GOP Presidential Hopeful Ron Paul to Retire From U.S. House

Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) said Tuesday he would not seek another term in the U.S. House of Representatives, focusing instead on his candidacy for the White House.

“Running for two offices as I have in the past was deserving of some criticism,” Paul told The Wall Street Journal. “I will continue to do what I’ve been doing for 30 years: promoting individual liberty, sound economic policy and bringing our troops home.”

A former medical doctor, Paul was first elected to Congress in 1976 before making a run for the Senate and losing to Phil Gramm in 1984. He later made an unsuccessful run as a libertarian in the 1988 presidential race, receiving only half of one percent of the popular vote.

In 1996, he was again elected to the U.S. House, defeating a Republican incumbent. His son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), was elected to the Senate in 2010 with strong support from the tea party movement.

Paul sought the Republican nomination again in 2008, losing to Sen. John McCain. He is currently running in the 2012 Republican presidential primary and faces stiff competition from fellow House member, Michele Bachmann and several former governors.

At 75 years of age, Paul has taken positions that are politically controversial and difficult to pass in the chamber where he serves. Yet at the same, he has built a “rabid” and devoted national following.

Many of his fans travel the country, going from one political event to another during the election season. This is the reason he sometimes wins straw polls at meetings and conventions, but rarely performs well with mainstream Republicans, getting only low to mid-single digits in most polls.

Paul has long been an advocate of returning to the gold standard and abolishing the Federal Reserve. A known “isolationist,” he has vowed to bring most of our troops home. And if Paul is elected President, he vows he would keep the U.S. out of most international conflicts. He recently joined forces with Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), introducing legislation that would allow states to legalize marijuana.

The Texas congressman and Republican presidential candidate is uncertain about his political future if his run for the White House iss unsuccessful. “Something will come up,” he said.

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