RNC Day 2: Delegates Energized as Convention Crosses Halfway Mark
TAMPA, Fla. — Delegates said they were energized and excited as the Republican National Convention crossed its halfway point, despite the weather setback earlier in the week and a controversy over the RNC rules.
The mood was upbeat inside the Tampa Bay Times forum as the next round of speakers were set to take the stage, including vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan.
Lynn Reiter, an alternate delegate from California, told TheBlaze that while tropical storm Isaac “set us back a little,” things quickly got back on track.
“The spirit is still high and the people are motivated and we’re here for a reason,” she said.
Scott Thomas, a Pennsylvania delegate, said he thought Ann Romney did well in offering a prayer for those in the storm’s path but agreed that the convention had a job to do.
“We missed a day, I think yesterday made up for it and we’re full speed ahead,” Thomas said.
The near-floor fight over the adoption of convention rules dominated procedural headlines Tuesday, particularly pitting Ron Paul and Mitt Romney supporters against one another. In the end, a rule binding future delegates to the candidates selected by their state was adopted, as well as another one regarding the RNC’s ability to change its rules in between conventions.
“There was a lot of work that went into the compromise that was finally arrived upon,” Hawaii delegate Ted Liu said. “Having been part of that process I can tell you it was full, it was thorough, it was fair. Those who were complaining, or those who were concerned, I think had their day in court.”
Liu said there was a strong Ron Paul contingent among his own delegation, but in the end “they felt that it was a fair process.”
Reiter, a Romney supporter, said she thought the issue was handled relatively smoothly.
“I do think they should have repeated the vote for everybody” instead of only repeating the ones for Mitt Romney,” she said. “I do think that in talking with other alternates and delegates, the feeling was that all votes should have been announced I think, because in the background we could hear the people, one vote for Santorum, and especially Ron Paul. I do think that that was something that we could have done differently.”
Sherry Barnes, a Georgia delegate, was glad to move past the controversy and said those who hadn’t had a case of “sour grapes.”
“In any political race, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. When you lose, you lick your wounds and go on. You don’t go on and on and on after you’ve lost,” she said. “It was sour grapes. … Mitt Romney was the people’s choice.”
Barnes, who said she thought the convention was going “wonderfully” otherwise, said her Georgia delegation made good use of their day off on Monday: They went to see Dinesh D’Souza’s “2016: Obama’s America.”
“We screamed and cheered and hooped and hollered and had a wonderful time because that was part of everything we’re here for,” she said. “It was a day of getting together and working as a state to see what we’re going to do.”
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