Paul supporters don't accept Romney nomination quietly - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Paul supporters don't accept Romney nomination quietly

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Ron Paul supporters threw an impromptu pep rally on the floor of the Republican National Convention Monday. (Source: Jennifer Bowen/Raycom News) Ron Paul supporters threw an impromptu pep rally on the floor of the Republican National Convention Monday. (Source: Jennifer Bowen/Raycom News)
(Source: Jennifer Bowen/Raycom News) (Source: Jennifer Bowen/Raycom News)
(Source: Jennifer Bowen/Raycom News) (Source: Jennifer Bowen/Raycom News)

TAMPA, FL (RNN) - Call them party crashers or the team that just won't quit.

It may be Mitt Romney's moment in the spotlight, but Ron Paul supporters are making their presence seen, heard and felt at the Republican National Convention.

After Monday's brief session in which RNC Chairman Reince Priebus gaveled in, then immediately called the convention into recess, a group of Paul supporters threw an impromptu pep rally on the convention floor.

Gathering under a "We can do better" banner at the far end of the convention center, supporters chanted "President Paul" and held up Ron Paul signs.

They say they feel disenfranchised by the political process.

"They won't even let Ron Paul speak. They're going to give him a tribute video. After 30 years in the Congress, he gets a tribute video and they can't give him 15 minutes to speak. Why not? What are they afraid of?" said Jon Antoine, who is a guest of the Oregon delegation.

Tracy Bakefelt, who was not part of the impromptu chant, said she is a Romney delegate, but that Ron Paul was her first choice.

"We want to make [our presence] known," Bakefelt said. "There's just an energy [around Paul]. I want to see our country better."

Alex Casetta, an alternate delegate from Colorado acknowledges "this probably will not result in Ron Paul's nomination," but said "we want to convey is that this movement is not dead."

Paul, a libertarian-leaning Republican, ran a grassroots presidential campaign but suspended his efforts in May.

In an interview with The New York Times, Paul said he was offered a speaking slot under the condition that he unwaveringly endorse Romney and that his speech was vetted by the campaign, but that he turned down the opportunity.

"I don't fully endorse him for president," he told the Times.

Romney seems to be getting the same half hearted endorsement from many Paul supporters.

"I guess [Romney] is the only ball game in town, isn't he?" said Karen Skrill, an alternate delegate from Vermont.

"I'll be really interested in seeing if he puts his money where his mouth is, if he really follows through on what he says because one thing about Ron Paul is, he has been consistent for 30 years in his message. He hasn't changed his vote in 30 years."

Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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