A conservative herd of elephants trampled a septuagenarian's army yesterday during the first full day of the Republican National Convention in Tampa. Texas Congressman Ron Paul fell 1,871 delegates short of becoming the GOP's presidential nominee during yesterday's roll call, but the 73-year-old's supporters really took it in stride.
In fact, they walked out.
"We're all getting screwed here!" yelled one Paul supporter from Maine as he marched out of the Tampa Bay Times Forum. "If it can happen to me, it can happen to anybody."
He was one of 20 delegates from that state affected by a controversial new RNC mandate that requires non-winner-take-all states to distribute delegates proportionately based on the candidates' popular vote percentage.
The rule was adopted after a virtual split of "ayes" and "nayes" minutes before 20 would-be Ron Paul delegates from Maine were stripped of their vote.
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"It's very difficult to accept [Mitt Romney] for many reasons," said Cory Soulier, a Ron Paul supporter from Connecticut. "He's flip-flopped so many times ... It's a complete disregard for free-market economics."
When asked if he'll vote for Mitt Romney in November, Soulier emphatically replied "no."
"I've been [in Tampa] for the past four or five days talking with hundreds of Ron Paul supporters," he said with pride. "It definitely looks like they're all going over to [independent candidate] Garry Johnson."