In his first public Florida appearance since the Republican National Convention, Vice Presidential hopeful Paul Ryan appeared in Oldsmar this morning before a hot but enthusiastic crowd. Make sure to see the report from CL's Michael Newberger
Several Republican party advocates took the stage before Ryan including Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, Representative James W. "J.W." Grant, former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker, and Congressmen Bill Young and Gus Bilirakis. Ryan was introduced by Florida's attorney general Pam Bondi.
The gates opened at 8 AM to allow for an expected large crowd. Many of those attending wore red white and blue and carried campaign signs.
Tempers started to flare following comments by representatives Young and Bilirakis. Congressman Young said in his remarks that he was going to keep it short because he recognized how hot it was and thought it best to hurry and get Ryan on stage. However, after the politicians left the stage together there was a 30 minute delay filled with country music and more heat and September humidity.
At times groups began to chant, "Give us fans!", and at one point between country songs a man jumped to his feet and yelled "Let's get this god damned thing going". Members of the crowd were heard questioning themselves as to why they would hold a rally in the middle of the day in Florida.
Ryan delivered his 15-minute address and the crowd dispersed to cool off.