August 28th, 2012
08:21 PM ET
2 years ago

Ron Paul supporters put dent in unity at GOP convention

Tampa, Florida (CNN) - The always-vocal supporters of Ron Paul made one final push to support the Texas congressman's bid for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination Tuesday, and in the process made their displeasure at the GOP establishment known as official proceedings at the Republican National Convention got underway.

Paul's supporters shouted and booed when rules were adopted as part of the Republican Party's official platform that would hinder the kind of grassroots campaign that carried Paul to the national convention.

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The booing turned to cheers, however, when Paul stepped out onto the convention floor. Shouts of "let him speak" broke out from his supporters, who are fervently loyal to the libertarian congressman who is making his third and, he says, final bid for the presidency.

When their candidate received any delegates in the state-by-state roll call, Paul's supporters delivered loud cheers. However, convention organizers ultimately made a decision to stop calling out the Paul delegates.

More: Paul supporters protest through convention halls

That decision was met with furious cries from Paul's supporters, who said their voices weren't being heard at the Republican Party's official gathering. When states listed delegate votes for both Romney and Paul, party officials at the podium listed only the votes assigned to Romney, who secured enough delegates Tuesday to officially clinch the GOP nomination.

At one point, delegates from Maine walked off the convention floor in protest of a Republican National Committee decision to replace 10 of the 20 delegates Paul had secured in the state. That move prevented Maine from submitting Paul's name for nomination.

"I wanted to see the chairman keep it fair," Tom Bronza, a delegate and Ron Paul supporter from Pennsylvania, told CNN. "I just wanted to see the yeas and nays on the rolls. I knew it would be close. I wanted to record the numbers and wanted the chair to announce it. He didn't. I am disappointed in that. But that's the way the cards fell."

Bronza said the treatment from national Republicans toward Paul supporters had him seriously weighing whether he would vote for Mitt Romney in November.

"The way I was treated here today, I felt like I was picked on a lot by a number of different people, so I'm not too happy about that, and you know, if I was well received and no shenanigans, I would have considered it in November," Bronza said.


Filed under: 2012
soundoff (308 Responses)
  1. stan

    I would rather write in Ron Paul than support that sycophant nobody Mitt Romney. He sticks is foot in his mouth 3 times on PHOTO OPS in London, Israel, and Poland... and that's just what we read about. A photo op is shaking hands with a delegate...NOT talking politics and inserting foot.
    On one level, he is an embarrassment to the United States. On another level, having sold his soul to the religious right and to the anti choice, anti gay, anti black and brown minorities, and PRO rich white MEN... he is a danger to every American who enjoys Civil Rights, or who aspires to have the dignity of being treated as an equal.
    These are dark days in America... the racist republican party could very well win...and then ALL civil rights, except for those for wealthy white males, will be set back 50 years.

    August 29, 2012 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  2. Mike

    I'm not upset that Ron Paul didn't stand a chance – but even Sarah friggin' Palin has called out the GOP for what they've done to Ron Paul supporters. This Party can't afford to alienate people. They always go on about how they need more minority support, more youth and college support, fresh new ideas and such – but when those people come along they are met by the establishment aristocracy and told they aren't welcome, that their voice doesn't matter. When those people beat the system by it's own rules – the rules get changed to discourage those people from even participating. The GOP is not the Party of everyday Americans – they are the Party of establishment elites who can't bear the thought of going a few years without carpet bombing some third world nation. And frankly, the same goes for the Democrats. Americans have no real representation.

    August 29, 2012 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  3. scribe

    without Ron Paul, I vote for Obama just for spite. Pure and simple.

    August 29, 2012 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  4. Dusty

    Its too bad the republican party through Paul under the bus. He is the best candidate to compete with Obama. Ron is a very moderate republican. Republicans just saw Mitts money and thought it was going to be a easy win. Plus, if Obama had lost to Paul I wouldent be as scared as I am to him losing against Mitt. Its time to kick the crazies out of the republican party! Start by kicking Palin, Bachmann, and boehner out. The idea of government is to work together despite your differences. These people only want to say no!

    August 29, 2012 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  5. J.V.Hodgson

    I thought we lived in a democracy even in the ideologically tied up Republican party.
    There are only 58 States etc in total in the roll call I believe. They should be called in away that has no bias say alphabetically. It is not a matter of whether the result would be the same it's a matter understanding the democracy within the the GOP of the clear and final vote. The great CNN could go back and calculate based on caucus result winners in each state... not doing the full procedure is anti democratic.
    I have sometimes voted Republican, but tea party power, this hypocrisy and undemocratic activity, says I can no longer ever vote for them again at any level. SAD.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    August 29, 2012 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  6. Fortinbras

    Ohhh cmon, DNC. Let Ron speak at your convention!

    August 29, 2012 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  7. Dr.Cole

    Here's the thing that makes me wonder about the Ron Paul supporters. Why are they upset at the GOP, when they aren't Republicans, but Libertarians? While they share some similarities with the GOP thought, they are far from GOP in their philosophy.

    August 29, 2012 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  8. R. Harris

    Most worry about Ron Paul like a drug addict worries about going to rehab to clean up and on a correct path.

    August 29, 2012 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  9. WillH85

    Ah, the only good thing to come out of the RNC is the final nail in the coffin of Ron Paul's delusional presidential aspirations. As much as I can't stand Romney, Ron Paul scares me that much more. He publicly supports certain issues that he knows will gain supporters that won't bother paying much attention to how nuts his economic ideas are.

    August 29, 2012 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  10. Jeff in San Diego

    The pictures from the campaign trail show the real story – Paul had thousands of supporters at every one of his rallies, Romney played to crickets everywhere he went. Paul should have ran solo starting in May and cleaned the GOP's and Romney's clock. They certainly didn't respect Paul or his views. Paul should have spoiled their chance to win and made them eat dirt.

    August 29, 2012 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  11. Rory

    Ron Paul and his delegates were screwed by the RNC at every step of the electoral process. Even to this day they claim that Paul didn't win 1 state when he actually took the majority of the delegates in 5 different states; Nevada, Minnesota, Oregon, Louisiana and Maine.

    In an interview today, Paul said he was unsure of who he would vote for himself. This I do not understand. The Republican party hasn't given him anything and has tried to impede the progress of the liberty movement every since they co-opted the Tea Party movement. He owes them nothing. My assumption is that if he threw his weight behind the Gary Johnson libertarian ticket, that he'd be handing Obama the election by taking his followers away from the GOP. Perhaps he isn't ready to do that.

    But if his goal was always to spread the message, then why not support Johnson? Paul's support might bolster his support to the 15% he needs to get into the Presidential debates in October.

    August 29, 2012 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  12. Name

    Ron Paul on the ticket was the best chance the Repubs had. Look forward to another 4 years of Obama, it serves you right.

    August 29, 2012 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  13. brian

    claire, you don't understand anything. the VAST majority of ron paul supporters will not be voting for mitt romney. most of them did not vote for mccain last time around. myself, and other thousands of ron paul supporters in california, wrote ron paul in during the last election. so, stop assuming you know how principled individuals will vote because you are so clearly wrong. perhaps that's what you don't understand. ron paul supporters base their support on principle, not party.

    August 29, 2012 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  14. Me

    Ron Paul is a great man. He speaks the truth. But the leaders of the republican party are not interested in the truth. They want him and his supporters to be out of the picture. This is an outrage.

    August 29, 2012 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  15. Josh

    Actually this should also prove a point, other than the GOP leadership being completely corrupt and uncaring of the voice of the people. Since 2008 we have heard about how Ron Paul is fringe, un-electable, crazy, and could not possibly win. If all those attacks were true, please explain to me why the RNC had to fight him tooth and nail and break so many of their own rules right up until this convention to ensure Romney was elected? Why did they change the rules at the last second to ensure that Ron Paul couldn't even be considered for the nomination? That sounds like the tactics you use on someone who is a legitimate threat to your corrupt coronation.

    August 29, 2012 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  16. Squigman

    Good for them. If the republicans, believe in democracy they'll have to listen.

    August 29, 2012 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  17. Dawid

    @Casey: What are you talking about? Santorum released his delegates before the RNC..

    August 29, 2012 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  18. bgates

    Tommy Tally–glad you have a crystal ball... Too bad you don't have a long term memory. You do know why we are here right? Remember 2008? Heck remember 2001–largest attack on American soil ever allowed to happen. Went pretty much down hill from there. Too bad you forgot about those days...

    August 29, 2012 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  19. cronewinter

    Nothing more beautiful than a divided republican party..please split the vote into as many little sections as you can.

    August 29, 2012 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  20. John

    Claire
    RP supporters will not support Romney. Fighters for Liberty, fiscal responsibility, and avoiding costly endless wars will not vote for Romney. I have been a republican for many years, but a time has come when the gop no longer stands for what is good for our country. Paul has just started the liberty movement, and it will continue to get bigger as people hear the truth, and see that both the democrats or republicans are willing to do what this great country needs.

    August 29, 2012 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  21. Johan S

    Libertarians in a swing state are far better off voting for Obama and the democrats than any of the clowns currently driving the GOP bus. If you aren't in a swing state then vote for the libertarian candidate on the ballot as a show of support. Your vote will mean a lot more than if you wasted it on a major party.

    August 29, 2012 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  22. serana

    The Reps and Dems might pretend differences but will only follow the agenda of their banker backers. RP wants to audit the Federal Reserve and their money making machine that is financed by our taxes. Won't happen. America was enslaved two hundred years ago and the nail in the coffin was driven in 1913 with the Federal Reserve Act.

    August 29, 2012 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  23. susansbaker

    The democracy of the US died on the hands of Republicans on 8/28/2012, shame on you!

    August 29, 2012 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  24. andrew

    These actions by the GOP 'big wigs' shouldn't be surprising. This is how they're made up. You"ll either heel to them or you're out! Ann Romney – the face of it tonight – seems to be a very nice lady and I doubt the guys meeting out back to throw Paul's butt under the buss even listened to what she said. The GOP RULERS care not for democracy and compromise, but only for FORCE and RULE by force! They can do this in their petty and SMUG conventions, but once the handles get pulled in the ballot booths, these FORCERS will NOT be allowed to win by FORCE. The republicans are such a bunch of mixed-up fools, sending so many mixed messages that scare the BEJESUS out of ALL of us – including their OWN! What a bunch of back-stabbing scoundrels – who'd do anything to LIE and CHEAT and STEAL and BUY their way into the White House! They'll never be able to do that! They have nothing but contempt in their cold blooded hearts.

    August 29, 2012 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  25. Pappione

    I am done towing the line for the party because splitting the vote against the opposition is verbotten! No longer! I am voting for Ron Paul. If that leads to Obama occupying the White House for another four years and further damaging this nation, then so be it!! Maybe that will be what it takes for the GOP to realize that they need to quit acting so liberal to appease the moderates!

    August 29, 2012 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
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