Texas Congressman, the self-declared “outsider” who conceded the GOP Presidential nomination to Mitt Romney recently, is still playing an “inside” game to amass delegates and play a potential spoiler role at the party’s convention in Tampa in August.
Paul’s determined supporters won the bulk of delegates from Iowa over the weekend at a convention that reversed the party caucuses earlier this year, adding to delegate totals obtained in Nevada and Maine.
“We’re not going away,” said Iowa Paul supporter David Fischer. “We want to send Ron Paul-inspired folks to Tampa.”
Paul stopped campaigning in May shortly before presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney secured the 1,144 delegates needed to cinch the top spot on the GOP ticket but his assault on the Republican Party did not stop and continues even after he later conceded that he would not be the party’s nominee.
In Maine, Ashley Ryan — just 21 — won the election as the state’s new Republican national committeewoman. In Minnesota, Paul took 32 of the 40 delegate spots.
With the nomination no longer at stake, Paul’s supporters hope to influence the GOP platform and continue an effort to put their faithful in local and state offices. They say it’s not as much about Paul as it is about his ideas.
“It’s never been about the man,” Marianne Stebbins, Paul’s Minnesota state director, told The Aassociated Press. “It’s about liberty and turning the tide.”
Paul’s recent convention victories will give him more than 200 pledged delegates in Tampa but while his organization continues to concentrate on obtaining delegates it is also divided insider over the endorsement of Romney by Rand Paul, the congressman’s son and a Kentucky Senator.
Until the endorsement, the younger Paul was viewed as the potential successor to his father’s mantle but some of the elder Paul’s more fervent followers now brand the son as a “traitor” who insulted his father and the movement he founded.