The Republican National Committee refused to seat 10 of Maine's 24 delegates at the RNC in Tampa this week. Their crime: being vocal supporters of Ron Paul at a convention where party bigwigs want everyone behind Mitt Romney.
Maine's Paul advocates were unceremoniously ousted on Tuesday, replaced by surrogates for presidential nominee Romney.
The displaced delegates, along with a reported legion of 200 Paul disciples from around the country, staged a dramatic walk out on the opening day of the convention. The Maine crew returned Wednesday evening for a video tribute to their libertarian hero, but once again they weren't sticking around for the rest of the shindig.
This time around they weren't anywhere near the convention floor. Instead, they loudly cheered Ron Paul's son Rand from the nosebleeds before calling it a night. RTTNews caught up with Maine's defiant delegates on their way out the door.
Despite some testy exchanges in the concourses on Tuesday, the Maine delegates weren't blaming rank and file Romney fans for their predicament. They were taking dead aim at the Republican National Committee.
"It's not about Ron Paul versus Mitt Romney -- it's about establishment versus grassroots, said Eric Brakey, Chairman for the Defense of Liberty PAC. "People here see the establishment is trying to step on grassroots efforts and block them from being active in the future."
"A lot of people recognize that what happened to us was wrong, even delegates from states where Ron Paul has little support," Brakey added.
Pete "The Carpenter" Harring, a founding member of the Main Tea Party, says he was duly elected as a delegate by over 1,000 fellow Republicans, all of whom knew that he was coming to Tampa in support of Paul.
On Tuesday, he was shouted down by Romney fans as he attempted to explain his to position to the media gathered just off the convention floor.
Tonight, however, he was alone in the rafters, save for his Maine brethren.
"We made our statement yesterday," Herring said. "We came tonight to listen to Rand Paul."
by RTT Staff Writer
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