an independent voter, but I want a fair view on all candidates before I decide, and people like you, who get the facts WRONG, are just sheep by the MSM.

  5. Larry says:

    Steve, according to Wikipedia, Ron Paul’s polocies (as outlined on ronpaul2012 dot com)do not fall under isolationism. They are closer to non-interventionism. Also, Ron Paul recived closer to 20% of the votes cast this primary.

  6. LesterP says:


    Nice troll job! Troll harder newb!

  7. mahmoud says:

    If he is screwed out of the nomination, he should run as Indy and bring down the whole corrupt party, that would give Obama 4 more years to screw us (better than a possible 8 years for Newt, Mitt, or crazy Rick)and accomplish 2 things, a- break the silly illusion that we have 2 parties to an end, b-teach those crazy war mongering bastaads a lesson for treating him (and us his supporters) as they did.

  8. Paul says:

    I am a die hard Ron Paul supporter, but sadly the numbers don’t look good for him to get the GOP nomination. It’s really sad to me that these debates are nothing more than bickering sessions between tweedle-dumb and tweedle-dumber. I think Paul and to a lesser degree Santorum are there to discuss the issues and viable solutions to our problems. Instead we get a belly-full of more of the same.

    I agree with most of what this article stated with regard to Rand, but as another poster already stated, I fear it may be too late by then. 2016 is a long way off and I think the last four years have proven that things can absolutely get a whole lot worse.

    I’m trying very hard to keep the faith, and I’m donating money to Ron Paul so he can continue to spread the message of liberty, regardless of whether or not he can get the nomination.

  9. James says:

    I think Rand Paul will run for Governor of Kentucky in 2015, that way he’ll get real executive experience if he wins. Followed by making a run for Presdient in 2020 or 2024, whichever he chooses.

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