Either Ron Paul must pledge not to run as an independent candidate, or he must drop out of the race for the Republican nomination and begin preparing an independent run. This decision must be made as soon as possible.
Paul is running as a Republican. As a Republican he has the obligation, if not to support the Republican nominee, then to at least not sabotage his party in the general election.
Obviously, if Paul were to run as an independent in the general election, then he would no longer be a Republican. However, if Paul does this, then he has been running for the Republican nomination in bad faith.
And Paul is leaving the option open. Thus far he will only say he does not currently plan an independent run.
While unusual, such a run would not be unprecedented. The last time a primary loser ran as an independent/third party was John Anderson’s 1980 run. Anderson finished third behind Reagan and Bush in the primaries that year, then ran as an independent.
It is all the more reason to suspect that Paul might still run independently if not nominated.
But Ron Paul should run either as a Republican or an independent, not both. Either commit to staying out of the general election if not nominated, or get out of the primary election and make the independent bid.