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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@Steve-O: "The message of Liberty is frightening to many Americans."
Ron Paul is a typical self-centered Libertarian who doesn't believe in society, prefers a dog-eat-dog world and thinks the government has a right to decide what a woman does with her own body.
That isn't liberty by a long shot!
""The message of Liberty is frightening to many Americans.""
Yawn. Take it to Somalia.
Hang in there Akin, we need you so McCaskill can get reelected.
Sadly....neither mainstream party is interested in doing what it will take to turn things around. Disaster looms and the talking heads babble on to no avail. The cycle of disaster continues.
Ron Paul = Racism, anarchy and isolationism
Romney = Greedy, lying flip-flopper
Republican Party = Right-wing extremists with no plan
Great job GOP...
Not bad for the final performance of the Ron Paul show. Good riddance!
@ThinkAgain who said: "thinks the government has a right to decide what a woman does with her own body."
I won't address the first two points, though youre way off the mark on those as well. On the latter point, Libertarians believe in everyone's right to choose for themselves what is best for them, including abortion. Men don't have any right deciding that issue, anyway. I think you need to brush up on the <Libertarian platform a bit before commenting on it, ThinkAgain.
Actually a return to fiscal sanity would be a good thing and I for one am sick of governemnt waste. I think having Ron Paul as President would be a great thing. The ones that surprise me are the talk show hosts on radio who built their reputations screaming for more conservative governemnt and when Ron Paul runs essentially with every platform plank they could want they dismiss him from the start. I think they are simply joking at their audiences and really don't believe what they say.
@Will: His reference to 1913 was likely about the establishment of the Federal Reserve Bank where we handed control of our currency over to what is essentially a private entity. I don't think Paul was advocating for a return to child labor or drop in average lifespan. Rather, that the monetary policies (printing endless money) that began at that time, must come to a close, or that we risk hyperinflation and further devaluation of the U.S. Dollar.
Is there anyone who can look at our country and say, "Gee, if only the federal government was bigger. If only the government would tax, spend, and borrow more, we would be much better off."
Is there anyone that really believes this? Obama says we tried capitialism in the 1920s and it led to the great depression. Tried it in the 1920s? We had it 1776. What happened to the entire 19th century.
Ron Paul was the closest to providing real policies that would have significantly changed the direction of our country for the better.
Well said Larry L. That's what we are dealing with.
One thing that he definitely has right is the need to fight the power of the large corporations.
Romney should make Ron Paul the Secretary of he Treasury. I bet that he pays his taxes.
How smart is it for alexithymic Mitt to give a spot at the convention to the SILLIEST OLD MAN in the GOP?
In response to Will: In 1913, most people were farmers. The industrialization was in its infancy and the way labor was handled needed to be learned. Children worked to support their family because of extreme poverty. Today, trying to get someone to work is hard enough. Lack of jobs, lack of people with the desire to work hard to earn a living and the introduction of undocumented workers to do jobs while we pay citizens not to work That is our biggest problems.
Wow name calling is such an intelligent way to argue against someone's ideals. Please. For all the geniuses out there, prove that he's an "anarchist." Prove to me that the only man who stated multiple times over the years that minorities are punished more severely in court and enjoyed the most minority support of any in the republican party is a racist. You don't have to agree with his positions, but spouting BS and name calling only supports the notion you are either uninformed, unintelligent, or just have no solid reasons against him and resort to childish tactics.
Ron Paul is the most honest, decent, non-racist, intelligent candidate we've seen in decades. People get the government they deserve, which explains why the majority of Americans reject him and his message.
What a farce. It is "the same old same old" which clobbered Ron Paul in each of his THREE Presidential bids. If his followers support Mitt Romney, they support "the same old, same old" Big Corporate, Business As Usual, Mainstream Bankster Worshipping GOP; thus HELPING the Banksters who crushed them to win. If they support no one, they ALLOW the Mainstream Banksters who crushed The Paulines three times now to win. Their only other choice is to support Obama...which most of them won't do because he is black, and they are racist...and because they see him as just another tool of The Banksters. The Paulines have no hope, and nothing they can do will change anything. Libertarianism is a fraud created by the GOP. It is a tool of The Banksters, used to manipulate their opponents with. The fools fall for it every time. If Paul had set up his own third party several years ago, he may have had a hope now, and been able to give real, valid, hope to his followers. As it is, Paul did nothing of the sort, and just posed as something different while remaining in the same old GOP camp. All Paul REALLY wants to do is to sell to the suckers more copies of his books, and newsletters. That is all his Presidential campaigns have ever been...taxpayer funded book publicity tours. Paul got richer, this time around, by selling more books, and more newsletter subscriptions...but his followers are poorer, more deprived of power, and more foolish than ever...still too stupid to see what was done to them by Ron Paul...The Great Con Artist. I don't know whether to laugh at, or cry for, them.
Heaven forbid we promote freedom and individual responsibility in our society....some of you in here are pathetic with your desire to suck off the government and have big brother provide everything for you. Even if we assume that Obama's policies would level the playing field and make everything "fair" (which is totally false)...its not economically sustainable which means in the long run the country collapses. But its okay as long as we had good intentions right?
I certainly don't agree with him on all the issues, but I do give him credit for being the one "republican" who has been consistent in his positions, and who doesn't flip flop to satisfy whichever interest group he happens to be pandering to at the time. He seems to be an honest and honorable man, one who can't be bought by the big money operatives.
A hundred years of "progressive" BS has brought the country to the brink of bankruptcy and a welfare state. The Democrats want the USA to keep "progressing" right over the cliff and into the abyss. It is ALL about how much they can take and take no matter what the long term implications are. They don't care as long as they get theirs today. It's the selfish greedy union mentally that is bankrupting cities, states and even the country.
@Steve-O we have liberty. duh??? What we need is justice and the pursuit of happiness for all, not just a few people. @Joan I agree with you.
Does Ron Paul not look and sound like Pat Paulson from the Nixon era? He also had some interesting ideas.
People who are afraid of Ron Paul's message make me think of a mother giving birth to a child, where the baby shoots straight out but since the baby is attached in to umbilical cord it rubber bands right back into the mother this process seems to go on and on until someone is finally able to get through to this person and say hey you need to cut the cord and start living free.
I was a Ron Paul delegate to my Republican state convention. The lengths to which the Romney folks went to crush any participation by Paul delegates, even if it meant sabotaging the convention and the state party to do it, sickened me.
As a result, I am now supporting the only Presientrial candidate who will be on the ballot in all 50 states who has a genuine commitment to freedom and liberty: Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, the Libertarian nominee for President. If CNN is your primary newsource, you haven't heard anything about Gary or his campaign, which is pretty amazing considering that he's the best resumed and most qualified candidate in the race.
Republican paul supporters, when this circus is over, join me in building a party that shares your commitment to liberty and freedom: The Libertarian Party. Abandon the Republican Party as they have abandoned you.