Ron Paul, technically still a candidate for the Republican nomination for the presidency, held what could likely be his final presidential campaign rally Sunday in Tampa, Florida, announcing that he has not thrown his endorsement behind presumptive nominee Mitt Romney.
SFGate.com reported that Doug Wead, an adviser to George W. Bush, served as master of ceremonies and described Paul as “a clean boat in a sea of garbage.”
For his part, the 77-year old representative seemed acknowledge that this was his last run at the presidency but expressed hope that his libertarian-leaning movement would cease to be a Republican outsider, becoming instead the mainstream.
‘‘It made the paper in Washington that the revolution wasn’t happening,’’ the Texas Republican said, as reported by Boston.com. ‘‘Don’t they only wish.’’
Ashley Ryan, a young Republican committeewoman from Maine, echoed the sentiment.
“Believe me, we will get in the tent because we will become the tent eventually,’’ he said. ‘‘With the energy that we have. It seems to me they would be begging and pleading for us to come into the party.’’
Paul hasn’t actively campaigned since June, and, while his campaign failed to win a single state, he did amass 178 delegates. Despite that, he refused a speaking engagement at the Republican National Convention (RNC) because of the Romney campaign’s conditions. Paul said his speech would have had to endorse Romney, something he couldn’t do.
Ron Paul will be finishing his 12th and final term in Congress this year, but some remain hopeful that he will mount one last campaign for the presidency in 2016. That does seem unlikely, however, as Paul will be 80 by the time the 2016 election rolls around.