Ron Paul, Texas Republican Congressman since 1976, ran for president in 1988 as the candidate for the Libertarian Party. He ran again in 2008 for the Republican nomination, but still on a strong libertarian platform. On November 2, 2010, Ron's son Rand Paul was elected to the U.S. Senate in Kentucky. Although he ran on the Republican ticket, Rand ran on a strong libertarian platform, and had strong support from the TEA Party movement.
In the 2012 Republican primary, Ron Paul surprised some
observers by garnering significant votes in the early primaries. He
almost achieved a three-way split in Iowa, coming in only three percentage
points behind Romney and Santorum. The next week, he came in second in New
Hampshire, beating everyone except Romney in a still-crowded field. Even
as it became obvious he could not win, he continued to garner noteworthy vote
counts, coming in second in a half-dozen states and outlasting all the other
candidates. So it raised quite a few eyebrows when his son Rand publicly
endorsed Mitt Romney before his dad had formally dropped out of the
race. The Libertarian Party called it a "betrayal" of their views,
while the Christian Science Monitor wondered what led the
junior Paul to "forsake" his father. Others saw it as a shrewd political move,
garnering Romney's appreciation and showing he can be a team player. What
effect this might have on Rand's political career remains to be seen.