Ron Paul Won't Go Quietly

The Libertarian icon, retired from Congress, vows to push his message outside the Washington bubble.

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Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul greets supporters in Des Moines, Iowa.

Americans haven't heard the last of libertarian icon Ron Paul.

The former Republican presidential candidate, who inspired the most passionate followers of anyone in the 2012 race, says he will continue spreading the word about the need for less government, lower taxes, and fewer U.S. military interventions abroad.

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Paul, a longtime Republican U.S. representative from Texas, didn't seek re-election this year.

"I think people had enough of me," the 77-year-old congressman told Bloomberg Television. "I do not have much confidence in the political system and never did. My goal has always been to change people's minds because as long as people demand more government, they will get it. Government reflects the people. That is why I am excited to go to college campuses and I will continue to do that. That's where I will get a lot of support."

Paul added: "We're so far gone. We're over the cliff. We cannot get enough people in Congress in the next five [or] 10 years who will do the wise things."

After the Republican National Convention last summer, Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee, tried to appeal to Paul's libertarian-oriented army during the general election campaign but had limited success.

[READ: Ken Walsh: Gary Johnson: Obama, Romney Are Tweedledum and Tweedledee]

Paul said Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney "was hit because ... one issue he was correct on, he opposed the [auto industry] bailouts, and the people in the Midwest voted against him: 'Oh, we have to be taken care of.'"

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  • Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes the daily blog "Ken Walsh's Washington" for usnews.com, and is the author of "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He can be reached at kwalsh@usnews.com and on Facebook or Twitter.