Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin

Representative Ron Paul of Texas, a former seeker of the Republican nomination for president, has endorsed Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin for president in 2008.

Ironically, Paul says he was swayed to make the endorsement by former Republican Bob Barr, who is now running for president on the Libertarian Party’s ticket, the same party which nominated Paul for president in 1988.

‘The Libertarian Party candidate admonished me for ‘remaining neutral’ in the presidential race and not stating whom I will vote for in November,” Paul wrote both on his Campaign for Liberty website and as a contributor to “I’ve thought about the unsolicited advice from the Libertarian Party candidate, and he has convinced me to reject my neutral stance in the November election. I’m supporting Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party candidate.”

Baldwin, a pastor, author and radio talk show host from Florida, was nominated by the Constitution Party for president in April.

The Baldwin campaign released a statement following the endorsement in which Baldwin said, “I am humbled and deeply grateful to Dr. Paul for his support. There could not be higher praise. I am committed to carrying on the Ron Paul Revolution for a return to constitutionally limited government.”

Paul wrote about his hesitation in endorsing a candidate and his attempt at remaining neutral:

“It’s true; I have done exactly that due to my respect and friendship and support from both the Constitution and Libertarian Party members. I remain a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party and I’m a ten-term Republican Congressman. It is not against the law to participate in more then one political party. Chuck Baldwin has been a friend and was an active supporter in the presidential campaign.”

“I continue to wish the Libertarian and Constitution Parties well,” Paul wrote. “The more votes they get, the better.”

Paul’s announcement also contained some scathing words for Republicans, Democrats and an election system that he perceives as “a gross deception.”

“(The election process) is controlled by the powerful elite to make sure that neither candidate of the two major parties will challenge the status quo,” Paul wrote. “There is no real choice between the two major parties and their nominees, only the rhetoric varies. The amazingly long campaign is designed to make sure the real issues are ignored.”

Paul’s endorsement, which comes at the end of his announcement (the full text of which can be read here), is foreshadowed by his earlier words, trumpeting the call to unity among various groups seeking to overcome the two-party status quo.

“Principled people are not shy in participating with others and will defend their beliefs on their merits,” he wrote.

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