A flurry of emails is circulating among Ron Paul supporters wondering what happened to the Ron Paul votes during the GOP presidential role call last night. Five Paul votes announced from Alaska (Gov. Sarah Palin’s home state) were greeted with boos from the convention floor. But some 18-25 Paul votes went unacknowledged, including six Paul votes from Minnesota.
There’s confusion why the Minnesota Paul votes weren’t announced. Minnesota has 41 votes, but as soon as Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced 35 votes for Sen. John McCain, the camera and audio feed were shut off, according to one email.
Some reports say that Pawlenty made no attempt to announce the Paul votes, but Steven Rogers, one of the Minnesota delegates who voted for Paul, said he “thought he saw” Pawlenty announce the Paul votes. Rogers confirmed that the Paul votes were not announced from the podium.
“I had talked with [state GOP] Chairman [Ron] Carey earlier in the day and he assured me that Paul votes would be announced,” Rogers told me. “So they may have cut the mic from the podium.”
Terry McCall, another Paul voter, told me the state party was upset about some of the media comments made by Paul supporters, and that some Paul supporters feared the party might “go over the top and try to unseat us all.” McCall told the Chicago ABC affiliate that, given the opportunity, he would vote for Ron Paul.
McCall remains puzzled by the GOP’s disrespect for Paul delegates. Ron Paul’s following includes a number of young voters, a demographic the GOP finds difficult to attract.
“Our message to the party was we would tell our folks to vote their conscience,” said McCall. “We were not out to ruin Senator McCain’s show. We suggested to the delegates we caught up to that they may wish to just pass or remain silent on a vote for acclamation. But it was up to them”.
We need to focus on what we accomplished this week, added McCall, citing a conversation with another delegate who said that the Paul folks influenced the choice of Palin as the vice president nominee. McCall also said conservatives are becoming more interested in the Paul movement.
“Liberty wins in the end,” he said. — Craig Westover