As the Tea Party movement has swelled, so has Ron Paul's prominence on the conservative stage. The Texas congressman already won the 2012 presidential straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February. And this weekend, he nearly won the Southern Republican Leadership Conference's straw poll. But does Paul's brand of libertarian non-interventionism align with the Tea Party's goals? The news team at MSNBC says yes. But others say the two camps couldn't be more different:


  • Paul Is the Standard-Bearer of the Tea Party, writes MSNBC's First Read: "SRLC proved to us that Ron Paul -- like it or not -- is a factor in the GOP/Tea Party movement... Anyone who did cover Ron Paul during the 2008 campaign knows the Tea Party movement has its roots there more than any other part of the GOP."
  • Think Again, writes Sahir Kapul at True/Slant: "Despite his cult following don't expect him to turn any major tides in the GOP. He's a pariah to them. Even the Tea Partiers, who claim to be an independent movement promulgating all the values Paul embodies, are working to toss him out because he doesn't obey orders from GOP leaders."
  • He Disagrees With Tea Parties on Key Issues, reports Stephen Webster at Raw Story.
Paul cautioned in a recent interview that "neocon influence" is "infiltrating" the movement he is often credited for creating... What they are not, he explained, are entirely adherent to his ideas. Paul suggested that the group only "sometimes" represents his views.

"My message is somewhat different," he said. "The message gets somewhat diluted" with large movements of this nature.

His core issues, such as creating transparency at the Federal Reserve, recalling overseas soldiers and ending the drug war, are "not what is generally heard from the Republican party," he said.

  • I'm Sick of Hearing About Him, writes Tabitha Hale, a conservative at Red State blog: "I get frustrated with the overrepresentation of Ron Paul... at these things. I don't believe it's anywhere close to how many actually represent [him] on a national scale."