Rep. Ron Paul (R., Texas) held a press conference Wednesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to endorse several third-party candidates in attendance, including Ralph Nader (Independent), Cynthia McKinney (Green Party), Chuck Baldwin (Constitution Party) and Bob Barr (Libertarian Party).
Paul rejected supporting either Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) or Sen. Barack Obama (D., Ill.). He said:
"The strongest message can be sent by rejecting the two-party system, which in reality is a one-party system with no possible chance for the changes to occur which are necessary to solve our economic and foreign policy problems. This can be accomplished by voting for one of the non-establishment principled candidates -- Baldwin, Barr, McKinney, Nader, and possibly others."
Paul has a third-party history himself. He ran unsuccessfully as a Libertarian in the 1988 presidential race.
In the 2008 Republican primary, Paul developed a devoted following through the Internet and public gatherings. His campaign raised an impressive $34 million. Although he never won a primary, he had a consistent following throughout.
Paul didn't disappear after pulling out of the race. He published a best-selling book,
. Furthermore, Paul held his own political convention opposite the Republicans' convention in the Twin Cities last week that turned out thousands of supporters.
Considering the polls, an
NBC/Wall Street Journal
had Obama leading McCain 46-45 Wednesday. Paul's endorsement could have an effect on the race.
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