A handful of members of South Carolina’s GOP convention delegation are excited about the chance to hear their favorite presidential candidate speak while they are in Tampa.
And it’s not Mitt Romney.
Their man is Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who has been using the down time of the convention’s postponed first day to get his message out. Paul has not released his convention delegates yet.
Paul delivered what was supposed to be his farewell message to 8,000 people at the University of South Florida Tampa Sun Dome on Sunday. But it was a six-hour rally that seemed to whip up his supporters.
One of the featured speakers was a fired-up Beaufort SC Sen. Tom Davis.
While in Tampa, he is testing the waters for a run against South Carolina’s senior U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham. “Ron Paul is speaking to what the young people in this country want to hear…and if the Republican Party can’t find room for them, shame on them,” Davis told South Carolina Radio Network as he prepared to leave for Tampa.
Yet, the power of Paul’s outspoken following is one of the reasons the convention is counting final Romney votes earlier than usual. The Tuesday vote count helps control any surprises.
Paul’s appearance at the Iowa delegation breakfast drew 300 people, though the Iowa delegation has 28. At Monday’s event, Paul said, “The harder they try to silence us, the harder they try to push us around, the harder they try to take our delegates away, I think it’s an incentive. It is a tremendous incentive for everybody to work harder.”
South Carolina delegate from Aiken, Mike Vasovski went to the Iowa event Monday morning.
AUDIO: Vasovski stumped for Paul in Iowa (:25)
AUDIO: Vasovski says party leaders are trying to change the rules to make it harder for voices like theirs. (:28)
Vasovski says he will continue to fight for Ron Paul, but he is excited about the possibility of Sen. Davis running for national office. He says, like Rand Paul’s candidacy, it could become more of a national statement for Paul’s libertarian philosophy.
Radio Iowa’s O.K. Henderson helped with this report.