Ron Paul holds own convention near RNC

September 2, 2008 6:03:57 PM PDT
The Republican convention is not the only one going on Tuesday in the Twin Cities.In Minneapolis, thousands of Ron Paul supporters have packed the Target Center for their own counter convention.

While the Republican National Convention gets back to politics, a movement that gathered steam in the Republican primaries will not stop. The presidential candidacy of Texas congressman Ron Paul has given way to something called the Campaign for Liberty, and the group heldi a big rally Tuesday over in Minneapolis.

Paul is an advocate of Libertarian, small-government policies. And while he didn't win the nomination, he was able to fill a huge arena with his supporters.

Fiery speeches, colorful characters, rebellious rhetoric - if you don't think there's enough excitement at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, all you have to do is check out the Ron Paul show in Minneapolis.

Country singer Aimee Allison rehearsed a rousing anthem to her political hero, a 10-term congressman who lit up the Republican primaries with rhetoric that harkens back to America's roots.

"We emphasize the Republican form of government with strong beliefs in limited government, strong respect for the Constitution and determination that we have the rule of law," Paul said.

Paul won about 40 delegates in the primaries, but he says he's persona non-grata there for challenging orthodoxy on American foreign and economic policy

"I am not against the Republican Party, but I'm not there to build the Republican Party. I'm there to reach a goal of presenting the case for freedom and the principles that made America great," Paul said.

As the arena filled Tuesday afternoon with an expected 10,000 supporters, the 64-year-old physician said his politics resonate with youth, and he thinks that the young people who have flocked to his campaign and were well-represented in arena are a reason that the Republican Party should embrace what he has to say.

"I think standing on principle is good," said Paul.

It's a message reinforced by former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura, there to address the crowd as a former independent office holder who considers himself the high prince of the Third Party movement.

"People, when given a third alternative and the media doesn't distort it, the public will take advantage of it," said Ventura.

Ventura says third party activists know what's important in life - now he's a surfer - and former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, also scheduled to speak called himself a ski bum. While it's not clear what's in store for Ron Paul, despite this kind of support, he's going to be free of a future presidential run.


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