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White House or U.S. Senate? ‘Both options are on the table’ for Ron Paul

While recent signs — a presidential straw poll win, visits to Iowa, references to other key national primary states — may indicate that U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Clute) is thinking White House in 2012, a spokesperson confirmed that the libertarian Republican hasn’t ruled out a second attempt at the U.S. Senate.

“Dr. Paul is weighing all of his political options and will make a decision in the next few months. Both options are on the table,” Paul’s political director Jesse Benton said in an email late Thursday night.

First elected to the U.S. House in a 1976 special election, Paul was defeated by Democrat Bob Gammage in the general a few months later but bested Gammage in a rematch in 1978. After U.S. Sen. John Tower announced his retirement, Paul made a try for the U.S. Senate, losing in the 1984 GOP Primary to Phil Gramm. Paul’s congressional seat was taken over by future U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

Paul made his first run for president in 1988 as the Libertarian Party candidate, and eventually returned to Congress with a victory in the 1996 general election. He ran for President in 2008 but did not prevail in the GOP primary.

As the Texas Independent reported Thursday, word of a ‘money bomb’ fundraiser set for Washington’s Birthday has swept through the Paul-oriented online community. Paul has said that the level of donations to his Liberty PAC in the near-term will help determine what course he will take in 2012.

While the organizers of the Facebook page for Monday’s money bomb do not have an official connection with Paul or his campaign — at least, they don’t have official titles, nor do they appear as paid staff in campaign finance reports for Paul or his PAC — a money bomb banner and link to a donation form recently appeared on the Liberty PAC website.

Benton would not comment on the money bomb or the relationship (or lack thereof) between online supporters and Paul’s PAC.

“Sorry, we don’t discuss our fundraising strategy. Nothing personal, just our policy,” he said.

However, Benton did comment on Fox News’ mix-up of footage from Paul’s 2010 and 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll wins, and subsequent on-air correction and apology.

“FOX has apologized and we’ll have to take them at their word that it was an oversight,” Benton said.

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