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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Great speech. Romney is a mental midget next to this thoughtful statesman. GOP should rethink the nomination or suffer the consequences of an Obama landslide on election day with the Romney ticket.
Ron Paul is a crazy person with crazy ideas. His racist son is just as crazy good riddence to them both, at lest this maybe the last time ron paul runs for office, in 4 years he will probably be to old!!! Looks like you morons are stuck with that lying romney and ryan clown act!
Ron Paul is dramatically inconsistent when it comes to women's reproductive rights.
I listened to the Todd Akin story for a week and I never once heard a reporter or politician pose the obvious question about "legitimate rape" and a woman's body "shutting down" conception. That is this: If women do not get pregnant after being raped, then why on earth would the R's be pushing for legislation that would make abortion illegal in the case of rape? There would be no need for an abortion if there were no chance of conception due to rape. That makes the whole Repugnant argument a lie
How great would it be to pull ~5-10% of the popular vote as a pencil in for Ron Paul? Especially if Romney's margin of loss is correlated. Some of us believe equal rights for all people of sexuality, and religion are possible while at the same time curbing government spending. I can survive another 4 years of Obama, he doesn't threaten freedom and liberty in the religous zealot way that Romney does.
I loved Ron Paul from the beginning when he ran in '08....he made the most sense of any candidate, but was hardly ever taken seriously and not many questions were asked of him @ debates. Why, because big corps were running (and still do) the show and don't want someone with Mr. Paul's ideas in power. He would have made a wonderful president. He spoke the truth and is an honest and respectable man. I'm writing him in in '12. I voted for Pres Obama last time, but don't think I will this time. Not because things did not improve dramatically during his 4 years. His hands were tied by the congress who hated him from the beginning and always wanted him out at any cost...and the cost came at the expense of our economy being damaged beyond repair. He just didn't seem to have the strength to really fight them the way a president should. I hope people remember the names of all those politicians who put their own interests and the interests of big corps before those citizens who elected them. We are still wallowing in the muck and they are living high on the hog. Right in Ron Paul's name if for no other reason that to let the politicians know that their are many of us who would rather throw away our vote than to vote for them. My conscience will not allow me to vote any other way!!!
It's a sad day in America when voters don't even know what they want. We finally find a man of principle and integrity who stands firm in what he believes no matter what others think or say and he is then labeled "unelectable" because of his age and "crazy" because some believe he has "unachievable" ambitions of bringing back the America that once was.
Good luck with that America. We get to choose between two men – once again, "the lesser of two evils" – with little integrity who pander to exactly what we want to hear. Once elected, he will then put in his ear plugs until the next election season where he will, once again, change his views depending on his polling.
Here is a facet of Repugnant ideology that hasn't been debunked thoroughly enough. There is a huge irony in the right's criticism of liberals for supporting government programs such as Social Security and Medicare. The R's cast that as "depending on government handouts." However, in the next breath, they support deregulation and massive tax handouts to corporations and the rich because those are the "job creators".
So, in effect, they look to the rich and corporations to hand out jobs to the middle class, in the same way folks on the left look to the elected government to provide economic services. But we don't elect people to be rich, and we don't elect the leadership of corporations, so we have absolutely no leverage with them as opposed to the government. That makes looking to "job creators" for a handout much more problematic than looking to government for services that support the economy.
Ron Paul, since you believe in a strict interpretation of the Constitution, why not take the first step and support banning guns except in the case of arming a well regulated militia. Since the definition of militia is a group to defend the sovereignty of the union and the states, I believe we can all agree that the military and national guard handle that responsibility. So, for all others that aren't defending our country against foreign invasions, they can hand in their weapons today.
The GOP is so fractured right now. There is the large, influential segment controlled by the Tea Party which is so set in its philosophy that it won't even consider compromise and has led to a stagnant, failing Congress for the last two years. There are the few who like Paul's ideas and lean Libertarian. There is the really radical right which is really scary and has its roots in the issues of the past especially in the south. There is the large evangelical group which thinks their beliefs are the only correct ones and want to impose those beliefs on everyone else. There are the NRA supporters who use the 2nd amendment to cover up a lot of serious gun problems in the US. The founding fathers must be rolling in their grave because they obviously never meant ordinary citizens to be able to be armed like military combat officers. There are those who signed pledges to an unelected lobbyist Grover Norquist under the threat of being black balled by his group if they didn't sign. Isn't that extortion? As Bush 41 said "Who the H- is Grover Norquist" and Rep. Simpson summed him up as dangerous. There are the millions of gullible listeners to the rants of many, many radio and TV hosts who often exaggerate or even lie without being fact checked and these people believe these untruths. Where is the once respectable GOP party that had its principles, worked for the best of the country not just getting elected again and could come together with the other party to reach responsible compromises? Sometimes I think it would be best if the Republicans really got thumped in this election and the whole bunch of obstructionists and radicals would be booted out. Then the party could really houseclean and try to get back to its roots and principles. Wouldn't that be best for them and the country?
Paul is different and different is good.
Ron Paul will never be president...ever. Just in case anyone was curious.
KINGSTON PIPE LINE
What's the Kingston Pipeline? Are you referring to the Keystone Pipeline? Where do you get your news from?
