In a recent interview, Walter Jones expressed support for a potential third-party presidential candidate in 2012 should any of the top tier Republican candidates get the nomination.

While third party challengers have only ever been spoilers, from Teddy Roosevelt to Ralph Nader to Ross Perot, Jones expressed hope that a well-known, well-funded person would mount an independent bid.

“I think that the environment, the atmosphere is gonna be conducive for a third party candidate if those who are leading the ticket Republican and Mr. Obama, if that’s gonna be the choices, I think that’s gonna be a third party person that’s probably already started talking to people.”

When asked if any Republican President wouldn’t change our trajectory significantly, Jones evaded the question.

“I still believe,” he said hopefully, “that there is a chance for a third party candidate.”

When the interviewer expressed his hope that Ron Paul would be that candidate, Jones said,

“I agree with you.”

Jones may be willing to throw the election to Obama in 2012 but his mentor and close friend, Ron Paul, is not.  Paul told guests a recent Christian Science Monitor breakfast that he is “not considering” a third-party bid.   In fact, the only people who think a Ron Paul third-party bid is a great idea are Democratic strategists and Democrat  Republican Walter Jones.

Read the transcript and hear the full interview here.