Ron Paul forms 'testing the waters' account

Libertarian Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) has taken a step toward running for president in 2012, forming a fundraising account that allows him to test the waters for donor support. 

Paul's political aide Jesse Benton confirmed Thursday that a so-called "testing the waters" account has been created for the potential candidate. The organization is not a full exploratory committee, but money from the account could be transferred into a campaign war chest should Paul officially choose to enter the fray. 

The announcement comes as other possible GOP candidates have taken concrete steps in the last week toward starting a campaign. 

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) established a similar fundraising structure this week, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) formed an exploratory committee. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) also made two key staff hires for his exploratory committee. 

Paul has already demonstrated that he can bring in large sums of cash: He raised $3 million in the first fundraising quarter of 2011, $1 million of which was taken in by LibertyPAC, which he uses to fund his political activities. 

Paul — who has run for president twice before — said earlier this month that he will likely announce his intentions by May.

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