The delegates inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Tuesday afternoon shouted down House Speaker John Boehner over a ruling the crowd vehemently disagreed with.
Party activists and Ron Paul supporters were angry about the rule change, which would require states to allocate delegates according to their statewide primary or caucus vote, and allow the RNC to change its rules without a full convention vote.
Before the final vote on the nomination — in which Mitt Romney got the preordained win — delegates from six states (Nevada, Minnesota, Maine, Iowa, Oregon, Alaska and the Virgin Islands) voted in the majority to put Paul's name forward. A handful of those states later circumvented the rules and voted the majority of their delegates to Paul.
Before Boehner was shouted down, there was a vote on a credentials committee ruling that prevented half the delegates from Maine — many of them Paul supporters — from being seated. That led to a furious chant of “Seat Maine now” from a variety of state delegations.
One young man shouting from his seats in the second row, a delegate who chose to identify himself only as Jonathan from Wisconsin, said what the RNC had done was “complete corruption.”
At that point, an official with the Wisconsin delegation asked Jonathan for his identification, which he provided. “If you try to do anything legit, you’re questioned,” he complained to CL while laughing.
But when asked if his anger was due to fact that he was a Ron Paul supporter, Jonathan bristled.
“It has nothing to do with Ron Paul. It has to do with the legitimacy of the process of selecting delegates, and Maine delegates were fairly selected in their home state and the RNC came in and kicked them out unfairly, using corruption, and that is the problem. It has nothing to do with Ron Paul; it has to do with the process of how we select our delegates.”
Over in the Pennsylvania delegation, 25-year-old Brian Dougherty was equally exercised. He was distributing a two-page memo urging delegates to reject the compromise that had been agreed to before the session began.
“They ignored our voice, they ignored Texas, they ignored Virginia,” he said bitterly.
He also distributed a document by Morton C. Blackwell, a member of the RNC’s Rules Committee since 1972, who called the rule changes “the most awful I’ve ever seen come before any national convention.”
Finally it was time for the roll of states. Yes, Romney won the vote easily, but there were some surprises, with states like Iowa, Minnesota and Nevada giving the majority of their delegation votes to Congressman Paul.