In a verbal slap at former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney (R), Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) affirmed this weekend his belief that only individuals are people, contradicting Romney’s insistence that corporations are as well.

Legally, Romney is right and Paul is wrong. Corporations have been endowed with the rights of individuals since 1886. But the statement is notable for Paul’s timing, coming just days after Romney got into a back-and-forth with an angry heckler who got him to say, “Corporations are people, my friend.”

Confronted by Think Progress reporter Scott Keyes, who asked Paul what he thought of the remark, the Texas Congressman replied: “Obviously they’re not. People are individuals, they’re not groups and they’re not companies. Individuals have rights, they’re not collective. You can’t duck that. So individuals should be responsible for corporations, but they shouldn’t be a new creature, so to speak. Rights and obligations should be always back to the individual.”

Paul placed second in the Iowa straw poll, coming in less than 1 percent behind Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN). Though his candidacy is not getting much play on television news, an Associated Press analysis published Sunday called him “a serious player in the campaign,” noting a growth in his base of support from 2008 to 2011.

This video is from Think Progress, published Monday, August 15, 2011.