Congressman Ron Paul has quietly put together an organization to start “testing the waters” to see if the 2008 Republican presidential candidate wants to make another attempt at getting the GOP nod to run for president.
Paul has not set up an exploratory committee like other potential candidates such as Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, and Herman Cain, but he has created a so-called “testing the waters” account that allows him to start raising money towards a potential bid and could eventually become his main campaign account.
Jesse Benton, director of Paul’s LibertyPAC, told Politico that the pro-life Texas congressman is expected to announce next month whether he will take a more formal position on running for the Republican nomination, but that the new account was opened with the expectation of creating an exploratory committee. Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have also opened testing the waters accounts but have stopped short of a formal exploratory committee.
“Dr. Paul continues to use LibertyPAC to fund his activities while he explores his political options for 2012,” Benton told Politico. “He remains undecided on what his plans will be, but as a final decision draws closer, his team has put the pieces in place for him to flip a switch and hit the ground running if he decides to run for president.”
Like other potential Republican candidates seeking to take on pro-abortion President Barack Obama, Paul has frequently visited early primary and caucus states like Iowa, New Hampshire and others. He raised about $3 million for his political action committee recently, according to Politico, indicating he will have enough money to mount a fairly competitive bid should he choose to seek the nomination.
Paul also won the CPAC straw poll in February, although he was criticized by conservatives for paying for hundreds of students to attention the conference and vote for him.
On Monday, Paul said libertarians like him should take a pro-life stance on abortion. Speaking for the Iowa Family Leader’s presidential lecture series, Paul said he is disappointed when libertarians take a pro-abortion stance such as “it’s the woman’s body. She can do whatever she wants. She can have an abortion.”
“I don’t like them to use that argument – that believing in liberty means you can kill the unborn,” Paul said.
“Life comes from our creator, not our government. Liberty comes from our creator, not from government,” he said. “Therefore, the purpose, if there is to be a purpose, for government is to protect life and liberty.”