Ron Paul Delegates and Opponents of RNC Rules Changes Boo on Republican National Convention Floor

A security agent calls for more security as delegate from Virginia Braedon Wilkerson displays a Ron Paul sign after the vote on Maine at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida, on August 28, 2012 during the Republican National Convention. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

A floor fight was narrowly avoided today on the floor of the Republican National Convention, as a battle over proposed rules and alternate delegations threatened to spark a mass rebellion by supports of Texas Congressman Ron Paul, as well as opponents of the proposed rules.

The trouble began when Credentials Committee Chairman Mike Duncan took the stage to announce the results of several appeals requests to have three delegations controlled by Texas Congressman Ron Paul’s supporters seated at the convention. True to early reports, the convention seated two of them, but declined to seat the Maine delegation, instead choosing to seat an alternate delegation.

The announcement that the Maine delegation would not be seated met with audible booing. The decision, however, passed the convention floor by a voice vote, despite the cacophonous roar of “No” from the Paul supporters.

It was at this point that the real chaos started. Business Insider reports:

Things just got a little awkward during the Republican National Convention, as Ron Paul supporters burst out into protest and shouted “point of order” in protesting the RNC’s determination not to seat Paul delegates from Maine.

“Point of order! Seat them now! We’ve been robbed!” Paul supporters shouted.

The Paul supporters’ chants were countered by Romney supporters chanting “U-S-A!”

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, who looked rather bewildered throughout the entire ordeal, repeatedly asked for calm banging his gavel on the podium.

Audio of the screaming was cut out by C-SPAN, but it continued unabated as the convention proceeded, with angry delegates shouting “No” to practically every motion following this decision. The shouting of “U-S-A” followed each outburst, a response that Tweeter robport suggested might have been coordinated:

Coordinated or not, the problems did not stop after this first outburst. When Rules Committee Chairman John Sununu took the floor to ask for agreement to a set of rules – rules that have been slammed up and down by grassroots conservatives and conservative pundits for depriving activists of power – the makings of a real rebellion looked to be in the making. Reporter Zeke Miller Tweeted:

 

 

 

Permanent convention Chairman John Boehner called for a voice vote on the rules. Those voting “Aye” screamed their approval. Boehner called for those opposing to yell. The response was arguably indistinguishable from that of the supporters. Nevertheless, Boehner ruled that “The Ayes have it” and all the rules went through. Despite early reports that minority reports had been sent to the Chair that would have offered an alternate vision of the rules, no minority reports were voted on. It was as though no opposition had ever existed.

Boos and fury followed. The unseated Maine delegation walked out in disgust.

Ron Paul Delegates and Opponents of RNC Rules Changes Boo on Republican National Convention Floor

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 28: A man gestures thumbs down during the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 28, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. Credit: Getty Images

Yet the convention went right on without any notice of those responses.

Ron Paul himself hardly seems to be helping his own cause. In an appearance with Fox’s Cavuto, Paul said he had “no plans to endorse” the current Republican ticket, a move that makes him unique among the losing Presidential contenders. Paul’s response, via Mediaite:

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