FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, announced Tuesday he's forming a presidential exploratory committee, a possible first step toward officially entering the 2012 race.
He joins a small pool of not-very-exciting-Republicans who have done the same, including former governors Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, and Rick Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania.
Other names - Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee and Michele Bachmann - have been thrown around as possible contenders. Billionaire real estate developer Donald Trump has talked a lot about running himself. But according to the polls, voters aren't particularly wowed by any of the possibilities. Paul included.
This is not the first time Ron Paul, a physician, has thought about being president. He won the Libertarian Party nomination in 1988. In 2008, he ran in the Republican primaries but never won more than 10% of the vote. But things could be different this time.
Ron Paul has a small but devoted following and is capable of raising tons of money, a necessity in today's elections. He is an outspoken fiscal conservative, and his main message is smaller government, less spending and less debt. He also doesn't think we should be fighting wars half a world away. He makes a lot of sense. At his announcement Tuesday, Paul said the U.S. has changed a lot in the past four years and that more and more Americans are subscribing to his smaller government, anti-interventionist philosophy. Plus if he's successful, he would be a breath of fresh air compared with the rather disgusting status quo of presidential politics.
Here’s my question to you: Can the third time be a charm for Ron Paul?
Tune in to the Situation Room at 6pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.
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