Former presidential candidate Ron Paul urged his supporters today to vote for a minor-party candidate, saying that he had rejected a last-minute appeal from Republican John McCain for his endorsement.
The Texas congressman cultivated a loyal following and raised sizable amounts of campaign cash online during the Republican primaries.
At a news conference in Washington he appeared with independent Ralph Nader, the consumer activist, and Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney, the former Georgia congresswoman.
Libertarian candidate Bob Barr, the former Republican congressman from Georgia, held his own news conference to announce he has asked Paul, the party's nominee in 1988, to be his running mate.
In a letter sent to Paul, Barr called Paul one of the "few American patriots" who exist in today's society, and asked him to "seriously consider this final offer as an opportunity to show true, lasting leadership beyond party politics."
UPDATE: Nader issued a statement tonight:
"Today, along with other third party candidates, I joined Congressman Ron Paul to endorse a common agenda that stands up for the US Constitution by ending illegal wars, and protecting the privacy and civil liberties of all persons under US jurisdiction. We also jointly called for an immediate halt to the increase in the national debt, an end to corporate subsidies and taxpayer bailouts of corporations, and to start aggressively pursuing prosecution of corporations that commit crimes and frauds.
"Both Congressman Paul and I also support holding President Bush and Dick Cheney to account for their transgressions against our Constitution.
"Today's coming together of third party candidates marks the beginning of the realignment of American politics.
"While Congressman Paul and I do not agree on all things -- such as health and safety regulations, health insurance systems, and how to handle areas where the market fails or is not up to the task of getting the best outcomes for the American people -- on the overriding foreign policy, reckless waste financed by deficit spending, and civil liberties issues of the day, we stand together. He is a stalwart who has consistently stood up for what he believes in and never wavered when he is opposed by the legions of commercial interests and lobbyists that swarm the Capitol."
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.