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You might not know it by the media coverage, but there are two candidates from Texas in the Republican presidential field. One finished sixth in Iowa’s Republican straw poll last week with 4 percent of the vote. The other finished second with 28 percent. The guy who finished just 1 percentage point behind winner Michele Bachmann was not Rick Perry, the newest entrant in the 2012 White House race. It was Rep. Ron Paul, the libertarian lawmaker from Lake Jackson, Texas, and third-time presidential contender.While Texas’ tough-talking governor soaked up the media spotlight, the cerebral Paul continued to plug away as the outsiders’ outsider in the 2012 presidential campaign. The 75-year-old congressman with the message of less government and more liberty has quietly built the largest grassroots network in the Republican field, far larger than the team thus far assembled by his home state’s governor. And although he gets precious little attention on the TV news networks – and is dismissed by political pundits as a libertarian “niche” candidate without broad appeal – the former track runner has been rising in the polls and remains a force in the Republican race.
“It may surprise you: I don’t know the governor,” Paul told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Thursday. “I don’t recall ever having met him.” They are sure to meet soon. There are three Republican presidential debates scheduled in the next month, and Paul has his sights set on Perry. “I’m very pleased that he’s coming in because he represents the status quo,” Paul said at the GOP debate last week in Ames, Iowa. “He’ll just dilute all their votes.”
Presidential scholars say Perry’s best strategy would be to avoid engaging with Paul. The reason: He risks a confrontation that would elevate Paul to the top-tier stature Perry now has and could provoke a YouTube moment that Perry would later regrets.
Originally posted by kro32
Another Ron Paul thread bringing very important information.