CNN's Dana Bash touted her interview with Texas congressman Ron Paul and his son, Kentucky senator Rand Paul, by noting on Twitter that the elder Paul "ruled out running outside" the Republican party if he fails to win the GOP nomination for president. But that's not exactly what Ron Paul said. Here's the quotation (emphasis mine):
DANA BASH, CNN: If you do not succeed in this Republican contest, will you continue to be a Republican?
RON PAUL: I have no plans of doing that [running for a third party]. Tomorrow's a big day. We're going to see what happens, but I have no intention of doing that. No plans, and no desire. Flat out, I don't want to.
BASH: Okay, because before, you've been a little bit circumspect. You've run as a Libertarian before.
PAUL: I've never spoken in absolutes. I have no plans of doing it, no intention of doing it. I would not see myself doing that.
This is similar to what Ron Paul told CNN's Candy Crowley on yesterday's State of the Nation, and very much the same as what he often says when proposed with the option. Last month, when Ron Paul was asked by CBS News if he would rule out running for president under the banner of the Libertarian party, he similarly said he had "no plans" to do so but would not categorically reject the idea. In that same interview, Paul also had good words to say about former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson's jump to the Libertarian party and chastised the American political system for being "so biased against alternative parties."
For his part, Ron Paul's son Rand Paul told THE WEEKLY STANDARD today that the Tea Party is "best and most effective" within the Republican party and not as a third party.