Ron Paul began his political career as a Republican representative from Texas in 1976. He ran for a seat in the Senate in 1984, but lost to Phil Gramm in the GOP primary. He returned to his medical practice until he was re-elected to the House in 1996. Here, members of Congress gather on a truck loaded with 44,300 simulated gold bricks on April 25, 1979 to indicate their opposition to the estimated $4.1 billion dollars it will cost the U.S. taxpayers to give away the Panama Canal. From left to right, George Hansen, Ron Paul, Floyd Spence, William Dannemeyer and Phil Gramm. Along with Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., Paul came up with the idea for the U.S. Gold Commission which was created by Congress in 1982. Paul and Lewis Lehrman wrote the commission’s minority report, The Case for Gold, which was published by the Cato Institute.
In 1988 Paul ran for president as the Libertarian Party nominee. On the ballot in 46 states, Paul placed third in the popular vote behind George H.W. Bush and Michael Dukakis, winning 432,000 votes. Here, Paul gives a speech at a rally at Boston’s Faneuil Hall, Oct. 25, 1988.
Paul voted against the Iraq war resolution in 2002, one of only six House Republicans to do so. Here, Rep. Walter Jones, R- N.CV., Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D- Ohio, and Paul hold a news conference in 2005 to announce bipartisan legislation calling on President George W. Bush to set a plan for beginning phase-out of U.S. troops in Iraq.
In 2007 Paul declared his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination. Here he makes comments during a debate at the University of South Carolina, May 15, 2007, in Columbia, S.C. He said that terrorists "attack us because we've been over there; we've been bombing Iraq for 10 years." This drew an angry retort from another GOP candidate at the debate, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, who said, " I would ask the congressman to withdraw that comment and tell us that he didn't really mean that."
Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul speaks during a forum at the National Right to Life Convention in Kansas City, Mo., June 15, 2007. Paul served as a surgeon in the Air Force from 1963 to 1968 and later practiced as an obstetrician and gynecologist. He gathered supporters with his conservative views, including his pro-life stance.
Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul takes questions during the MTV/MySpace "Closing Arguments" presidential forum at the MTV Times Square Studios Feb. 2, 2008 in New York City. His campaign had a lot of support on college campuses, with about 500 'Students for Ron Paul' groups formed across the United States. His online presence and 'moneybomb' fundraisers helped him raise $34 million, fourth highest among the GOP presidential contenders.
Paul sits with his wife Carol before the start of a rally in Houston on June 12, 2008. Paul announced the end of his presidential campaign and launced a new effort to help elect libertarian-leaning Republicans to public office around the country. During the 2008 campaign, the magazine The New Republic said newsletters published under his name in the 1970s and 1980s contained bigoted statements. Paul's spokesman Jesse Benton said Paul "had very little" to do with the newsletter, even though it was published under his name. But Benton said Paul was "very saddened" to see "there were some really hateful and unfortunate things that were written, that are completely anathema to what he believes in."
Rep. Ron Paul, takes part in a news conference with third-party candidates at the National Press Club in Washington, Sept. 10, 2008, calling for greater inclusion of candidates outside the Republican and Democratic mainstream. From left are: Paul, former Georgia Rep. Cynthia McKinney from the Green Party, Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party, and Ralph Nader.
In April 2008, Rep. Paul questions Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke during a Joint Economic Committee hearing on the state of the economy, following weeks in which the Federal Reserve had to cut interest rates and Bear Stearns was saved from bankruptcy by its rival JPMorgan Chase. Paul serves on the Financial Services Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee. A critic of U.S. monetary policy, Paul also opposes U.S. membership in the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization, as well as America being a party to the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Senate candidate Rand Paul appears with his father, Rep. Ron Paul, during a campaign event in Erlanger, Ky., Oct. 2, 2010. Ron and his wife Carol have five children, including Rand, who won election to the Senate in 2010 with 56 percent of the vote in Kentucky. Rand, like his father, practiced medicine, but as a ophthomologist. The novelist Ayn Rand, was the inspiration for his son's first name.
Ron Paul walks onstage to address the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, Feb. 19, 2010. In the CPAC straw poll, Paul beat his competitors, coming in first, in front of Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and Tim Pawlenty, among others.
Rep. Ron Paul addresses the crowd at the Tea Party Patriots American Policy Summit, Feb. 26, 2011 in Phoenix, Ariz. A conservative, a constitutionalist and a libertarian, Paul is considered the Tea Party's 'intellectual godfather' and won the party's straw poll in March 2011.
Rep. Michele Bachmann, R- Minn., greets Rep. Ron Paul at a rally by home school advocates, March 23, 2011, in Des Moines, Iowa. More than 1,000 people rallied on the steps of the Iowa Statehouse, cheered on by three potential Republican presidential candidates who joined their cause. Paul supports home schooling and the elimination of the Department of Education. He has also introduced bills to apply tax credits toward education.
Ron Paul takes the podium at a campaign stop in Exeter, New Hampshire, May 13, 2011, following his earlier announcement of his candidacy for the Republican Presidential nomination. On May 5, his campaign raised over $1 million in a single day, and eight days later, he formally announced he would make his second run for the Republican nomination.
Rep. Ron Paul signs copies of his book, 'Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom' before speaking at the Silverton Casino Lodge, May 17, 2011 in Las Vegas. Paul has written several books which detail his positions on foreign and economic policy and on states rights.
Ron Paul participates in a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing May 25, 2011, in Washington, DC. The committee was hearing testimony on the War Powers Act and the U.S. involvement in NATO military operations in Libya. Paul believes the intervention in Libya is unconstitutional and he and his colleagues sued the administration for failing to consult Congress within the time period set out in the War Powers Act. In 1999, Paul, along with other members of Congress, sued President Clinton over the Kosovo war citing the similiar legal issues.
Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul talks with patrons during a campaign stop at Geon's, in Portsmouth, N.H, June 10, 2011. Paul won the straw poll at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans on June 18, taking 612 votes to Jon Huntsman's 382, followed by Michele Bachmann with 191.
Republican presidential candidates, Rick Perry, left, Rep. Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman laugh during a commercial break at a Republican Presidential Debate at Oakland University in Auburn Hills, Mich., Nov. 9, 2011.
Rep. Ron Paul and his wife, Carol, greet supporters at the Courtyard Des Moines Ankeny in Ankeny, Iowa after his third-place finish in the Iowa caucus on Jan. 3, 2012. Paul finished behind competitors Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, who were nearly tied.