Texas Congressman Ron Paul won't be the Republican party's presidential candidate. But he has supporters on hand in Tampa, as evidenced by this weekend's rally where the chair of Minnesota's delegation was a featured speaker.
Paul did get a last minute invitation to speak to the convention but there were strings attached that caused him to reject the offer. Paul reportedly would have had to unequivocally endorse Mitt Romney and let Romney review his speech. Paul refused, saying "It wouldn't be my speech."
If the Republican National Convention takes on a Tea Party flavor with some libertarian spice, Mitt Romney backers can blame two women from Minnesota: Rep. Michele Bachmann and Marianne Stebbins, the Star Tribune reports. Stebbins, a longtime GOP activist from Excelsior who led Ron Paul's Minnesota campaign, has become a key player in the fight to get Paul activists a front-and-center role at the convention, the newspaper says.
Romney conceded that Rep. Todd Akin's remarks about rape victims, pregnancy, and abortion have hurt the Republican party, but he chastised Democrats for focusing on that issue while the unemployment rate hovers over eight percent.
Tropical Storm Isaac passed through the Florida Keys and caused hurricane warnings along the Gulf Coast. Monday's convention events were scrapped and organizers will now squeeze four days of business into three days. Convention planners went through the same sort of hurricane-prompted scrambling four years ago, when the event was in the Twin Cities.
The prospect of sheets of rain has not dampened the determination of protesters, who are stubbornly hunkering down to make their case in Tampa.