Tampa, Florida (CNN) - As Rep. Ron Paul's third presidential bid is set to come to its formal end at the Republican National Convention, Paul sought to rally his loyal supporters with talk of a new era in American history.
"I'm convinced that we're living at the end of an era," Paul told the crowd at a rally in honor of him and his libertarian political movement. "The end of an era provides an opportunity," Paul added before laying out his view that an era in American government, foreign policy, and monetary policy that began in 1913 is coming to an end roughly a century later.
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After striking the familiar chords of the libertarian themes that have pervaded his two presidential bids in the last five years, Paul told the gathering that after a century of failed policies capped by the recent financial crisis and still struggling economy, a new era is starting.
"So how do we look at today? 2012?" Paul said. "We're living in a new era," he added. "We're going to start something different - completely different."
"It can happen that we can reverse this," Paul said near the end of his hour long speech that was received enthusiastically by attendees. "We can turn it around."
More: Paul supporters protest through convention halls
After warning about the threats he sees from fascism and the power of large corporations in American society, Paul urged his followers to continue to carry his libertarian banner forward beyond this year's upcoming election.
"I think every one of us has a responsibility because people in an audience like this know and understand the problem," Paul said. Then, the Texas lawmaker paid a compliment to his notoriously loyal grassroots.
"You have more insight than essentially almost everybody in Washington. But the difficult task is you have more responsibility."
Paul told supporters to study issues relating to personal liberty, property rights, foreign policy and monetary policy and that an opportunity to share that knowledge will come.
"You don't have to worry about what your job's going to be. You know the answers and you speak out and you're available, somebody will use you," he said.
"And it may be in politics, you may run for office, you may organize, who knows what it will be."
Paul was the final speaker at a four-hour long rally held a day before the Republican convention was originally scheduled to begin.
The event was, in many respects, a counter-convention designed to celebrate Paul as the driving force behind what his supporters have dubbed "the liberty movement." The event also served to rally those loyal to Paul's movement, as his own political career is coming to an end with his planned retirement from Congress early next year and amid questions from political observers about the movement's future.
"We're here to fight for our liberty and our freedoms as a country," 47-year-old Todd Ellis of Little Rock, Arkansas told CNN before Paul spoke. Ellis, who is in Tampa as a Paul delegate to the GOP convention said the focus back in his state is on local "liberty candidates" who can eventually get to higher offices. Greta Gay, Ellis' companion, was also impressed with Ashley Ryan, an RNC committeewoman from Maine and Paul supporter, who gave a rousing speech earlier in the program. "She's one to watch. She's a little powerhouse," Gay said.
Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan also spoke to the gathering, saying it was "awesome" to work alongside Paul in the halls and hearing rooms of Congress.
For 29-year-old Cory Soulier, a Paul supporter from Connecticut, Amash is exactly the kind of elected official who can keep Paul's movement alive. "I have a lot of high hopes for him," Soulier said of Amash, "I feel he could carry the torch of liberty."
Sen. Rand Paul - Paul's son and the most obvious candidate to carry the torch of his father's movement - was also given the seal of approval by the thousands of his father's grassroots supporters at the rally. As the junior Paul took to the stage to introduce his father, he was greeted was repeated chants of "Paul '16! Paul '16! Paul '16!" - an apparent reference to the next presidential race.
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The stadium had 10,000 people and the picture you show has 2-4 people visible! It was a great event. Learn about Liberty and Freedom.
Thank you, Dr. Paul. Thank you for everything you've done.
These people don't want government to do anything/ I hope they like driving on dirt roads and not the interstate because that is federal government at work. That is just one example of what is done by the federal government.
It amazes me how the true meaning of conservatism, less govt and personal responsibility, become more govt when it has to do with social issues. I just don't understand it. There seems to be a big difference between old school true conservatives and new school neoconservatives, who for the most part, enjoy big government when it comes to imposing their version of morality on the rest of society through law.
It is too bad such a great statesman comes along and has the media act in unison to minimize him and marginalize his very proven positions will stand in history as an example of the loss of true journalism practiced by any media outlet. The days of a free and independent media is over and that is very sad.
Woo hoo! Now we get to choose Obamney! Change is definitely coming! /sarcasm
Ron Paul is a REPUBLICAN. Republican does not equal Libertarian. He likes some Libertarian ideas. Some.
thanks to media companies like yours you blocked any mention of Ron Paul during his bid shame you will see the future your company has created alongside other media corporations.
Paul '16 indeed!
Ron Paul is right new era we have to cover all OBAMA holes,SOLINDRA,MEDICAID ,KINGSTON PIPE LINE,OBAMACRE,BAILS OUT,and all the rest holes, we dont needed,not going to play golf in our new republican goverment thank GOD.Not even Basketball.MITT /RYAN 2012 GOD BLESS AMERICA AND MARK LEVIN <THANKS
Whoa... no Looneytarians here... not a one. No wonder it's so quiet. They're all in South Florida – all 8,000 of 'em, and the anti-convention convention.
Oh well, no one to poke fun at... no looneytarians, or is it liberaltarians? Ah, it's all the same!
I hope Dr. Ron Paul stays connected to the movement in some capacity. The sad fact is unless they break free of the GOP which knifed Dr. Paul's candidacy in the back (along with the corrupt MSM) they will not go forward battling the left/right duopoly.
Please All National Delegates to the RNC GOPCONVENTION .. Invoke Rule 38 . You are not bound to vote for any candidate . Federal Law protects your right to vote your conscience. The Romney campaign has injected new rules into the RNC platform to take away states democratic process and appoint cronies for any future delegates.. FIGHT BACK by NOT VOTING FOR MITT ROMNEY at the Convention tomorrow .. ONLY RON PAUL can defeat Obama .. Vote for Ron Paul tomorrow at the Convention .. .Show the RNC that you are in charge , NOT MITT ROMNEY
Rand Paul is the most serious politician I have ever seen. I was at the rally and he never changed expression even when he hugged his mother! His speech was short, powerful and to the point. In that respect he is very unlike his father who tends to ramble on and on. He is assuredly going to add a lot of followers to this movement because he can connect with the every day Joe with his short concise answers on questions where his dad rambles on and on. Rand Paul 2016!!!
It is a lil dis concerning to me why either parties (R) and/or (D) have both in a way refused to comment on what was done to Ron Paul by his own convention. It was unfair and made me change my alliance of years with the Republican party and I am now an OTHER, well at least next year. I am not decided yet in either writing down Ron Paul's name on my ballet or give my vote to Gary Johnson or Jill, but anyway.... being killed from the back by its own party it is sick!!!! and how funny no one talks about it
Not sure what the torch his son may carry will say. Endorsing the problem doesn't seem like standing up against it.
Ron Paul was my one and only candidate and i believe the coun's messiah. important writing his name in and will continue to search for anyone like Ron Paul.
Dr. Paul will get my vote even if I have to write it in.
Paul strung his Paulbots along the primaries only to fold like a tent in Tampa. He won't endorse Mitt the twit.
Ron Paul is as out of touch with reality as our current President.
Thank you for the article!
Dr. Paul inspired me to get involved and spread the message of Liberty! I strongly recommend people to read "Liberty Defined" by Dr. Paul if they want to understand why so many of us are so passionate about the message of Liberty.
Yes, something completely different. The rich will continue to rise while the rest of us will plummet like Icarus.
When you stand up there altar boy and renounce everything you have ever said or done you will have sold your sorry behind soul to norquist, rove and the koch brothers.
You are just the puppet. The numbers have not gone up for the flip flopper.
Let's see first the bullying, the animal abuse, the elevator for cars, I am unemployed, the poor have a safety net, taxes, lies. I am sure your god is really happy with you. He'll probably kick you down to know you where when you come calling.
Oh,yes, I forgot.... it is Romney ppl sjould cheer for.
Thank you Ron Paul! GOD BLESS YOU!
The only hosest politician out there...the only one that can bring us back