WASHINGTON – Rep. Ron Paul will on Friday launch his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, according to Politico and CNN. It would make him the second candidate to jump in the race this week after Newt Gingrich.
The Texas iconoclast announced his exploratory committee last month. He ran a failed campaign for president in 2008, but garnered a cult-like following of isolationist conservatives and strict Constitutionalists.
Paul’s candidacy is a long shot given his views on issues such as war and drugs, which are far outside the Republican mainstream. But some speculators say he has a better chance next year than in 2008, given the rise of the tea party movement and Paul’s decades-long advocacy for small government.