Ronald Ernest Paul (born August 20, 1935) is an American medical doctor, author, Republican U.S. Congressman of the House of Representatives and candidate for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination. Paul is currently the U.S. Congressman for the 14th congressional district of Texas, which comprises the area south and southwest of the Greater Houston region, including Galveston. Paul serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Joint Economic Committee, and the House Committee on Financial Services, and is Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology, where he has been an outspoken critic of current American foreign and monetary policy. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Paul is a graduate of Gettysburg College and the Duke University School of Medicine, where he earned his medical degree. Paul served as a flight surgeon in the United States Air Force from 1963 until 1968, during the Vietnam War. He worked as an obstetrician and gynecologist during the 1960s and 1970s, delivering more than 4,000 babies, before entering politics during 1976. Paul is the initiator of the advocacy group Campaign for Liberty and his ideas have been expressed in numerous published articles and books, including Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom (2011), End The Fed (2009), The Revolution: A Manifesto (2008), Pillars of Prosperity (2008), A Foreign Policy of Freedom: Peace, Commerce, and Honest Friendship (2007), and The Case for Gold (1982). According to University of Georgia political scientist Keith Poole, Paul had the most conservative voting record of any member of Congress since 1937. His son Rand Paul was elected to the United States Senate for Kentucky in 2010, making the elder Paul the first Representative in history to serve concurrently with a child of his in the Senate. Paul has been termed the "intellectual godfather" of the Tea Party philosophy. He has become well-known for his libertarian ideas for many political issues, often differing from both Republican and Democratic Party directors. Paul has campaigned for President of the United States twice before, first during 1988 as the nominee of the Libertarian Party and again during 2008 as a candidate for the Republican nomination. On May 13, 2011, he announced formally that he would campaign again during 2012 for the Republican presidential nomination. On July 12, 2011, Paul announced that he would not seek another term in Congress in order to concentrate on his presidential bid.
Personal life and medical career
Paul was born in Pittsburgh, the son of Howard Caspar Paul and Margaret (née Dumont) Paul. His paternal great-grandparents emigrated from Germany, and his mother was of German and Irish ancestry. As a junior at suburban Dormont High School, he was the 220-yard dash state champion.
He received a B.S. degree in biology at Gettysburg College during 1957. He was a member of the fraternity Lambda Chi Alpha. After earning a Doctor of Medicine degree from the Duke University School of Medicine during 1961, Paul relocated with his wife to Michigan, where he completed his medical internship at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. He then served as a flight surgeon of the United States Air Force from 1963 to 1965 and then of the United States Air National Guard from 1965 to 1968. During 1968, Paul and his wife relocated to Texas, where he continued his medical work. Trained in obstetrics and gynaecology, Paul then began his own private practice. Paul has been married to Carol Wells since 1957. They have five children, who were baptized Episcopalian: Ronald, Lori, Rand, Robert, and Joy. Paul's son Rand is the junior senator from the state of Kentucky. Raised a Lutheran, Paul later became a Baptist. As a medical doctor, Ron Paul routinely lowered fees or worked for free in order to refuse to accept Medicaid or Medicare payments. As a member of Congress, he continues to refuse to sign up for the government pension that he would be entitled to in order to avoid receiving government money, saying it would be "hypocritical and immoral."
2012 presidential campaign
Ron Paul is a candidate for the Republican Party nomination for President of the United States in the 2012 election. Beginning during 2010 there was speculation among pundits and journalists regarding the prospect of Paul campaigning for president again during 2012. When Paul's wife, Carol, was asked if he would campaign during 2012 her response was "If you would ask him now he would probably say 'no', but he did say... things are happening so quickly and fast in our country, if we're at a crisis period and they need someone... with the knowledge he has... then he would do it." Paul won several early straw polls and began raising funds for an exploratory committee. In mid-April, 2011, Paul announced the formation of a "testing-the-waters" account, and stated that he will make a decision on whether to enter the campaign officially no later than May. In late April, he formed an official exploratory committee to campaign for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. He participated with the first Republican presidential debate on May 5, 2011 and on May 13, 2011, Paul formally announced his candidacy in an interview on ABC's Good Morning America. He placed second in the 2011 Ames Straw Poll.
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