"I want to make sure that when the Republican Party loses, terribly to, in my opinion, the worst president in history, I want [them to know] it's because they systematically shut out the most intelligent, most youthful and active voting bloc in American history," said Ron Paul voter Mike Timoney.
Timoney's statement accurately reflected the mood at PAULfest, a celebration held by Congressman Ron Paul's supporters at the Tampa Fairgrounds on the weekend before the 2012 Republican National Convention. With controversy surrounding the seating of GOP delegates in several state conventions, many who caucused for Paul feel disenfranchised by the actions of the GOP and vow to turn against the party this election.
While certain attendees went so far as to call Mitt Romney a "monster," most of Paul's youthful supporters exhibited more frustration and disappointment than anger.
"[The GOP] made it clear yesterday that they see us more as a nuisance than as potential allies," said John Jones, one of 10 Ron Paul-supporting Maine delegates that the RNC stripped of their delegate status on Friday.
Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson was a headlining speaker at the event, which was in part sponsored by the Libertarian Party.
"The frustration, I think, can get focused in a way that can impact this election," said Johnson. "And that would be, voting for me."
Many Paul supporters at the event expressed support for Johnson's campaign, and even those who didn't vowed not to vote for Romney.
"There's no way I could support someone like him," said Kenosha Fisch, an Oklahoma delegate who lost her seat in a bitter power struggle.
About 3:45 minutes.
Produced by Zach Weissmueller and Tracy Oppenheimer.
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