St. Petersburg, Fla. - Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is everywhere at this Republican National Convention.
He's roaming the floor of the convention hall, out meeting with Paul delegates, talking to the media, speaking at breakfasts, and, in some cases, telling his father's troops to keep up the fight in the GOP. The majority of Paul delegates are unhappy with the party for a variety of reasons. Some are upset over the rules changes while others are mad about what happened with the Maine delegation. Many just really do not like Mitt Romney in any way. Rand is here trying to downplay most of that.
“I think the Romney campaign has been very good at including, we’ve come to compromises, we split the difference on a lot of things. There’s still some people that are unhappy, obviously, that didn’t get seated but there’s a lot of great success,” he said on the floor of the convention hall.
Rand sees huge inroads being made by libertarians and constitutional conservatives in the world of Republican Party politics.
“The Ron Paul people have really become a part of the Republican party in a big way. We’re proud of having the youngest national committee woman, a 21-year-old college student. There’s a lot of good things that have happened,” he said.
Paul’s supporters have developed a reputation in Republican circles for their tenacity and organization. Rand thinks that this is what they need to continue to do in order to ensure that the Paul movement remains a key element within the Republican Party.
“All it takes to participate in the Republican Party is persistence. Show up at a meeting, show up at another meeting, show up at the third meeting and you’ll be running the meeting,” he said.
There is, according to Rand, is mostly agreement between Paul folks and the greater Republican Party on the big issues of the day. Rand thinks the controversial national platform is the most limited government platform that the party has had in a long time.
“The Ron Paul people really agree with everyone else here on 95 percent of the issues. There’s not as much disagreement as people want to make it out to be,” he said.
When asked at a breakfast hosted by the Iowa Republican Party about disaffected Paul supporters backing Libertarian Gary Johnson for president this fall, Paul dismissed the idea.
“I think that’s a minority. I think most people here, they have, what, 22 out of 25 delegates for Ron Paul, I would ask them here what they think. I think there will be a minority that tell you they’re going to vote for Gary Johnson. I think most of the Republicans in there, I can’t speak for them, will vote for Romney,” he said.
When asked to comment on Johnson’s candidacy, he declined.
“I don’t have any comment. I am supporting Governor Romney,” he said.