Politico: "Paul Supporters Blitz State GOP Conventions"Submitted by tajitj on Sat, 05/31/2008 - 20:28
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There are quite a few state GOP conventions this weekend, and reading through the coverage online one finds a recurring theme: the Paul presence.
The libertarian Repubilcan's hardy band of supporters are showing up at conventions in an effort to win a delegate slot in the Twin Cities in September.
Paul backers have achieved some small success in becoming delegates, but their larger impact has been to offer an element of news at what are largely newsless and ceremonial state party confabs.
The best comparison I've seen was from one GOP activist in Washington state who, when asked about the Paul'ite invasion, talked of Pat Robertson's evangelical backers packing the party in '88. Of course, most of these Christian conservatives voted for Bush 41 that fall. It's difficult to see many of these -- largely young and anti-war -- Paul supporters getting behind McCain.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Although John McCain has clinched the GOP presidential nomination, hundreds of Minnesota Republicans showed up here Friday to support another candidate in hopes of making their preference known at the GOP national convention in St. Paul in September.
U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas was barred from the Republican state convention at the Mayo Civic Center, but he addressed a pre-convention rally outside the hall to encourage his fiercely loyal supporters to carry on the campaign for his anti-tax, small-government, market-based, anti-foreign intervention principles.
BRANSON, Mo. — Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, who continues to be a thorn in the side of his party and presumptive nominee John McCain, said Friday night that he won’t endorse McCain or campaign for him.
“I can’t support anybody who supports the war,” Paul said, in a brief interview while he signed hundreds of copies of his book brought to Friday night’s “Freedom Rally” by some of his supporters.
Paul reaffirmed, however, that he won’t conduct a third-party candidacy.
About 1,500 turned out Friday night to hear Paul for an hour at the Tri-Lakes Center. (The estimate came from the building manager; yours truly counted at least 1,000.)
SPOKANE – At the state Republican convention Friday, Arizona Sen. John McCain won the majority of delegates – but not without heated discussion.
About half of the more than 2,200 people at the Spokane Convention Center waved McCain campaign signs. Signs for Texas Congressman Ron Paul also dotted the crowd, and organizers with walkie-talkies were in the aisles.
There are 1,100 delegates to the state convention. They were vying to be among the 40 delegates selected to go to the national convention, which will be Sept. 1-4 in Minneapolis-St. Paul, and nominate the party’s presidential candidate.
Because McCain won a majority of the votes in Washington’s Republican primary and caucuses in February, many of the delegate seats had been determined. But Paul had a strong showing in the caucuses, and his supporters were determined to snare some delegate seats.
U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert stressed party unity Friday.
“There’s many thoughts and ideas out there today, but first and foremost, can everyone just agree on this today, that we are proud Americans? Let’s start this conference with that premise,” the Auburn Republican said to applause.
He continued, “Today, we support John McCain as our nominee.”
Most of the crowd cheered, but a section of Paul supporters booed. Reichert repeated the refrain two more times, each time with more intensity, and was met with louder cheers and boos.