Officials Frantic Over Ron Paul Supporters Seizing Control Of GOP
Congressman fills another 4000 seater stadium in California
May 3, 2012
GOP Presidential candidate Ron Paul continues to fill stadiums and attract thousands of people to his campaign events, while the establishment is once again becoming concerned about the effect Paul’s success will have on the national convention in Florida.
Paul drew a crowd of over 4000 people at the California State University at Fullerton campus yesterday at the school’s Titan Stadium.
Enthusiastic supporters were queuing around the block to get into the stadium, as the following video captured by one attendee highlights:
Paul took to the stage to boisterous chants of “President Paul!” and proceeded to outline his ‘Plan to Restore America.’
“Sounds like there’s a revolutionary spirit in town tonight,” Paul said, to thunderous applause. “I’m so encouraged that so many young people saying, ‘Things have got to change.’”
“Our time has come, and it won’t be stopped,” the Congressman noted during a 50-minute long speech. “In the short range, there will be bumps. In the long range, if we are dedicated, we will change this country and we will change the world.”
Saying that the economy was the most pressing issue at hand, Paul noted “Things have definitely changed in the last four or five years. People have woken up and realized that we don’t have a sound economic system.”
“The tragedy here in this country is that if you’re on the inside track, you get the benefits when things are going well and you get bailed out when things go bad,” he said.
“If you don’t have confidence in government, it’s a good thing,” Paul said. “You challenge things.”
A portion of Paul’s speech can be viewed below:
Meanwhile, Paul’s refusal to drop out of the presidential race is beginning to cause some concern for establishment Republicans, as the Congressman’s supporters are ensuring that he is stealthily picking up delegates ahead of the national convention.
In the past few days, Paul has registered a number of successes at state committees and conventions in Massachusetts, Minnesota, Alaska, Iowa, Louisiana, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.
If Paul can score a plurality of delegates from five states, his supporters could nominate him from the convention floor. At this stage a brokered convention remains highly unlikely. However, with a strong showing among delegates the Congressman’s supporters hope to secure a speaking spot for Paul and some control over the party platform.
Josh Putnam, a professor of political science at Davidson College and expert on delegate procedures, told TPM that Paul’s supporters should “easily” reach the required threshold of delegate pluralities, and warned that the effects could be far reaching.
“Broadly speaking, I don’t think anyone has a firm handle on how deep this goes,” Putnam told TPM. “This is a headache for Romney and they’ll have to deal with it at some point.”
Republican officials are warning that Paul’s supporters are seizing control of the party at the State level.
“It’s down to a matter of trust,” Craig Robinson, a former political director of the Iowa Republican Party told The Hill.
“If you’re the Romney campaign, can you trust the Iowa GOP to work with you? If this delegation is going to go down to the Florida convention and cast their votes for Ron Paul, I think the answer is no. I wouldn’t blame the Romney campaign for being skeptical of working with the Iowa GOP.”
Similar situations are fomenting in several other states as Paul supporters are using the establishment system to their own advantage.
“Taken together, these victories and those yet to happen forecast a prominent role for Ron Paul at the RNC,” Paul campaign manager John Tate said after the Colorado and Minnesota gains. “They also signal that the convention will feature a spirited discussion over whether conservatism will triumph over the status quo.”
The Paul campaign will remain in California for the next few days and will hold several more events. The Congressman will speak at another large on-campus town hall meeting tomorrow at the University of California at Davis. On Friday, he will hold another at the University of California at San Diego.
Details of Dr. Paul’s ongoing campaign swing in the Golden State, including information on how to RSVP, can be found here.