By MATT BRADSHAW
TAMPA, Fla. –Mitt Romney officially received the Republican nomination amidst a strong showing of support for Congressman Ron Paul, who picked up 190 votes during the opening night of the Republican National Convention Tuesday night.
Romney’s 2,061 delegates still swept the nomination on an eventful day that featured voice votes on a few rules amendments proposed by the Republican Party’s permanent committees. The rule amendments would take effect in 2016, requiring a state’s delegates to vote for the candidate who won in the statewide primaries and caucuses. If the rule had been in effect at this convention, Romney would have the unanimous support of all of the Republican delegates and the 190 Ron Paul’s delegates’ votes would become invalid.
Paul had no wins this year at any primary or caucus but he did have loyal delegates in several states’ delegations. The Paul delegates pushed for a floor fight when Speaker Boehner called for a vote on the new rule amendments. Cries of no were heard loudly but fell just short of Romney supporters’ cry for yes in regard to the rules amendments. Boehner announced the yesses the winners as boos came down upon the speaker from supporters of Ron Paul throughout the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
“We’re supporting the party we’re all going to be voting for Romney on November sixth,” said Daniel Burton, an alternate of the Georgia delegation from Vidalia, “but in the meantime our votes need to count because we’re here representing our districts who want to make sure our values are counted, and a few of them too.”
Burton called the amendments proposed by the rules committee a power grab by the Republican National Committee, saying, “They’re just hurting the grass roots movement that did so much in 2010 to make things happen, exciting the young crowd and getting guys like Rand Paul and Marco Rubio into power.”