- Post 28 August 2012
- By Copy Editor
(Leigh Ann Caldwell | CBS News) - TAMPA, Fla. - Ron Paul, who turned down an offer to speak at the Republican National Convention here because he would not allow organizers to approve his speech, addressed several thousand supporters a few miles from the convention site on Sunday.
Paul's likely final speech as a presidential candidate was an opportunity for the libertarian-leaning Texas congressman and his followers to send a message to the politicians, delegates, and media gathered here this week to take them seriously.
Speaking at the Sun Dome basketball arena at the University of South Florida, Paul opened with a quip about the Republican refusal to let him speak without a filter. Convention organizers, he claimed, "changed their mind" and decided to allow him to speak for "a whole hour and I can say anything I want - tomorrow night." Tomorrow was supposed to be the first night of the convention, but the program was cancelled due to Tropical Storm Isaac. Added Paul, with a laugh: "Just joking."
Much of the crowd stayed standing throughout Paul's speech, which centered on his longtime themes of "personal liberty" and smaller government. Thunderous applause erupted into chants of "End the Fed" when Paul called for the Federal Reserve to be eliminated.... continues...