Texas Rep. Ron Paul said Thursday he has “no intention” of running for president as a third-party candidate if he does not get the Republican presidential nomination. When pressed, however, he shied away from saying his decision was “absolute,” although he clarified he “cannot conceive of it.”
“I'll give the same answer I’ve given about 39 times now — that I have no intention of doing that,” Paul told Fox News’ Sean Hannity immediately after Thursday night's debate, the last before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses. “I plan to do my very best and see what happens in the next two months.”
Hannity noted that when Paul says he has “no intention" he was, in fact, leaving the door open to the possibility of a third-party run, and asked the presidential hopeful if that was indeed the case.
“I don’t like absolutes — I don’t like to say: ‘I absolutely will never do such and such’ — so I am just avoiding the absolute,” Paul said.
Hannity noted that if Paul ran as a third-party candidate, he would “probably siphon off” some of the anti-Obama vote.
“But wouldn’t it be fair to ask the moderate Republicans that are competing — to ask the same question?” Paul said.
Hannity again pressed Paul on the fact that “no intention” means the door remains open and asked if it was “a little.”
“I cannot conceive of it,” Paul said. “I have absolutely no thoughts or plans of doing it.”
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