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Ron Paul Suggests Third Party Presidential Run Still An Option

First Posted: 01/06/2012 4:09 pm Updated: 01/06/2012 4:23 pm

NASHUA, N.H. -- Ron Paul inched further away on Friday from any unequivocal promise not to run under a third-party banner if he fails to win the GOP presidential nomination.

In a brief interview with The Huffington Post on Friday, Paul acknowledged he will have a decision to make if he loses the GOP bid come August.

In his conversation with HuffPost, Paul noted that he had won nearly as many delegates in Iowa as Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum had, and that he was likely to pick up a good share here in New Hampshire and -- having hauled in $13 million last quarter -- in other contests to come.

With many delegates in a bloc heading into the convention in Tampa, didn't that mean he would remain committed to the GOP and not run an independent candidacy in the fall, even if he did not secure the nomination?

"I'll decide that later," Paul said while he was waiting for his son Rand Paul, a GOP senator from Kentucky, to finish an interview with the press.

When asked whether it would be difficult to run independently with a son who might want to run for the GOP nomination some day, the senior Paul said again, "I'll decide that later," before being hustled to a press event.

In the past, Paul has sounded more certain that he wouldn't seek an independent presidential run, though he has not flatly denied the possibility.

"I have enough on my plate right now," Paul said in a mid-December interview with "Meet The Press," according to the Boston Globe. "We have a lot of campaigning to do. We're going to be very busy the next couple of weeks. That’s what I’m concentrating on, and we’ll see what happens."

And last Monday before the Iowa caucuses, he told CNN's Dana Bash, "I have no plans of doing that [running for a third party]. Tomorrow's a big day. We're going to see what happens, but I have no intention of doing that. No plans, and no desire. Flat out, I don't want to."

Still, he added then, "I've never spoken in absolutes."

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