Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, whose views on fiscal conservatism and strong views on smaller government resonate with the conservative movement which swept Republicans into office in 2010, on Friday announced he is running for U.S. President in the 2012 election, saying his grass root supporters were enthusiastic, 'more so than ever.'

Where I was impressed before, I'm super impressed now with the enthusiasm we're getting, Paul said on ABC's Good Morning America. He was in Exeter, New Hampshire where he would make a speech.

Paul - whose strong libertarian principles also put him at odds on social policy with many in the party - said the time is right for his candidacy.

[T]ime has come around to the point where people are agreeing with much of what I've been saying for 30 years. So I think that the time is right, he said.

A wave of small-government Tea Party movement representatives swept the Republican Party into power in the House of Representatives in the 2010 election. Washington is now discussing how deeply to cut the federal budget over the next 10 years to deal with the nation's long-term debts and deficits.

Paul was asked why he wasn't running as an independent, since his views on various issues contrast with Republicans. His views on the importance of decentralized power, giving states more sway than the federal government, have le

Running as an independent here is just about impossible unless you're a billionaire like Ross Perot. You don't get on debates, he said.

There's nothing wrong with nudging the Republicans to a true constitutional position, stick to their guns on fiscal conservative.

Paul also defended statements made yesterday in which said he would have used a different process to get Osama bin Laden.

I was talking about the procedure. You know I endorsed the whole idea of going after him, he said, noting the US. didn't get bin Laden early, invaded Iraq triggering a $1 trillion war and losing thousands of American troops' lives.

We've killed many, many innocent people, So the process has been very bad. I have no qualms about getting him. I'm delighted he's gone but the whole thing is, we could have done it differently.