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Paul urges vote for a 3rd-party candidate

September 10, 2008|From the Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Libertarian-leaning congressman Ron Paul is urging voters to reject John McCain and Barack Obama and support one of the third-party candidates for president.

Paul, a Republican who abandoned his White House bid earlier this year, is gathering some of the candidates, including independent Ralph Nader, today to make his plea.

"The strongest message can be sent by rejecting the two-party system," Paul said in prepared remarks obtained by the Associated Press. "This can be accomplished by voting for one of the nonestablishment, principled candidates."

He recommended Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party, former Georgia Republican Rep. Bob Barr of the Libertarian Party and former Georgia Democratic Rep. Cynthia McKinney of the Green Party. He has invited them to attend his news conference.

Paul won no primaries in the Republican nomination contest but developed a strong following on the Internet and set a single-day record for raising money online. Thousands attended his protest last week near the GOP convention in St. Paul, Minn.

Some Republicans have been concerned that Paul could siphon votes from the party in the same way Democrats accused Nader of doing in 2000 when he ran under the Green Party banner. But when Nader ran in 2004 as an independent, he garnered just 0.3% of the vote from 34 states.

Paul espouses limited government and individual responsibility. He is a critic of election laws that he says are designed to prevent third-party candidates from getting on ballots and participating in debates.

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