NBC 5 News
After finishing second in New Hampshire's Republican primary, Rep. Ron Paul says he's nibbling on front-runner Mitt Romney's heels.
Texas Congressman Ron Paul said his second-place finish in Tuesday's Republican primary in New Hampshire is a sign of growing momentum for his beliefs.
Paul is projected to finish second in the first-in-the-nation primary, behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
In a speech to supporters Tuesday night, Paul scoffed at people who call him and his followers dangerous. He said he is dangerous -- "to the status quo."
Paul improved on his performance in Iowa's GOP caucuses, where he took third place, with his showing in New Hampshire on Tuesday. While far behind Romney, he was comfortably outpacing his other GOP rivals.
Paul said he called Romney to congratulate him on his victory but said he is nibbling at Romney's heels.
The congressman said his finish is a victory for the cause of liberty and that he's proud of the discussion of issues that his campaign has sparked.
Returns from 95 percent of New Hampshire precincts showed Romney with 39 percent of the vote, followed by Paul with 23 percent, former Utah Gov. Huntsman with 17 percent and former House Speaker Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Santorum with 9 percent each.
With his victory, Romney became the first Republican to sweep the first two contests in competitive races since Iowa gained the lead-off spot in presidential campaigns in 1976.
The other Texan in the race, Gov. Rick Perry, who skipped New Hampshire to get a head start in South Carolina, said Tuesday's results showed "the race for a conservative alternative to Mitt Romney remains wide open."
Perry finished last among the six leading GOP candidates in New Hampshire with 1 percent of the vote.