‘Virtually Zero Chance’ of Ron Paul Third Party Bid, Says Jesse Benton

Over at The Fix, Aaron Blake asks the Ron Paul campaign about the possibility of a third party campaign. Campaign manager Jesse  Benton shoots down the idea.

Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul’s presidential campaign said Monday that he’s very unlikely to run for president as a third-party candidate.

“We don’t deal in absolutes, but there’s virtually zero chance,” said Paul campaign manager Jesse Benton. “He has no plans, no interest. It’s as close to zero as it can be without absolutely ruling it out.”

Paul’s showing at the Ames Straw Poll on Saturday — he came within 200 votes or so of winning – has forced people to take notice of his campaign.

Despite his strong showing at Ames, Paul is still given virtually no chance to win the Republican nomination as his libertarian-leaning brand of politics and distance from most Republicans on foreign policy matters make it difficult for him to win over mainstream GOPers.

But it’s become increasingly clear that Paul would cause severe problems for the GOP as a third-party candidate since he could likely win 5 or 10 percent of the vote in any given state with most of it coming at the expense of the eventual Republican nominee.

Benton also takes on sore loser laws in the article.

Benton noted, though, that the practicalities of running a third-party campaign make it very difficult to seek the GOP nomination first. Some states, for example, require that a candidate filing for a primary under one party’s banner sign a pledge promising to not run with another party in the general election.

“You have to make a decision pretty early on which way you’re going to go,” Benton said, “and he’s chosen to stay in the Republican Party.”

Ron Paul was the 1988 Libertarian presidential nominee. In 2008 he endorsed Constitution Party nominee Chuck Baldwin for President of the United States, and he is a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party.

15 thoughts on “‘Virtually Zero Chance’ of Ron Paul Third Party Bid, Says Jesse Benton

  1. paulie

    since he could likely win 5 or 10 percent of the vote in any given state with most of it coming at the expense of the eventual Republican nominee.

    I don’t think that most of it would necessarily be at the expense of the Republicans.

    Benton noted, though, that the practicalities of running a third-party campaign make it very difficult to seek the GOP nomination first. Some states, for example, require that a candidate filing for a primary under one party’s banner sign a pledge promising to not run with another party in the general election.

    In the general election, it is technically slates of electors that are on the ballot for president. Sore loser laws do not apply.

  2. Don Lake, FYI, not necessarily a unilateral endorsement

    Perot, even after that strange in – now, out – now, in – now summer, drew support from all over the spectrum!

    In 1980 the John Anderson – Richard Lacey, National Unity Party, effort went from announcement [zero] to signing petitions in the mall [60 mph] in mere weeks.

    Having vacation time, I proudly served full time as the number three guy in a less populated state.

    Petition signers [yes, merely to get the team on the ballot] came from all points of the political compass!

  3. Robert Capozzi

    4 p, my guess is they probably know that the sore loser obstacle is not really a concern. It’s more likely posturing. Once RP is eliminated, they can say, “Yo, we looked at the sore loser thing more closely, and deemed it of no concern.”

    That is, IF they want to go third party/indie.

  4. Veterans for a Better Citizens Home

    Why doesn’t Ron Paul support a massive expansion of public housing funding at the federal level? What we need is a better citizens home. More government money to building massive high-rise condos for low-income people.

    The Veterans for a Better Citizens Home support this agenda. We will endorse Ron Paul if he endorses this agenda as well!

    Someone go tell Jesse Benton so that they can issue the press release in support immediately.

  5. JT

    Ron Paul is extremely unlikely to run as an alternative party candidate for President?

    In other news, the Earth is spherical and not flat.

  6. paulie

    my guess is they probably know that the sore loser obstacle is not really a concern

    I’m not too sure of that. You may be right, as Eric Garris is (I think) still in pretty good with them and talks to Richard Winger frequently, but the disorganization of the 2008 Ron Paul ballot access (yes, Rs and Ds have to petition in some states) was remarkable. A campaign with that amount of money and popular support should have been much better run.

  7. Andy

    “but the disorganization of the 2008 Ron Paul ballot access (yes, Rs and Ds have to petition in some states) was remarkable.”

    They made it on the ballot but it was only because they had a lot of money to throw at the ballot access problem.

  8. Robert Capozzi

    8 p, clarifying, I am not Sipos, so I don’t read minds. Reason I suggest that it’s a bit of misdirection is that the question seems easily answered. They’ve raised the matter for months now as an obstacle to running 3rd party. I would think that it might be a question at the outset, but now I’d think it’d be settled. I have no proof, just a hunch…

  9. Don Lake, FYI, not necessarily a unilateral endorsement

    Veterans for a Better Citizens Home //

    “What we need is a better citizens home. More government money to building massive high-rise condos [Soviet Style] for low-income people.”

    [Lake: build wind mills, waste to gasoline plants, and retro fit bridges. No need to build more housing with THOUSANDS of perfectly good (abet older, no shelters, no radon fans, poor heating / cooling, no side walks, one car garages) units boarded up and ready to live in!]

    “Veterans for a Better Citizens Home [Lake: whom ever they are ……….. Cody ????????] support this agenda. “

  10. Kleptocracy and You

    Learning that the rules were changed in the RP since the ’08 Primaries, leads me to now state that all constitutionalists and libertarians as well as like-minded independents should think seriously about supporting this Paul effort for the RP nomination. The RP has moved somewhat away from winner take all to more proportional delegate disbursement. In a nutshell Ron Paul can fight this out and will have a place at the R convention. If (a big IF) the field stays crowded and the non Paul vote is dispersed to several candidates and doesn’t coalesce to one candidate, Ron Paul could be a main player all the way to the convention. Not a 13th floor, but much closer to the Penthouse this time around !

    At his current age and his announced retirement from the House odds are actually better this time he could go the Third Party route, however don’t look for it to happen as I and several others feel Rand Paul is in the wings and looking to ’16 or 20 as his year to seek the R nomination and a perceived dissing of the RP by RP would be detrimental to Rand’s standing in the Party.

    The ’08 effort was disorganized, but hey they didn’t expect to do much. This time their goals are higher and they should be as Paul can rack up delegates all the way to the convention . If the MSM wasn’t such an enemy the old guy might could even get his name on the Veep list . Some Party members are noticing Paul is energizing college kids and that is a major thing! So look for everything about the ’12 Paul effort to be better than the ’08.

    So if you have a few bucks left AFTER you help the LP or CP you may feel good about sending them Paul’s way. He can be a “player” in the ’12 R primary race. The LP and CP will need to be the PLAYER$ in Nov.!

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  11. Robert Capozzi

    12 p, does his Yoda thing! Yes, overlooking is rather common. In this case, what are we overlooking? That Team RP hasn’t actually looked into the matter?

    Tell us, Obi Wan..

  12. paulie

    RC

    I meant the obvious is often overlooked by campaign teams, in this case perhaps by Ron Paul’s. In other words, it may be as you say that they are aware that sore loser laws are not an issue for them and are just using that as a convenient excuse; however, it is also possible that they are genuinely confused or mistaken on this matter.

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