Congressman Ron Paul Explores Bid for Presidential Nomination

14th District Republican Congressman Ron Paul has often been at odds with his party's leadership. Now he's exploring a bid for the Republican presidential nomination to take back what he says is a corrupted party. From Washington, Jill Morrison reports.

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Ron Paul is not your typical Republican. He strongly opposes the war in Iraq. He voted against the Patriot Act, and warns that President Bush is going down a dangerous path toward war with Iran. Paul ran as the Libertarian Party's presidential nominee in 1988. But now he wants to change the Republican Party from within by running for President. While it's an uphill battle, Paul believes the rise of the Internet has changed politics and will help him in his campaign.

"I think in a way Howard Dean proved that; that you can raise money, a significant amount of money, and be able to put a good campaign together."

Like Dean in 2004, Paul is an outsider. But he says the Republican base is ready for the change.

"Now it's a party of big government, corporate interests, and warmongering, and I think it's time that the Republican people had a chance to vote for something else.") 11 seconds

Paul says he will base his campaign on the issues most important to him: free markets and individual liberty.

"The government should be out of regulating the economy. I think the monetary issue is important. I don't believe government should be able to print money out of thin air to pay their bills because that causes a lot of problems. I think the government should be out of our bedrooms. I don't think they should be regulating any personal behavior if it's non-violent. That means we have to tolerate people who do things that sometimes are dumb and sometimes are irritating, but in a free society you tolerate that."

In Congress, Paul has earned the nickname "Dr. No" for voting against any bill he believes violates the Constitution. While his views differ from many of his colleagues, 2nd District Republican congressman Ted Poe thinks Paul will at least add to the debate.

"Certainly if he wants to run for president go for it. He's a very knowledgeable individual, he's been around a long time and so having him run I think is a good thing."

Paul says that he will make his final decision on whether to run in the next few months. Paul says he will also seek an 11th term in the House. For Houston Public Radio, I'm Jill Morrison on Capitol Hill