The Big Conversation:
Delivering perhaps the last major speech of his political career, in the shadow of the Republican National Convention, Ron Paul held nothing back.
While Republicans continued preparations for their national convention in hurricane-wary Florida, Paul — who was not invited to speak at the event — rallied a crowd of nearly 10,000 energized supporters on Sunday at the University of South Florida's Sun Dome, a few miles north of where the GOP will convene this week.
Paul, who will retire from Congress this year after serving 12 terms, challenged news stories declaring his libertarian movement over.
"They say the revolution won't be happening," he told the crowd. "Don't they only wish!"
Despite recent reports that national GOP officials and Mitt Romney surrogates had appeased Paul backers by including them in platform negotiations and other pre-convention meetings, Paul also laced his fiery speech — which lasted more than an hour — with contempt for party officials. On Friday, the party voted to effectively end the method by which insurgent candidates like Paul can exert control in the GOP nominating process, angering Paul and his supporters alike.
"They’ve learned how to bend rules, break rules, and now they want to rewrite the rules," Paul told the crowd. "They’ve overstepped the bounds."
Paul had reportedly declined an opportunity to speak at the convention after planners told him that the Romney campaign would have to vet his remarks and that he would have to unequivocally endorse Romney.
"It wouldn’t be my speech," Paul told The New York Times. "That would undo everything I’ve done in the last 30 years. I don’t fully endorse him for president."
As for the rest of the convention, U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz, originally scheduled to appear Monday night, will now speak on Tuesday, after the party pushed the beginning of the event back a day due to Hurricane Isaac. The Boston Globe reported late Sunday, though, that GOP officials — nervous that Isaac's landfall could dwarf coverage of the convention — still haven't ruled out canceling the event altogether.
- The Washington Post reports that officials in Texas' six largest counties may join forces to circumvent Gov. Rick Perry's opposition to the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion. The counties, which dole out $2 billion a year to provide health care to poor residents who don't qualify for Medicaid, would run the expansion, which was devised by George Hernandez Jr., the chief executive of University Health System in San Antonio.
- Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Paul Sadler on Friday stirred up some controversy while painting opponent Ted Cruz's views as too radical for Texas. "He needs to go back to Washington where he’s from, or Canada, because he doesn’t reflect us. I was born and raised here. … When you cut me, I bleed Texas. He doesn’t, and I don’t have much use for it," Sadler said of Cruz, who was born in Calgary, in an interview with the Tribune. The Cruz campaign declined to issue a response. Sadler also slammed Cruz for his proposals to abolish government agencies and energy programs, saying: "They’re just radical ideas. They’re destructive to Texans. They’re destructive to our state. We don’t support those extreme views, that’s not who we are."
- FreedomWorks — the national conservative group that pumped millions of dollars into Texas' U.S. Senate race, helping Ted Cruz defeat Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst — may just be getting started in Texas politics. Brendan Steinhauser, FreedomWorks' director of federal and state campaigns, told the San Antonio Express-News that the group may create a state political action committee and has begun eying contests like the 2014 governor's race and state Rep. Bryan Hughes' effort to replace Joe Straus as House speaker. "The bottom line is that we're trying to keep this momentum going, and we have to pick the right battles," Steinhauser said, adding, "I think we're looking for a couple of opportunities to make an impact."
"I don’t fully endorse him for president." — Ron Paul to The New York Times on Mitt Romney
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- Don Lee, missing former Texas House member, found dead, The Associated Press
- Convention Is Sign That Republian Grip on Sun Belt Is Loosening, The New York Times
- Super PAC App: The Shazam for Political Attack Ads, ABC News
- Courting Controversy Works for Gohmert, The Texas Tribune