Rand Paul: Tea Party must have a voice in 2012 presidential election

"I want the Tea Party to have some influence," Paul told WXIX-FOX19, a Kentucky television station. "I want there to be a seat at the table for the Tea Party, and hopefully help determine who the nominee is."

Paul repeated that his decision on getting into the race depends on whether his father does.

"There are a lot of people you know, excited about whether or not my dad will run," said Paul. "And that's why it's sort of hard to say anything until we know whether he's going to run or not, if he chooses not to run. I think I want to participate in some way."

Paul said last week that he would not run against his father. 

As a freshman senator Paul has taken a nontraditional path in the Senate, sponsoring legislation that would cut federal spending by $500 billion in one year and proposing an amendment to the Constitution that would demand a balanced budget.