Denton – Dr. Robert Paul doesn't think he's ready to join the crowded race to replace Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison in the U.S. Senate.
One week after saying he was considering a bid for the office, Paul — son of Rep. Ron Paul and brother of Sen. Rand Paul — told students at the University of North Texas that he has all but ruled out a bid for political office.
“I'm honored that people think I'm ready to run, but I think they want me to run because I'm related to Ron Paul,” said Paul, who has a family medical practice in Benbrook and lives in Fort Worth. “I think the biggest thing I have that's similar to my dad is that I'm honest.
“I'm never going to say I won't ever run for office, but I think running for Senate probably is not going to happen this time.”
The Senate field includes Glenn Addison of Magnolia; Andrew Castanuela of Early; Ted Cruz of Austin; Elizabeth Ames Jones of San Antonio; Tom Leppert of Dallas; Lela Pittenger of Dripping Springs; Michael Williams of Arlington; and Roger Williams of Fort Worth.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has said he is considering a bid.
Paul spoke Thursday evening to more than 30 people at a Young Americans for Liberty gathering, promoting his father's and brother's work in Congress.
“Supporters have turned their hopes to Robert Paul to run for Senate in Texas,” said Clint Townsend, president of the group.
Paul talked about some of his political beliefs, describing himself as a Republican, a fiscal conservative and anti-war. He said he opposes raising taxes, disagrees with foreign aid and doesn't support raising the debt ceiling.
“We balance the budget by getting more people in Washington who are worthwhile,” he said.
One student asked how Texans could encourage him to run for office.
“You'd have to get my wife on board with it, my kids on board with it, and me on board with it,” Paul said. “I really don't want to go to Washington. But as my kids get older, there might be a chance.
“I think about it all the time. That doesn't mean I have plans to do it.”
The country has the “right guy up there” in his brother Rand, he said.
Just months into his first term in the Senate, Rand Paul, R-Ky., has already filed for re-election for when his term expires in 2016. He has said he is considering running for president if his father doesn't.
Ron Paul, R-Lake Jackson, who has run for president twice, has formed a group to determine whether he should try again.
For now, Robert Paul said, he wants to concentrate on practicing medicine and being closely involved in his children's lives, including the sports they play.
But he said there's one thing his father has always said that keeps him from permanently ruling out a bid for political office.
“My dad told us something like, 'If you understand liberty, and understand what the problems are, and you do nothing, then you are part of the problem,'” he said. “I'm never going to say never.”
© 2011 McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
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