Ron Paul, a libertarian US congressman from Texas, has announced a new run for the Republican presidential nomination for 2012, saying Americans are now ready for his ideas.
It will be the third attempt for Paul, who ran as a Republican in 2008 but failed to win any primaries, and was the Libertarian Party candidate in 1988.
“Time has come around to the point where the people are agreeing with much of what I’ve been saying for 30 years. So, I think the time is right,” Paul told the ABC program “Good Morning America.”
Paul, 75, has long espoused a philosophy calling for less government, reduced taxes and decriminalising prostitution and drugs.
“I think that’s how a free society works,” he told ABC.
Paul’s “live-and-let-live” ideas have proven popular with followers, but his aversion to federal relief programs such as financial assistance for flood victims has raised hackles in some quarters, especially as Americans grapple with the aftermath of last year’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill and deadly tornadoes that ripped across the south in late April, and contend with historic flooding of the Mississippi River.
“I’m on the Gulf Coast. I have a house on the beach, or had one recently. And I don’t think somebody in New York or New Hampshire or Iowa have to pay for my flood on the Gulf Coast.
“And if the insurance won’t sell it to you, it means it’s too dangerous. If it’s too dangerous, why dump the responsibility on the taxpayer? It doesn’t make good moral sense or constitutional sense.”
According to his website, Paul “has never voted to raise taxes” and “has never voted for a federal restriction on gun ownership”.
He also voted against the Patriot Act and the Iraq war and does not participate in “the lucrative congressional pension program”.
The announcement comes two days after former House speaker Newt Gingrich became the first major Republican candidate to formally throw his hat into the ring for the 2012 White House race, aiming to oust President Barack Obama.