When the libertarians turn against Ron Paul, you begin to grasp the magnitude of the mistake he made during the GOP presidential debates.

Ron Paul is the closest thing to a Liberarian we have in Congress, and perhaps the closest thing we will have until the political equation changes dramatically in our party politics. But he excused Al Qaeda for killing American citizens by blaming America first, and that very well may get him fired.

I am actually astounded at the email message I received from Eric Dondero last night. He made a difficult decision to challenge his former boss after watching the performance on television. Eric Dondero is running for Congress to unseat Ron Paul. I hope that he wins.

Libertarian-minded individuals are burdened with complex principle to a fault, and this is perhaps one of those times. But Ron Paul can simply not be forgiven for the reckless nature of his comments which damn all libertarians by association with this man. What Eric Dondero is doing is what principled men always do — they rise to the occasion against the comfort of warm familiarity.

And as one might expect of a principled man, Eric Dondero is not doing this for himself but for the country and for the district that Ron Paul now embarrasses by his presence. Dondero is encouraging other capable men to run — by name — and says he will step in if they fail the challenge.

I am this morning, declaring my candidacy for Congress in the GOP primaries against Ron Paul. If he does not resign his seat, and if another Republican candidate does not declare against him, I will run a balls-to-the-wall campaign for Congress in Texas CD 14. I am the guy that got Ron Paul elected to Congress in 1996. I can and will defeat him in 2008.

–Eric Dondero, May 16th 2007

Eric Dondero’s full statement is reprinted below by permission. His website is here.

May 16, 2007

Good morning,

I am making this announcement on my favorite website RedState.com. Many of you here have urged me to take this course. .

I am more and more convinced you should run for Ron Paul’s seat in Congress. I think you would serve the district with commitment and distinction.

Quentin Langley, RedState.com

And now, after last night’s GOP Presidential debate, I’ve decided to move ahead with my plans

I have spent the early morning scanning the major political blogs, and news sites. It’s unanimous. Ron Paul got slammed by Rudy Giuliani last night for suggesting that we – the United States of America – are to blame for the attacks on 9/11. He even had the audacity to cite Osama bin Laden.

While everyone is hailing this as a “Great moment” for Rudy Giuliani, I think just as importantly, it was a horrible moment for Ron Paul. My former boss looked like a complete nutcase. He looked frail. His hands shaked. He showed his age. He was completely unprepared for Giuliani’s romping response.

Is this the man that should be representing South Texas Congressional District 14 in the US Congress?

I think not.

I am calling on Ron Paul to resign his seat, sooner rather than later. Otherwise Congressional District 14 voters from Victoria to Galveston will appear to be endorsing his treachorous, and near treasonous views on foreign policy.

I am sure I speak for many CD 14 voters, and certainly the vast majority of CD 14 Republicans, when I say, Ron Paul, it’s time for you to exit the stage.
I am calling on the three to four Republican individuals who have expressed an interest in this Congressional seat, and challenging Ron Paul in the primary, to now enter the race.
Many are aware that libertarian conservative Friendswood Councilman Peden has suggested he would run. Bobby Eberle of GOPUSA, and former Texas YR Chairman also has been mentioned. Even former Congressman Steve Stockman now lives in this CD.
I would back any of the three, particularly Bobby.

But if any of them hesitates to come out in the coming weeks, I will officially declare against my former boss. I will not have nearly the amount of money that Ron Paul will have for the primary challenge. But I do have the most kick-ass grass roots experience and resume of any Republican political activist in the country. I am the very person who got Ron Paul elected to Congress in 1996 as his Campaign Coordinator. I know what it takes. I know every inch of Texas CD 14 like the back of my hand.

Some other resume highlights:

Fluent in Spanish (our Distict is fully 40% Hispanic)
I speak 10 to 15 other languages
US Navy Veteran, (hon.)
20-year Federal Appointee, Selective Service Board, Houston Region
VFW & American Legion Member
Author of two books on World Travel
Traveled to 30 nations on 5 continents
Founder, Republican Liberty Caucus
Fmr. Libertarian Party National Committeeman
FSU Graduate (Political Science)
Homeowner and 12-year resident of Angleton, Texas in the heart of CD 14 (Brazoria County seat 40 miles south of Houston)

I am this morning, declaring my candidacy for Congress in the GOP primaries against Ron Paul. If he does not resign his seat, and if another Republican candidate does not declare against him, I will run a balls-to-the-wall campaign for Congress in Texas CD 14.
I am the guy that got Ron Paul elected to Congress in 1996. I can and will defeat him in 2008.

Eric Dondero, Fmr. Senior Aide
US Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX)
1997-2003
Ron Paul for Congress Campaign Coordinator, 1995/96
Travel Aide, Ron Paul, Libertarian for President, 1987/88

Eric Dondero is a US Navy Veteran, former Libertarian Party National Committeeman, Founder of the Republican Liberty Caucus and fmr. Senior Aide to US Congressman Ron Paul R-TX. He is now a national Republican Political Consultant based in Houston, Texas.