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Ron Paul supporters walk out of RNC in protest: 'we've put up with enough'

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.

But it underscored the bitter divide between the small but feuding faction of the Paul and tea party sector of the party and the establishment factions that controlled the convention’s well choreographed show.

The Romney campaign engineered a rule change late Monday that tightened the rules in a way that gave candidates more control over the delegates assigned to them during the primaries in the national convention. The rules previously had allowed delegates to switch to another candidate on the convention floor, potentially giving rise to an insurgency movement that could lead to a delegate fight.

“We’re walking out of the convention. We’ve put up with enough stuff,’’ said Jim Azzula, a delegate from Maine.

The protest started spontaneously, he said, as Ron Paul supporters who had walked out of the convention hall in protest of the rule change on Tuesday returned on Wednesday to listen to Paul’s son Rand Paul give a speech to the crowd.

“A lot of emotion came out tonight,’’ said Bernie Johnson, 45, a delegate from Maine, who has been a Republican his entire life. He said Maine had elected 20 Ron Paul delegates and 20 alternates but the RNC changed the rules and replaced them with a panel of appointees.

The Ron Paul delegates returned tonight but had no intention of sitting on the floor with the delegates appointed by Romney “and pretend that everything was fine,” he said.

But the Ron Paul delegates of other states joined with them and, in a show of solidarity today, wore signs on their Texas cowboy hats that said “Remember Maine.”

Once together to watch Rand Paul, they spontaneously decided to march out, he said. The Maine delegates led the way and hundreds of others followed.

Johnson said he has “always supported the establishment ticket but Mitt Romney and the Republican Party are making it awfully difficult with the purging of delegates and these rule changes.”

Wilkerson warned that “eliminating us will not eliminate our power or influence.

“This is a revolution and a long term movement,’’ he said. “It is not about one man. It is about liberty and equality and a representative process.”

Comments

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american83

Is anyone really that surprised that voter suppression tactics are being used at the Republican convention when that has become the party's trademark tactic?

CLiberal76

@ american83 - Are you really that idiotic that you don't realize that voter suppression happens in both parties? Effing Sheep!

Kate4RonPaul

This was a walk out of all Ron Paul delegates, not just his supporters.

tmac

CLiberal76 Show me a state with democratic legeslatures that have passed voter I.D. = voter supressoin laws. Your the party of control.

GopSuck

Dem is bad but GOP is much worse! CL please list inside purge in Dem. Either put up or just shut up.

American Parser

Let's see if they "barely notice" us come November.

Lee

They will notice our absence when Obama gets four more years.

Robert Williams

Once you get past the rhetoric, Ron Paul supporters and the Democraic Party are not that far apart. We at least follow our own rules, and don't dump an entire group just because they won't kiss our @&&. If the repubes don't want you, come on over here. We want what is best for everybody, and the Ron Paul group can help.

JH

Landslide for Obama. Send comrade Romney to Russia.

Diyogee

"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." (Relieved they finally had a place to sit, three Romney supporters quickly claimed their seats and continued to enjoy the night's activities.)

donald

I really don't want Obama to win, but if Romney wins, it will prevent Gov. Christie from running four years from now, and that would be a shame.

Brian

Ron Paul supporters are nowhere close do democratic supporters.... They are the exact opposite! One wants to uphold the laws.... The other acts like the laws don't exist! On wants to be fiscally responsible and the other wants to spend money they dont have! Don't even think for a second that Ron Paul supporters are even in the same country as democrats!

Richard Mangum

I used to have a lot of respect for Tea Party Ron Paul types but am beginning to doubt their apparent hidden agenda. Freedom is worth fighting for but doing so on a united front is the best way... not by being divisive and arrogant with big egos and threats to support the enemy if "we don't get our way!" Let's come together and be one in our quest to retain/(return to) our God-given rights and blessings. If you want me to listen to and respect your opinions... listen to and respect mine.

Zombie2093

all ron paul supporters if you still believe our nation has a chance for real change, and that we can still have a government based on people and not the corporate interest, then you should all throw your support behind gary johnson and spread the word, we've got one more chance at this and he's already on the ticket in all fifty states let people know RON PAUL = GARY JOHNSON 2012!!

