WASHINGTON (AP) — GOP Rep. Ron Paul of Texas is taking a step toward a presidential bid in 2012 by setting up a committee to help him test the waters for a possible run.
His spokesman, Jesse Benton, said Friday that the congressman is "beginning to lean more strongly toward running" and this new step puts the machinery in place to move quickly if Paul gets into the race.
Paul, who sought the GOP nomination in 2008, is expected to say in May whether he's running again.
"He remains undecided and won't be making a final decision until, probably, mid-May," Benton said. "But we want to have things in place so that he can hit the ground running if he decides to run."
Paul was a wild card in the 2008 race. He raised millions of dollars through innovative, online fundraising techniques and played a foil to other candidates in debates, but failed to make a decisive impact on the nomination fight.
Since then, his profile has grown. His brand of libertarian-leaning conservatism has attracted a vocal and devout following, which could be a factor in the still forming 2012 field.