Paul to supporters: 2012 the start of a new era
August 26th, 2012
08:57 PM ET
8 years ago

Paul to supporters: 2012 the start of a new era

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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Filed under: 2012 • Republican National Convention • Ron Paul
soundoff (179 Responses)
  1. cycloneous

    It is a shame that no one even bothered to listen to what Ron Paul had to say. Sour grapes? No, but the powers that be made it clear, they want to status quo to continue at the expense of our rights, future prosperity and national security. Hence one of the reasons why this election, I am voting third party. I guess as long as gas is still under 5 bucks, and they can get their lattes at Dunkin' Donuts, no one is going to care. Figures. . . .

    August 27, 2012 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  2. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Last Hurrah for the Ronbots.

    August 27, 2012 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  3. joejoe

    I am voting RP anyway as write in vote....and its my last time to do so. It was crying shame what media and GOP did to this man.

    August 27, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  4. Geff

    When Ron Paul speaks, I feel refreshed and respected. Imagine a politician that thinks enough of me to tell me the truth.

    August 27, 2012 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  5. Anonymous

    The MSM tried everything to steal this election from Ron Paul, and he WON Iowa but thats all in the past. The movement now is bigger than any elected office, and worldwide. This is the begining of the Intellectual Revoloution.

    August 27, 2012 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  6. KittenJuggler

    I refuse to vote for the choice of Cancer or AIDS. I'm voting for Ron Paul.

    August 27, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  7. TomInRochNY

    Paul supporters are so cute when they're foaming at the mouth.

    August 27, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  8. Donkey Party

    So much blind love for a life-long Republican AND an anarchist. Just proves you can fool SOME people ALL of the time.

    August 27, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  9. Chat Pata

    The only true Conservative. The rest are just corporate mouth pieces.

    August 27, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  10. Anonymous


    I am voting RP anyway as write in vote....and its my last time to do so. It was crying shame what media and GOP did to this man.
    Paul's supporters always assume everybody else "didn't get it". Reality is a cruel mistress... Ron Paul was not the person bought and paid for by the Koch brothers and therefore was never actually considered by the GOP. Romney is the lap-dog for the rich and nobody else was in the running.

    The media was not Paul's other problem. His he offered unsophisticated solutions to compicated problems. His libertarian vision would have created an isolationist atmosphere at a time when America must engage in a highly interactive world economy and society. Many Americans appreciated a good percentage of Paul's concepts but recognized other positions as deal-breakers. He floated between the ideolgies of a Goldwater conservative and a modern-day anarchist. Some of the message was pragmatic and some was poison. Romney has no ideological positions except those useful to gain votes.

    August 27, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  11. Santex

    Ron Paul's ideas suffer from the same plague as all other politicians in that they only see benefit in their ideas. No idea, no plan ( as if anyone had one) no program is 100% benefit yet they are all presented as panaceas for all that ail us. Somebody, anybody, please stand up and tell the whole truth. If and when you do you will have my vote.

    August 27, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    What people fail to understand about the GOP is that it has ALWAYS been about morality. The origins of the party lie in the Second Great Awakening, where preachers encouraged converts to use their zeal to affect change in every sector of society, and to " convert" people into their vision of what an American should be. Sometimes this has been for the better, sometimes not so. The idea that the GOP has always been about personal liberty and freedom is a joke when you understand the GOP has always been about changing people into someone else's idea of what a " good American" is. They have never been tolerant of people of differing faiths, and the issue of racial equality was never embraced by the party until it became politcally expedient: the agreement in the 1876 election that gave Rutherford B. Hayes the WH in exchange for ending Reconstruction shows how " committed " the GOP was to Civil Rights, once the architects of Reconstruction had either retired or died. The revisionist history conservatives engage in on the role of the GOP in hsitory is amazing in its arrogance and shocking in its ommission of facts.

    August 27, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  13. Grady

    moderate republicans, the tea (american taliban) party and ron paul supporters...should make for a true "cage match" of a convention.

    August 27, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  14. durundal

    I was almost interested until they mentioned his bigoted looney-tune son was going to take over. What happened to a respectable libertarian candidate?

    August 27, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  15. TommyCelt

    Paul ought to back the man in the race that mirrors the majority of his ideals; Governor Gary Johnson. However, that may be seen by some as taking Rand out at the knees for a potential 2016 run.

    August 27, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  16. yuri

    Ron Paul speaks a lot of sense, but his inscrutable idea of getting rid of a few fed. agencies seem like a bitter pill to swallow and stomach. One of the main reasons the finanacial institutions went berserk is lack of smart regulation. If they again go completely unfettered, it might run the risk of being ruinous for the economy, and tax payers and middle class will disproportionately bear the brunt.

    August 27, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  17. See

    The best thing I can say about Ron Paul is that he's not a very good Republican. That's high praise from me. But I always wonder why the Paul fans are so astounded that the GOP doesn't adore him - what on earth would it say about him if they did? Republicans are all big government interfering with your personal life these days, pretending to be something they still weren't but at least tried harder at decades ago. They'll be all about fiscal conservatism until the next holy war they can get into, or the next big rights-sapping agency they can create, and will do their damnedest to force their idea of morals on you (especially you evil females) via the federal government in the meantime. Do you really want that crowd claiming Ron Paul as their own?

    August 27, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  18. Larry L

    Paul was never a serious candidate because the Koch brothers decided to "buy" Romney. When you want to manipulate a politician you must "buy" one with no real ideology and a very flexible character. For the fat-cats Romney is the perfect choice! He'll tell the voters anything they want to hear and give the ultra-rich more tax breaks and fewer regulations on dishonest financial activity. He'll try to remove all environmental protection and allow industrialists to pollute the air, water and soil without concern. He's the "perfect" guy if you're looking for an unethical flip-flopper!

    August 27, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  19. B

    I think I am just writing in Ron Paul when I vote. It is a shame that the more brilliant minds in the world are too often seen as just crazy people. Maybe the Libertarian movement will grow in the next century. It is the middle ground party, away from the kooks on the far left and far right.

    August 27, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  20. Independent, in Texas

    Ron Paul....the man who coulda and shoulda been president........if only the GOP party would have supported him the way they supported there other losers he would be the next president of the USA.......Obama 2012!

    August 27, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  21. Sniffit

    End of an era indeed. I wonder what will replace the GOP. Oh look, nutjobs...

    August 27, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  22. Ken

    Going to miss you Popeye! You still have my vote!

    It is Paul or no vote at all!

    August 27, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  23. Lee

    Ron Paul followers are just being used as tools by the republican party. It's a shame.

    iIt's time to for the followers to snap out of the delusion.

    August 27, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  24. ChristopherM

    Ron Paul was the right candidate for '12. 1812, that is. He's a crackpot isolationist who only appeals to people who don't think they should have to pay taxes for things like roads, public education, and police protection, and people who want to smoke pot legally. Hopefully this old fossil will take the hint this time around.

    August 27, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  25. bluedogboy

    Why does anyone listen to this guy? He'll probably be dead in a few years anyway.

    The GOP is toast without a unified convention.

    August 27, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
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