Rep. Ron Paul said in Monday night's Republican presidential debate that he has no intention of running for president as a third-party candidate, though he's continuing to keep the door open a crack.
The congressman stopped short of saying no -- because he's not an absolutist, he said. Paul, who represents the 14th Congressional District of Texas, noted that he once left Congress vowing not to return, only to run again.
But Paul said he doesn't have any plans to run outside the Republican Party and that he might even be able to endorse rival Newt Gingrich if he's the nominee.
Paul said he is happy that Gingrich keeps hinting at attacking the Federal Reserve and joked that if he could get Gingrich to listen to him on foreign policy, "We might just be able to talk business."
Paul joined Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum fin Tampa, Fla., on Monday night for an NBC News debate that was dominated by heated clashes between the two front-runners, Romney and Gingrich.
The polls post-South Carolina show Gingrich and Romney leading in the Florida primary.
Paul has said he will largely bypass Florida to concentrate on states that are holding caucuses early next month.