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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Paul will always fail – he doesn't cowtow to AIPAC – all the others have sold themselves
Anonymous - What we need is justice and the pursuit of happiness for all, not just a few people.
It is nobody's job but yours to make you happy. Go live your life, do what it takes to make yourself happy. BTW, being rich isn't required in order to be happy and have a great life. Many times it is quite the oppposite.
NudeTruth has an analogy of people who are afraid of Ron Paul's message. Here is an alternate view: An unregulated free market is like 2 people playing Monopoly with no rules. The game goes along chaotically for a short while until one of the players picks up the board and all the pieces and says, "I win!" Free, unregulated markets descend rapidly into monopolies, which oppress the majority of people. The only mechanism we have for countering that is either collective action by the oppressed (e.g., the American Revolution) or a democratically elected government. Unfortunately, our current government is the property of the Mitt Romney's of this world, and they run it for their own benefit. Obama is marginally better, but not much. That makes action on the part of the mass of people the most likely eventuality.
Paul has a strong vision for the country and would have been an excellent President but Romney will serve us well. Either man has ten times the governing ability of Obama. Go see 2016: Obama's America.
He would have won 2012 and we are denied that freedom of choice as he is not even on the ballet. we are being treated very poorly. which is the first step. I can not wait to dump the fed.
Typical libertarian delusions. To see how far off reality these people can get, check out the Singularity techno cult movement.
Ron Paul supporters you have NO voice with the NRC so why try. Ron Paul best described them. 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.
Ron Paul has some good ideas, but has been just "too far OUT THERE"! Now he's coming across as a bitter old man.
That is the worst photo of Ron Paul , Father of the Aqua Buddha I've ever seen.
Restore our constitution , overturn the dueling law !
Like him or hate him, I'd rather have Dr. Paul as the candidate on the ballot rather than Ritt Money, the RNC couldn't have bought a more stiff, plastic, personality-challenged candidate than Romney, he makes Al Bore & Walter Mondale seem interesting!
I'll be pulling the lever for Gary Johnson (LP) as a protest vote this November.
Any Ron Paul supporter who turns to Mitt Romney was never a Ron Paul supporter in the first place. I don't like RP or proscribe to his theories but will give him credit for sticking to his convictions. Mitt has no convictions – but only because he hasn't released his tax records. He'd be convicted shortly thereafter.
The GOP is giving lip service to Paul and his supporters. They were kicked to the curb months ago. The real question is will they vote for Romney or vote for Gary Johnson as a protest vote.
Paul would have been an awesome independent candidate. He is the only candidate addressing the issues that really matter right now – militarism and corporatism. Both lead to a destruction of the free market and an erosion of civil liberties. I disagree with him on the role of government when it comes to having some safety net and a role in public education (although Paul makes a valid point about how centralizing the education system stifles educators), but overall I think I would prefer him to Obama or Romney.
This makes one realize how much Ron Paul is not a Republican. Unlike Republicans, he actually offers concrete proposals, instead of vague platitudes and threats. Some of them are crazy proposals, but at least they're laid out. And, unlike Republicans, he genuinely believes in limited government. He thinks the government shouldn't be starting wars, telling people what kind of birth control they can use, preventing them from getting an abortion, or dictating who they can marry. If he were the Republican candidate, there would be a clear difference from the Democrats, instead of just another version of the spendthrift nanny state that we'll get with Republicans.
@coyoteliberty: Having lived in New Mexico during Gary Johnson's tenure, let me share with you his accomplishments: 1) getting photographed weekly in shorty shorts as he trained for marathons, and 2) ummm...please see item #1.
He doesn't want to start wars, dictate who people can marry, tell them what kind of birth control they can use, or even prevent them from having an abortion. Clearly he's not a Republican.
Yeah, I'm sure going back to the gold standard is really going to help expand the economy!
Who? Oh, the guy who doesn't understand how money works? Pffffttt..... I don't think so.
Ron Paul's extreme makeover edition of libertarianism gives it a bad name. Ron Paul has no idea how the global economy works. He proves it with his "return to the gold standard" idea. If the entire world doesn't do it behind a single currency, then it would never work out well for the countries who were on the gold standard with their own currencies. The value of their currency would be as volatile as the stock markets.
I have always found it funny that Ron Paul was the tea party before the tea party even existed, yet somehow his ideals have been hijacked by other "conservatives". Unfortunately, way too many fiscal conservatives are also social extreme conservatives. And without both, you cannot be a true conservative.
Paul's only issue with republicans is that he actually espoused what he talked about. Smaller govt all around, not just where one side thinks it should be. If it weren't for the fact that he took that to the extreme (and other issues he has), I would've signed up.
Rand, however, is not his father.
I love these people trying to get us to go see 2016... seriously? NO ONE PERSON WITH A BRAIN will watch that movie and think they were presented with facts! I hope people true to Ron Paul WILL vote for Gary Johnson. I am surprised that Paul has not endorsed him
It seems as if the government doesnt have our best interest in mind overall. Maybe it is not happening on purpose or maybe it is because of laziness or just a lack of real common sense. i cant place a finger on it. What i do know is that we are constantly at war and in everybodies elses business while our schools and infastructure fail us. Example: 1. The FDA and what they consider edible...BPA, Corn Syrup, Chickens feed their own waste, and a slew of chemicals feed to our animals. 2. Large and mini monopolies–virtually impossible for a small business to survive amongst the corporate juggernauts 3. Trade deficits and jobs going overseas while folks lose jobs here. 4. Our wars or eagerness to get into them (Exception Afganistan–) and the massive deficiets they created!!
we need to focus on the US, our culture, our education, our infastructure, and our issues before we can be a successful country and a truly exceptional country. We are not a credit card company–we are a country first and foremost, lets start acting like one.
Sorry, forgot to add that I always felt Ron Paul was concerned about the items in my first post. However, he is also fiscally conservative and willing to tell it like it is. It was a sad day for me and friends when he stopped his bid for president. It goes to show that money can buy anything–including government office(s) and that is really what it takes to be president–a ton of money...nothing else!!
i like Ron Paul's ideas but i see a big hole in his lifetime in Congress.
I do not recall any significant legislation Ron Paul has started/passed.
Words much, actions empty.
To those who cling to the fantasy that Paul could have become President–please note he had 10%-12% support IN THE GOP and less elsewhere. Only by manipulating the very weak caucus rules did he even get the delegates he has. He is an unpopular idea, carried by an unpopular person, with no place to go but back home.