Can the 'Power of Paul' Win the Oval Office?

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WASHINGTON -- Following a failed 2008 presidential bid, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, is back and ready to take another shot at the White House.

Paul's appearance or campaign may not seem particularly presidential, but what he does have is a movement.

The GOP Texas congressman was a Tea Partier some 30 years before it was cool to be one. A year after Paul wrote "The Revolution: A Manifesto" in 2008, the conservative movement popped up and invaded the GOP.
"When I go to the Republican meetings, there was a time when they didn't invite me to the Republican meetings," the 75-year-old lawmaker told CBN News. "But now I go and a lot of times they look like my rallies."

The Power of Paul
His supporters are passionate, to say the least, and some might call them rabid.

Just this week, an online fundraiser called "The Revolution vs. RomneyCare" raised $1 million in one day as they slapped the "big government" label on former Gov. Mitt Romney's Massachusetts healthcare plan.  

Paul's "money bombs" as they are called get results. In 2008, one day's effort drew in $6 million.

While still dubbed as a candidate who can't win, Paul thinks the landscape has changed.

"If you asked me if that was true, I would say yes partially so -- more true four years ago than now, but we had a campaign and this thing shifted," he said.

"Four years ago I was either excluded or laughed at and sometimes booed, but not in the last four years," he added.

Dr. No?
With all the attention on the country's deficit, Paul's economic position clearly resonates with conservative voters. But his non-intervention foreign policy is outside of the GOP mainstream, especially his hands-off approach to Israel.

For that matter, Paul wants the government to pretty much stay out of everything. 

Paul, who is also a medical doctor, earned the nickname "Dr. No" because he says no to virtually all federal government spending.

He positions himself as the guy who would cut the size of government more than any other candidate.

"In, I think, foreign welfare and corporate welfare and bank bailout welfare and all this kind of stuff -- we could save a lot of money that way without doing all the social programs," he told CBN News.

"Eventually it all has to be cut," he said. "But I think I can come across a little more compassionate than some people think I am."

Paul typically polls around 10 percent or so, roughly the middle of the pack. Even if he never becomes president, his son, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.,  may be willing to pick up his father's torch.

"Time will tell," Paul laughed.

But for now, Paul and his revolution march on.

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CBN News
David Brody

David Brody

CBN News Chief Political Correspondent

David Brody is an Emmy Award-winning veteran news journalist who has interviewed many prominent national figures during his career of nearly 25 years. Currently, David covers the White House and interviews national newsmakers across the country.  Follow David on Twitter @TheBrodyFile and "like" him at