Former Republican presidential contender Ron Paul isn't just done with politics -- he may be done with the mainstream Republican party as a whole.
The longtime Texas congressman, essentially the father of the modern American Libertarian movement, on Friday told Bloomberg News the GOP "is not his party" in response to a question about whether, when reflecting on his campaign, he is unhappy with the direction the party has taken this election cycle.
"Well, it's not my party. I don't like politics at all and I think both parties are Keynesian economists and both parties support the positions that I don't like. So the party in many ways is irrelevant," said the three-time presidential candidate, an avowed enemy of the public spending championed by British economist John Maynard Keynes.
The conversation started after Paul was asked whether Mitt Romney's Republican National Convention speech made him more likely to endorse the now official Republican presidential nominee. Paul, who has refused to offer Romney his full endorsement, basically responded with a polite, but resounding, "no."
"The speech is what I would expect. It was upbeat and the people there loved it. But I still remain very, very skeptical of hearing anything that will change the course of history. We have a debt problem, a spending problem, but how many things did he list to cut?," Paul said. "I don't see where there was any significant change in policy... Hopefully, he's [Romney's] right and he's going to create all these jobs but, quite frankly, only the markets create jobs. Governments can't and presidents don't do it. "
But while Paul does not have faith that a Romney presidency will usher in an age of economic change, he said the success of his own presidential campaign -- he said he received at least two million votes during the Republican primaries -- demonstrates that his libertarian-leaning beliefs, which stress fiscal responsibility and personal liberty, has a hold on the next generation of Americans.
"Our appeal right now is to independents and Democrats .. these people want their freedom. They want some money, they want to bring the troops home, they want the wars to end. They want the spending to quit," Paul said. "I am super energized and optimistic about what's happening because the ideas are changing. What I'm talking about is an ideological revolution."
Paul ran for the presidency as a Libertarian in 1988 and then under the Republican ticket in 2008 and 2012.
To see the full Bloomberg interview, click here.
Ashley covers U.S. politics for the International Business Times, with a focus on civil liberties, women's issues and campaign finance. Her work has also appeared in The...