Ron Paul: I Don't Fully Endorse Mitt
Rebuffed at convention, he holds own rally
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Aug 27, 2012 12:55 AM CDT
Updated Aug 27, 2012 4:19 AM CDT
Supporters hope Ron Paul has another presidential race in him.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

(Newser) – It's a good thing for Mitt Romney that Ron Paul isn't speaking at the Republican National Convention because ... he doesn't actually endorse the candidate. The GOP apparently tried to throw a bone to the popular loser by offering him an opportunity to speak. But the offer came with conditions Paul couldn't abide. For one thing, he told the New York Times, his speech had to be vetted by the Romney team—and he had to wholeheartedly endorse the candidate. "It wouldn't be my speech," the 77-year-old told the Times. “That would undo everything I’ve done in the last 30 years. I don’t fully endorse him for president.”

But Paul had an opportunity yesterday to say exactly what he wanted at a rally of his supporters at the basketball arena of the University of South Florida in Tampa, not far from the GOP convention site. He ripped Republican leaders for marginalizing his supporters at the convention in his 65-minute speech, and vowed that "we will become the tent eventually," reports AP. (He also said the 9/11 victims would still be alive had he been at the country's reins, notes Buzzfeed.) Paul is leaving Congress this year when his 12th term ends, but some supporters hope he might make one more run for White House—which would be his fourth—next time around.