Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012 | 5:39 p.m.
For some Ron Paul Republicans, the Texas congressman’s son Rand Paul is the most promising candidate to carry on his “message of liberty.”
For others, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is emblematic of the typical politician they are trying to oust from the party.
In an attempt to offer some kind of olive branch to Ron Paul Republicans, Mitt Romney’s campaign consented to let Rand Paul speak at the Republican National Convention. The younger Paul, afterall, had already endorsed Romney’s candidacy.
Throughout much of his 15-minute speech, Rand Paul directed his ire toward President Barack Obama, mentioning neither his father nor his dad’s former adversary for the nomination.
He attacked the federal health care law, the Obama administration’s spending and Obama’s attempt to raise taxes on the rich.
“Mr. President, you say the rich must pay their fair share,” Rand Paul said. “When you seek to punish the rich, the jobs that are lost are those of the poor and middle class.”
Indeed, Rand Paul infused his 15-minute speech Wednesday with much of what his father’s supporters would call the “liberty message.”
“Republicans and Democrats alike must slay their sacred cows,” Rand Paul said. “Republicans must acknowledge that not every dollar spent on the military is necessary or well-spent, and Democrats must admit that domestic welfare and entitlements must be reformed.
“Republicans and Democrats must replace fear with confidence, confidence that no terrorist, and no country, will ever conquer us if we remain steadfast to the principles of our founding documents.”
At that point one increasingly frustrated Nevada Paul delegate yelled: “You learned that from your father!”
Rand Paul saved his full-throated endorsement of Romney until the end of his speech.
“To lead us forward, away from the looming debt crisis, it will take someone who believes in America's greatness, who believes in and can articulate the American dream, someone who has created jobs, someone who understands and appreciates what makes America great, someone who will lead our party and our nation forward.
“I believe that someone is our nominee: Governor Mitt Romney.”
At that point, Nevada’s Ron Paul supporters sat down.
“His speech was very uninspiring,” said Nevada Paul delegate Jim Ayala, a small business owner from Henderson. “I agree with a lot of what he said, but I’m not real happy with the timing of his endorsement of Mitt Romney. I understand he’s playing politics now. But I wish he would be a more principled leader like his dad.”
Not all of Ron Paul’s supporters shared that sentiment.
Robert Tyree, of Henderson, said he and other Paul supporters believe they need to build alliances with others in order to succeed politically.
“Rand has always been more willing to play the game,” Tyree said. “But I like to look at his record and he is the most liberty-minded senator since Goldwater. He is out there forging alliances in order to advance his agenda.”