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Ron Paul: I'll Grab Rick Perry Votes

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Ron Paul said he thinks he'll pick up some of Rick Perry's votes in the Republican primaries now that the Texas governor has dropped his presidential bid, Paul said in an interview.

Perry endorsed Newt Gingrich Thursday after he announced his decision, but Paul said that he doesn't think Gingrich will necessarily pick up all of what remained of Perry's supporters in the race.

Ron Paul

"His [Perry's] numbers kept going down, he didn't have any votes to pass on -- I don't think you can pass your votes on anyway -- and I think they're going to be distributed to the various candidates and they probably have already," Paul said.

Paul said voters could come to him from Perry for various reasons, but he said that support could come from unpredictable places.

"People saw him as a fellow Texan, and I just think that I'll get some of those votes," Paul said. "I think it was hard to predict what would happen when [Herman] Cain got out, but our polling showed that we jumped a bit ... and we picked up some of those votes."

The Texas congressman is currently polling third-place in the South Carolina primary behind Gingrich and Mitt Romney, but most January polls have shown Paul holding steadily at around 15%.

Paul, who in summer 2011 said he would forgo another term in Congress to focus solely on a presidential bid, finished third in the Iowa caucuses and second in the New Hampshire primary as his 2012 run has seen a substantial uptick in support since his unsuccessful 2008 bid.

Paul has influenced a substantial number of GOP voters because of his critical views on the Federal Reserve and the United States' debt. He's also gained followers because of his tax policy.

"I try to get people to think of spending as a tax, because once the government starts to spend money, they're going to tax you whatever," Paul said in the interview. "If you want to look at the tax code: the simpler the better."

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