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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Paul supporters say they won't allow 'elite' to control GOP



Agreeing to be “quiet and respectful” once the final session of the Republican National Convention begins tonight, Ron Paul supporters made one last stink outside the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

photo25.jpgThey still are angry about a rule changes that will allow future Republican presidential nominees greater control over convention delegates. They are still standing up for Maine, the state were some Paul-leaning delegates were replaced by Mitt Romney supporters. They are still smarting about perceived slights to Paul over the week.

But most of all, they believe the voice of the party’s “grassroots” is being stifled by the powers-that-be. Roughly 150 delegates and supporters attended the rally, including people from Hawaii, North Carolina, Indiana, California, and Nebraska.

“Grassroots Republicans are essential to the health and unity of our party,” Texan Luis LaRotta said during the demonstration. “We must all move forward to bring our party together.”

The group is requesting mediation with the Republican Party’s Rules Committee, but with the convention on its final night it's unclear if that can or will happen.

Tina Kelly, an alternate delegate from Oklahoma who supports Paul, said she is concerned about how the rule change will affect future conventions.

“The movement is bigger than one candidate and bigger than one convention,” she said.

She also has not warmed to Romney. She said there are a few differences between him and President Barack Obama, but not enough.

“I hope we beat Barack, I do,” she said. “But I don’t think that I can actually get behind Mitt Romney.”

[Last modified: Thursday, August 30, 2012 7:28pm]


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