LP Monday Message: 10 Ron Paul questions

December 5, 2011

Dear Friend of Liberty,

We get lots of questions and suggestions about Ron Paul in relation to the Libertarian Party. Below are ten questions, and my responses.

1. Why isn’t Ron Paul running on the Libertarian Party ticket?

Ron Paul was the 1988 Libertarian nominee for president. He has said often that he is running as a Republican because he gets in the debates that way. It’s up to Ron Paul to decide if he wants to be considered for the Libertarian Party’s nomination, and it’s up to the delegates at our national convention to choose our presidential nominee.

2. Why don’t you recruit Ron Paul to be the Libertarian presidential candidate?

Your LP headquarters staff must be neutral, and we don’t assist one candidate over another. To be fair, we encourage lots of people to seek the LP nomination for president and other offices. In 2008, the Libertarian National Committee passed a resolution inviting Ron Paul to seek the LP nomination. Understandably, that made some of the other candidates and their supporters upset. Ron Paul declined the offer.

3. Is Ron Paul a member of the LP?

While Ron Paul is a Republican Congressman, he is also an Honorary Lifetime Member of the Libertarian Party, and he will remain so unless he requests to have his membership terminated. Even if you plan to vote for Ron Paul in the primaries, you too can become a member of the Libertarian Party by clicking here and contributing $25. It will not affect your voter registration, and you can vote in whatever elections you want — so please join the LP today!

4. Does the Libertarian Party like Ron Paul?

The comments we hear make it clear that many Libertarian Party members like Ron Paul, while some disagree with him on certain policy positions and dislike his choice to work within the Republican Party. Overall, I think Ron Paul’s campaigns are good for liberty and also good for the Libertarian Party because he is promoting many of the Libertarian Party’s positions, which helps our candidates in down-ballot races like Congress, state legislature, and so on.

5. If Ron Paul wins the Republican nomination, what will the Libertarian Party do?

That is up to the delegates at our National Convention. Our bylaws prevent us from endorsing candidates in other parties. It will probably be clear who the Republican nominee will be by April. The Libertarian National Convention will be held May 2-6 in Las Vegas.

6. How do I become a delegate to the Libertarian National Convention?

The process for becoming a delegate to the Libertarian National Convention varies by state. Contact your state party for that information. In many states, there are more delegate slots available than there are people willing to attend the convention. So, if you want to be a delegate, there’s a good chance you can be. A list of links to state parties is here.

7. Should the LP run no candidate in 2012, and endorse Ron Paul instead?

Our bylaws prevent us from endorsing candidates in other parties. Additionally, while Ron Paul could be the Republican nominee, if instead the Republican Party nominates someone like Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich, I think many Ron Paul supporters will be glad to have a Libertarian alternative.

8. Why is Ron Paul discussion banned from your Facebook page?

It’s not. However, our Facebook page is for promoting Libertarian Party candidates and activities. Ron Paul fans are famous for being ubiquitous online, and we’re pleased they see value in commenting on our Facebook page. But we’ll continue using our judgement to decide how much is too much, and we’ll remove excessive comments on Ron Paul and any other non-Libertarian Party related topics, including spam. You can join the conversation on our Facebook page here.

9. Wes, that’s a lot of great information, but be straight with me. Do you think Ron Paul will be the 2012 Libertarian Party nominee?

Ron Paul has said publicly quite often that he doesn’t want to do that. He said that in 2008 too, and he meant it. On the other hand, some people believe he has spoken in a way that leaves the door open. I don’t know what his plans are, and it’s not my place to speculate. Whether Ron Paul appears on the November ballot as a Republican, or as a Libertarian, or not at all, I think it’s very important that we have many Libertarian candidates on the ballot for other offices like Congress, statewide offices, and state legislatures. You can amplify your voice a thousand times by running for office as a Libertarian. Consider this: If you’re a candidate, then whoever you choose to promote for president, more people will hear you.

10. Who are the Libertarian candidates for president?

You can find a list of our current candidates here. It’s common for additional candidates to enter our nomination process later in the season. And they can do that all the way up until nominations are held at our convention.

Thanks for your interest in the fight for liberty. While some choose to work through other parties or organizations to promote liberty, I’m convinced that for many of us, we have our greatest impact as grassroots activists working through the Libertarian Party. The national Libertarian Party has had an annual budget of less than $2 million for years. While that’s tiny compared to Ron Paul’s $30 million campaigns, I think we deliver a big bang for the buck.

And I want to repeat, whether or not Ron Paul is on the ballot for president next November, Americans need lots of Libertarian candidates up and down the ballot. Please support the Libertarian Party so we can work to recruit, advise, and support them.

Please donate today.


Wes Benedict
Executive Director
Libertarian National Committee

P.S. If you have not already done so, please join the Libertarian Party. We are the only political party dedicated to free markets, civil liberties, and peace. You can also renew your membership. Or, you can make a contribution separate from membership.