As activists faced down Hurricane Isaac and an inflated police presence in Tampa (police outnumber convention demonstrators by 4-1), protest also erupted within the taxpayer-funded Tampa Bay Times Forum.
While Conservative celebrities such as Chris Christie, Ann Romney and Rick Santorum attempted to invoke imagery of unity among the GOP, a contingent of Ron Paul delegates from several states shouted “several times” during the proceedings, according to the New York Times. Part of Maine’s delegation then walked out in protest over a decision to strip away half the candidate’s delegates from the state, a move Paul supporters say is designed to squelch the faction’s rise within the larger party.
Most Americans never saw this protest, just as they didn’t see a young woman yelling about getting money out of “politics and corporations,“ the Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart tweeted.
The Times reports there was “little evidence” of the protests shown to the American people, but they “signaled deeper party divisions bubbling under the telegenic surface of Mr. Romney’s nomination.”
“It’s an embarassment to the process, it’s an embarassment to the state of Maine, and to the party as a whole how things were conducted today,” said Maine National Committeewoman Ashley Ryan to Reason minutes after half the Maine delegation walked off the floor.
Ryan previously stated that she is proud of Maine Governor Paul LePage for refusing to participate in the convention because the credentials committee unseated half of the state’s 20 Paul convention delegates. On August 24, LePage announced that he wouldn’t attend the convention, stating it’s “unfortunate that not all of these delegates” selected at the state Republican Party convention will be seated.
At a rally of Paul supporters, Michigan Representative Justin Amash said it might be time to “audit the RNC.”