There will, reportedly at least, be no joy on the Internet tonight — mighty Ron Paul is getting out. ABC News’ Political Radar blog is reporting that the Texas Congressman will be the star of a video, to be posted to his campaign Web site Thursday night, in which he’ll tell his supporters that he’s winding down his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.
Despite his popularity on the Internet, and his surprising fundraising totals, Paul’s quixotic campaign was never able to get any real traction when it mattered on Election Day; he’ll end his time in the race having won only 14 delegates. On Tuesday night, however, he was able to survive a primary challenge and hold on to the Republican nomination for re-election to his Congressional seat.
Ron Paul To Drop Out of Presidential race in Web Video
ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf Reports: Texas Congressman Ron Paul will become the final Republican candidate for President who is not John McCain to drop out of the Presidential race tonight, ABC News has learned.
It was a spirited run for Paul, whose follower’s called their support for him a “revolution” of non-interventionism and small government.
In a web video to be posted on Paul’s website he will tell supporters he is winding down his campaign, which had already taken a back seat in recent weeks to his simultaneous bid for reelection to his Congressional seat.
Despite a concerned-seeming fundraising blitz toward the end of the Republican primary in Texas, Paul won the party primary for the 14th Texas Congressional District by more than 2 to 1. He did not fare so well in the Republican Primary in Texas, getting less than 5 percent of the vote and no delegates.
Paul has amassed only 14 delegates that he can take to the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis in September -miles short of what was needed to be seen as a contender for the nomination. But for a candidate who ran well outside his party on issues as crucial as the War in Iraq and civil liberties, where Paul sounds more like a liberal Democrat or a member of the ACLU than a mainstream Republican. His contention that his views were closer to the roots of the Republican party got some people thinking, but ultimately did not get enough votes.
Paul can rightly claim his Presidential bid, which enjoyed a visible, if apparently non-voting following, and enjoyed several quarters of impressive fundraising, was successful at giving Republicans some pause.
Echoes of his pledge to shut down the IRS could be heard in the campaign of Mike Huckabee, who ran closer to the Republican main stream on other issues. Elsewhere, as the US economy dips, Paul’s criticism of the Department of Treasury and the Federal Reserve for the role they play in inflation, can be seen as well.
Ultimately, however, Paul wanted to campaign as a Republican and be, as one aide put it recently, “not entirely quixotic.”
Paul has shied away from calls by supporters to run a third party campaign for the Presidency. He mounted such a campaign in 1988 when he left the Republican party to run for President as a Libertarian. But this go-around Paul has said that the US political system is too tough a nut to crack for third parties. It takes too much money and organization, he has said, to get on the ballot.
Plus, as he wrote to supporters after trouncing his Congressional seat primary opponent, his job in the Congress is a pretty good one and allows him a soapbox from which to preach his small government, libertarian gospel.
“The message of freedom is popular,” he wrote on Tuesday night. “And I will continue to trumpet it in Congress and across America as I fight on behalf of the conservative, common sense values which made our country so great. In conclusion, I would like to offer my thanks and gratitude to all of the wonderful people who supported me in this campaign. I look forward to representing all of the good people of the 14th District of Texas in Congress in the years to come.”