TAMPA, Fla.—Ron Paul may have no chance of winning the Republican presidential nomination, but that doesn’t mean his supporters plan to go quietly.
About two dozen backers of the Texas congressman staged an impromptu rally Monday on the floor of the Republican National Convention, waving campaign signs and chanting “President Paul!”
“He’s still a candidate for the Republican nomination, so why isn’t he allowed to speak?” said Oregon delegate Jon Antoine.
The rally came after Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus gaveled in the start of the convention, then ordered a recess less than a minute later.
The party cancelled all events Monday over concerns about Tropical Storm Isaac, which ended up veering west before hitting Tampa, prompting bursts of heavy rain but nothing approaching hurricane-force gusts.
Priebus also announced the start of two debt clocks, one calculating the amount of the national debt, the other displaying how much debt accrues during the four-day convention.
Meanwhile, an informal vote taken by the Colorado delegation at a breakfast gathering resulted in eight of the 36 Republican delegates choosing to abstain rather than pledge their support for presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, according to Fox31 News.
“We’re here because principles matter a lot more than candidates,” said Jim Gaston, an alternate delegate who backs Paul. “The Republican Party platform is actually pretty constitutional, but our candidates don’t always follow it.”
Colorado Republicans also heard from Romney’s son Matt, who made the rounds with his four brothers in an effort to provide voters with an inside perspective on the candidate.
“He told some childhood stories about his family life,” said Colorado delegate John Carson. “It was nice.”
All five Romney sons were busy Monday meeting with delegates in an effort to personalize the candidate. The youngest son, Craig Romney, who’s fluent in Spanish, released a Spanish-language ad pointing out that his grandfather, former Michigan Gov. George Romney, was born in Mexico.
“He [Mitt Romney] greatly values that we are a nation of immigrants,” says Craig Romney in the ad.
The Colorado delegates are staying at a hotel in Clearwater, about 15 minutes from the convention site at the Tampa Bay Tribune Forum. Delegates attended a reception Monday night with the Texas delegation at Jackson’s in Tampa.
No business was conducted Monday, but delegates are expected to nominate both Romney and vice-presidential pick Paul Ryan during Tuesday’s session.