Ron Paul Will Speak at Official Rally, But Not at Paul Festival Before RNC Convenes

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: July 10, 2012 3:55 AM
Ron Paul

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul | Credit: Brian Bondus - KOMU

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, announced during the weekend that he will speak at a rally his presidential campaign is holding before the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

However, he will not appear at the Paul Festival, another Tampa event organized by the congressman’s supporters but not authorized by his campaign. That one will feature speakers and artists.

Paul announced that he will speak at the rally, scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 26 at the University of South Florida’s Sundome.

“I'm sure it will not only be a great time, but it will also go a long way toward proving you and I are the future of the Republican Party,” Paul wrote supporters before informing them it “will be the only preconvention event at which I'll be speaking.”

Paul, who is bringing around 200 delegates to the convention, is not expected to endorse former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, the presumptive Republican nominee. Nevertheless, Paul’s son, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has said he backs Romney.

The Paul team also released a video statement from the congressman in which he promotes the event in the Sundome.
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Despite Paul announcing that he will only appear at his campaign’s event, supporters of the Paul Festival, which will be going on from Aug. 24-26 at the state fairgrounds in Tampa, show no signs of slowing down.

Deborah Robinet, one of the organizers of the Paul Festival, insisted the two events will help reinforce each other.

“While we have been hopeful that there was a chance he would still make an appearance at our event, we now know definitively that he will not,” Robinet noted. “Of course, this is disappointing to us since we have been planning this event for many months now.

"But, we know firsthand that he is very appreciative of our efforts and he told us he didn't want his event to interfere with ours. And of course it won't ... we intend to fully support his event.

“Paul Festival will provide a way, and a venue for supporters, in all our diversity, to converge on Tampa in a moment of celebration and unity with music, comedy, great speakers, and much more,” Robinet added. “Through Dr. Paul's message, we have been able to build a strong coalition of organizations, and though some within our ranks are controversial, our message is pure and consistent -- that unless individual freedom is allowed to flourish, the future of our country is at risk.

“Now is the time to show the country and the world our numbers,” Robinet insisted. “The liberty movement is the fastest growing political movement in America. And, Paul Festival will be our launching pad. It is our hope that Dr. Paul will support us in our efforts”

Organizers of the event continue to announce additional speakers at the Paul Festival, including Libertarian Party presidential nominee former Gov. Gary Johnson of New Mexico. At the end of last week, Paul Festival organizers announced that writer Lew Rockwell, who runs one of the more popular libertarian websites and is the chairman and CEO of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, will be speaking at their event.

The team behind the Paul Festival also announced that radio talk-show host Jerry Doyle, economist and pundit Walter Block who is also with the Ludwig von Mises Institute and Second Amendment defender Larry Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America, will also be speaking at the event.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859.

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