Brian

Ron Paul supports the constitution.... Firmly! If president Obama can't get a new law passed, he just breaks the current one with a presidential executive order! Nice democratic process dems! Can't wait till he seizes all communications in the us due to national emergency! National emergency being political unrest! I bought my insurance policy! And I keep one just like it in my other hand! Executive order July 6th 2012.... Look it up dems! What is Obama gonna give you when the tax payers can't pay taxes anymore, and there is no more GDP! Your not gonna have to worry about losing your jobs.... Cause a large number of democrats don't have them, or are disabled, or are not citizens of this country. I'm prepared if Obama gets re-elected.... Are you? I will protect my constitution! And there are millions of Americans like me that have actually read the constitution as well.... We know what we are losing, and we are not willing to lose it! Think.... 1863! Think 1776! Think 1812, this isn't the first time America has been in this situation! The constitution wins every time! Because there are Americans not willing to lose their country to a bunch of useless unpatriotic greedy people! Think I'm joking.... We will see!

Brian

And as pissed at Mitt as Ron Paul supporters might be.... We all know better than to vote for Obama.... Once you get past the rhetoric Ron Paul supporters and the democrats aren't that far apart..... Are you kidding me! That has to be the most moronic statement I've heard throughout this entire election cycle! Nice doing your homework! Make a statement like that and you should probably just give up on being part of the election process entirely and go back to smoking your medical weed!

Patti

This kind of tactics, only helps get Obama reelected! And for the comment that it prevents Christie in 4 years..........I only wish our economy would last another 4 years under Obama!
As a longtime GOP, and strong conservative, I firmly support the Romney/Ryan ticket!!! Come on guys, don't fight the battle and loose the war. This is too important to our country's future!!!

Josh Caviness

Well I for one will not be bullied into voting for the lesser of two evils. I will write Ron Paul's name in on my ballot. America and her people are being stripped of our constitutional rights and everyone acts like its no big deal. GET A GRIP PEOPLE!! I will tell you one thing for sure, I am a combat veteran and I have been trained very well. So when Obama gets re-elected and the whole world goes to hell in a hand basket I know how to survive and take care of me and my own. Can the rest of you say the same? God have mercy on America.

Karen and Don in Kansas

Ron Paul supporters did something we can all get behind. They stood up and walked out for democracy.

The GOP is behind sending all the troops as policemen of the world to ensure democratic elections are going to be held and freedom will reign...So much BS. Then, they do this to the Ron Paul delegates, after so much cheating and shenanigans all along the path to the RNC, too many to list here.

A vote for Rmoney is as bad as a vote for Obomba. Both want to put Americans in detention camps without any warrant, trial, or judge. Its called the NDAA, and Romney said he supports it too. Last straw folks.

Wayne K Dolik

I have one thing to say to the RNC and Romney.

NUTS!!!!

Ron Paul Revere

OK, let me get this straight. Our people were attacked in caucuses, had our votes stolen and or not counted during the primary. ALL the Lies, and deceit to delegates, and alternates. Making us sit where you want, not getting to speak. Then disenfranchised in Tampa...delegates rejected to give Romney more, and now the Romney people say, oh it's ok, just band with us brothers and sisters? As a new republican Who just witnessed all these scams I can only say at this point. I need to politically detoxify myself for a few days.

whasup

What the Republican Party convention really needed was not a Ron Paul demonstration ... instead they needed a RuPaul demonstration to liven things up.

harry houdini

:Don't tread on me."

Michele

This is just babies whining. No matter what, it would not have made a difference concerning R Paul as the nominee. Somehow, it's all about them! Stating voter suppression is a joke...especially coming from ANY LEFT WINGED SUPPORTER!

Rick

The GOP committed suicide because Ron Paul supporters like myself and my family will not vote for Romney and they need us if they want to beat Obama and win. But to us Romney and Obama are the same! Who's laughing now Ryan. You want to exclude us no problem we excluded you.

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