The amazing thing about Ron Paul supporters is that they will always try to change the world to suit their reality: most people in this country are interested in results, not a theology, yet here you have the Paulbots, who insist its someone else's fault that Paul is not the nominee, that you're not intelligent enough to read the Constitution, etc: its always a conspiracy to deprive their hero of his rightful prize. There is no mention in any of Paul's speeches of how his "ideas" would benefit anyone except those who are already well off. They would emasculate the middle class to the point of economic and political irrelevance, but, Ron Paul and Ayn Rand's dream will have been achieved.
It's clear that people who are calling Ron Paul funny names on this board have never read any of his books and are only parroting what they hear on the mainstream news. I didn't understand him either until I read one of his books. Now I understand why both the Democrats and Republicans are afraid of him and why the mainstream media constantly tries to demonize him.
i'm so sick of hearing people say that if you vote for ron paul you are taking away votes from the republican party and that obama will win.....so what? I dont like romney or obama so why would i waste my vote on them? i will vote for ron paul and if obama does win hopefully america will wake up and impeach him for all of his shortcomings....especially all of these scandals such as the now infamous fast and furious with mr. holder. both romney and obama are pure poison for our country as is a majority of congress in general. until we cut their benefits and reduce their pay to what a normal person makes this trend and downward spiral that is eroding away american civil liberties under the false pretence of terrorism will continue. if you only pay a congressman 35K a year then you would have people in there that truly want what is in the best interest of the american people and not just career politicans that are in the back pocket of wall st. bankers, the fed, and corporate america. we can't allow america to become the next nazi germany of WWII.
The message of Liberty is frightening to many Americans.
What I dont get about you republicans, or should I say Liberterians, is you hate Romeny, you think he is a bad choice, but your still goin gto vote him anyway, right. So much for standing up for your principles. Wow it's been too long CNN. I am backkkkkkkkkkkk! Oh and there are still more of us who like President Obama than more of you that hate the color of his skin.
Ron Paul will NEVER be president. He will NEVER come close.
Some of you need to get that through your thick skulls.
Ron Paul wants to fight the power of big business, how would he do this if he cuts govt regulation and inspections , and reduce the power of govts ,. How would he fight collusion /corruption between business and the police /court system with a reduced federal investion system . In most cases it isalready too expensive and time consuming (how to study thousands of documents often in many different cities ) for individuals to take big business to court to redress grievances. His policies would actually give more power to big business over the individual. Dont forget Ron Paul and his son support a abortion ban in all cases including rape and incest.
Ron Paul is the real deal. too bad his party is falling apart:
In a few days, republicans around the country will officially give up the right to say they are a party of principles. They will be nominating their first non-protestant candidate for president, one that avoided serving in Viet Nam by receiving four deferments. Mitt Romney, who as governor signed an assault weapons ban into law, raised taxes on business by 20%, was publically pro-choice and introduced “socialized medicine” (their term not mine) to the nation. When saving the Olympics he took $1.3 billion from the federal government handouts to make it happen. In November every republican will get the chance to do the same thing the delegates in Florida will do in the privacy of the voting booth.
I know all that I need to know about this old man and the number one problem is that he is a racist period along with his son.
Anyone who doesn't realize what a mistake the GOP made by not making Ron Paul the candidate is simply naive, ill-informed, and....I'm sorry to say, a simpleton. Mitt has maybe a 20% chance of beating Obama in this election. I'm an independent, and if the GOP had any smarts at all, they'd have surveyed independents across the land and found out that the majority of us would have supported Ron Paul. He's believes in the real American, the one we are slowly saying goodbye to. He's way smarter than anyone running...
In answer to Simp. When people can't understand another persons point of view they resort to name calling. So Ron Paul is a "crazy" person you say. What is crazy is to do the same thing over and over and expect different results. That is what the Republicans and Democrats have done for the last 60 years. Ron Paul is the only one to tell us the sad truth. Do the research, we have not paid for a war since the Korean War. We just keep sending the bill to the next generation. Total bill to date for Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan including interest and the cost of healing the sick (mentally and physically) veterans is about 10 trillion. Funny, that is about the same as our external debt. Ron Paul is the first one to tell the truth. I guess that makes him "crazy".
Steve-O said: "The message of Liberty is frightening to many Americans."
If by that you mean anarchy, which is ultimate liberty, you are correct. People should be afraid of that. The reason to have a legitimate government it to keep the rich and powerful from crushing everyone else. This is what has happened throughout history. In periods of anarchy, people have amassed power and used it to oppress those with little or no power. Occasionally, a movement arises like in 18th century America where that oppression is thrown off and, for a time, the oppressed people have a degree of liberty. So people are greedy, though, and attempt to get more than their share of liberty, meaning that they abscond with someone else's. Typically, they loudly proclaim the wonders of liberty while while stealing the liberty of others. Poor people then have the "liberty" to starve and die in the streets and in wars for profit instigated by the rich.
So, for all to have liberty, the greed of the rich must be controlled, and government is the mechanism by which that is accomplished. Otherwise, there is only liberty for the few, which is the situation the right wing in America is driving us to. They say freedom is not free, and that is true, because the greedy must be prevented from grabbing it all.
Lets keep in mind that prior to 1913 most Americans lived in crushing poverty, child labor was rampant, and most people died in their 50s due to overwork. Let's return to that era!!!