This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

5 Things You Don't Know About Ron Paul

WASHINGTON (TheStreet) -- Ron Paul announced another run for president this morning, which is great for the Republican hopeful's rabid followers but doesn't offer a lot of information for Americans still unsure what he's all about.

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul has spent 14 terms endearing his libertarian-minded fiscal policies to his constituents in Texas and roughly the past five years spreading the gospel of economic forbearance to a broader national following that loves him for it. The supporters he picked up during the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries of the 2008 presidential election were drawn to his calls for decreased federal debt, reined-in spending (including military cuts that put him at odds with the GOP establishment) and overall smaller government.

Ron Paul has an uphill battle in another run for president, starting with the fact a poll shows he's popular with only about 5% of potential Republican voters.

His message hasn't changed, but America's stance toward it certainly has. The economic crisis that ushered in the tea party movement and helped install some of its acolytes in office during the midterm elections brought many of Paul's criticisms of public programs, foreign policy and the monetary system to the fore. While some of his views are still considered extreme even in conservative circles -- ending foreign aid, immediately withdrawing troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, defending legalization of drugs including heroin (as he did last week during a Republican debate on Fox News (NWS)) -- elements of his platform are becoming more palatable to mainstream Republicans and voters.

"I think there was more of a consensus on foreign affairs four years ago within the Republican party and Congressman Paul was outside that consensus, and it disqualified him from being considered a serious candidate," says Trey Grayson, director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. "Four years later, especially after the death of Osama bin Laden, there's a lot less consistency in the Republican party on foreign affairs."

Few can offer as much insight into Paul's popularity as Grayson, who served as Kentucky's secretary of state from 2003 until January, capping his second term with a run against Paul's son Rand Paul in a race for the vacant Senate seat of Republican stalwart Jim Bunning. Despite endorsements from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, former Vice President Dick Cheney and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Grayson lost the election by 23 points as Rand Paul's popularity with tea party supporters and libertarians swept him into office.

Congressman Paul is still popular with only about 5% of potential Republican voters and, according to a Rassmussen Reports poll conducted in April, trails President Barack Obama in a matchup 42% to 34%. Still, Grayson says Paul and his followers will grab more of voters' attention than they did during the 2008 campaign, partly because the electorate is more receptive to what they've heard about Paul's platform. But these five things the general public doesn't know about Ron Paul may just be his biggest strengths:

1 of 4

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,004.64 +22.05 0.13%
S&P 500 1,979.85 +0.94 0.05%
NASDAQ 4,457.3570 +12.4480 0.28%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs