Ron Paul supporters walked out en masse from the Republican National Convention late Wednesday in protest of a rule change by Republican officials that removed some of Maine’s delegates in an attempt to suppress the group’s movement.
Chanting, “As Maine goes, so goes the nation,’’ about 200 delegates and supporters marched around the perimeter of the Tampa Bay Times Forum and out the door as U.S. Sen. John McCain gave his prepared remarks to the convention.
“We aren’t coming back,’’ said Brandon Wilkerson of Virginia. “We are trying to show the audience and rule committee that mitt Romney eliminating duly elected delegates does not win the nomination and will not win the November election.’’
The protest was barely noticed inside the convention hall as the party faithful continued a well-scripted night aimed at attacking President Barack Obama,that was to culminate in a speech by vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan.