Ron Paul Supporters Cause Second Disruption at GOP Convention

Texas delegates show solidarity for offended Mainers.

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Delegates from the state of Maine and supporters of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul chant 'As Maine goes, so goes the Nation' after they staged a walkout at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa.

TAMPA---Oops, they did it again.

Supporters of Texas Rep. Ron Paul, a former GOP presidential candidate, led a boisterous chant in the hallway on Wednesday night, following a speech by his son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. On Tuesday, some Maine delegates upset that they were denied floor seats also caused a disruption.

"As Maine goes, so goes the nation," was the chant by dozens of delegates, a play on the old saying from the days when Maine was a bellwether state. The Maine group was bolstered mostly by Texans, but picked up steam as they moved through the convention hallway.

[Read: GOP convention runs smoothly, despite storms]

"We saw that we were going to cheer for Rand and then we hit the hall and it was spontaneous, really," says Regina Imburgia of Dallas, a Ron Paul supporter.

The effort was not designed to disrupt anything, she says, just call attention to the frustration they felt about how both Paul was treated. She wonders why the 30-year veteran congressman was not granted a speaking spot during the Republican convention. Paul told the New York Times he was asked to speak at the convention only if he offered a full-throated endorsement of GOP nominee Mitt Romney and have his speech vetted by the campaign.

"They say they want us and to be inclusive, but look what they do," Imburgia says. "They isolate, they insulate, they push away. I'm sorry, we do have delegates here, we have paid money to come here. Why couldn't [Romney] be gracious?"

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Nancy McKiernan, a supporter of former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, from Denver says she's very disappointed with Paul's treatment.

"We feel like all this work we've done over the last four years is just wasted," she says.

Imburgia admits that the ill-feeling won't likely spill over to Election Day. But still, she predicts some may be more inclined to vote for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson or write-in Paul's name on November 6.

Rebekah Metzler is a political writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can contact her at or follow her on Twitter.

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