WALL STREET JOURNAL | Stephen Moore | August 29, 2012
count of insurgent candidates.
Mr. Paul received 190 delegate votes, versus more than 2,000 for Mitt Romney. But on the convention floor the Paul supporters were seething as they booed loudly and shouted "shame" over the new rules to create an acclamation for the nominee. The GOP leaders said the rule is intended to bind delegates to their commitment based on the primary votes in their states, which probably makes sense.
But the incident was a misstep, according to former Republican National Committee chairman Haley Barbour, who said that the party doesn't need distractions and "overreaching" by the old guard.
Mr. Paul was on the convention floor yesterday and received rowdy applause. When asked if he and his delegates felt robbed, he said: "I'll let you know when it's over."
The most vocal supporters of any candidate inside and outside the convention hall are the Ron Paul brigades. They are young, loud, energized and omnipresent. One group told me that the GOP establishment is "shutting them out" and "stealing delegates." Several Paul supporters brought up the Maine primaries, where they believe that all of their votes weren't counted and that Paul may have beaten Mr. Romney.
The new GOP rules might make sense, but why implement them now, when the Romney campaign needs the Ron Paul troops and their passion. Equally dumb was not allowing Mr. Paul to have an evening speech at the convention as an act of inclusiveness. It wouldn't hurt if Paul Ryan and Mr. Romney chose to acknowledge Paul supporters during their convention speeches.
The stubborn Mr. Paul declined to formally endorse Mr. Romney again yesterday and is playing the role of sore loser. But the spat between the two forces only helps President Obama. So much for the big tent.