Ron Paul’s “Rally for the Republic” kicks off (Update)

Here’s a tidbit for the Ron Paul fans which I know are still out there hoping McCain will concede the Republican nomination to Paul any day now. The Ron Paul “Rally for the Republic” convention has kicked off today, also conveniently in Minneapolis/St. Paul as a counter-convention to the GOP.

A report from the AP:

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Hundreds of people unhappy with the two major political parties offered a noisy endorsement Tuesday of Ron Paul, the libertarian-leaning Texas congressman whose failed bid for the Republican nomination for president garnered heavy support on the Internet.

People stood in a light rain outside Target Center to wave signs and chant “Ron Paul, Ron Paul.” He was scheduled to speak at the “Rally for The Republic” Tuesday night.

Supporters were still filing in when political commentator Tucker Carlson got the rally under way about a half-hour late. Organizers said they sold 10,103 tickets for the Paul event. Delegates to the Republican National Convention were meeting in nearby St. Paul.

Ron Paul spokesman Jesse Benton said tickets to seats with obstructed views of the stage will be given away.

Target Center seating for an event with a stage is 15,000 to 18,000. Rally organizers said they chose the arena after first considering a college basketball arena that seats 11,000 people.

Tuesday’s Rally for the Republic schedule:

11:30 – Doors open
12:30 – Intro: Tucker Carlson
12:40 – National Anthem: Matt Colvin
12:50 – Invocation: Barb Davis White
12:55 – Howard Phillips
1:10 – Doug Wead
1:30 – Tom Woods
1:50 – Grover Norquist
2:10 – Lew Rockwell
2:30 – Bill Kauffman
2:50 – Special Guest
3:10 – Bruce Fein
3:35 – Gov. Jesse Ventura
4:05 – John Tate, Campaign for Liberty Presentation
4:25 – Gov. Gary Johnson
5:00 – Aimee Allen
6:00 – Break
7:00 – Intro: Barry Goldwater Jr.
7:05 – Ron Paul
8:05 – Sara Evans
9:30 – End of Program

Unfortunately I have not been able to find any reporting or videos from major media sources. Therefore, if you have links to any videos of Paul’s speech and/or some pictures, please email to [email protected] so I can publish some here.

Anyone interested can watch the entire convention and all speeches live at the rally’s website:

Ron Paul’s Campaign For Liberty

C-SPAN 2 will also be covering the entire Ron Paul convention according to the rally’s website. Will update with some pictures and/or video if they become available.

Update

Full video of Ron Paul’s speech via C-SPAN:

More to come later…

Update

Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Venture speaks:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

A report on the gathering from the AJC:

MINNEAPOLIS — Thousands of Ron Paul supporters — incensed at the state of their country and the two major parties that run it — on Tuesday shouted their support for their unsuccessful 2008 presidential candidate and gave a raucous welcome to an ex-wrestler who could be their 2012 contender.

Paul, a Texas GOP congressman seeking re-election this year, was the featured speaker at the “Rally for the Republic,” a sort-of counter convention to the Republican National Convention going on in nearby St. Paul.

“One thing I have said is that the revolution is a lot more than about me. There is no doubt about it. This revolution will continue,” he told a packed Target Center arena. “But I would like to think that the campaign and our efforts together have done a whole lot to speed up the revolution that was destined to come anyway.”

Paul’s libertarian politics struck a chord with many voters around the nation who viewed it as more of a cause than a candidacy. But Paul failed to run well in any primary as his candidacy faded and morphed into an anti-IRS, anti-Federal Reserve Bank, anti-foreign intervention, shrink-the-federal-government movement.

“When they asked me about what I wanted to do as president I said I look at it differently,” he told cheering supporters. “I want to be president because of the things I don’t want to do.”

Paul was introduced by Barry Goldwater Jr., son of the late Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, the 1964 GOP presidential candidate and a conservative who set what became the party tone many years later.

“With the Ron Paul revolution we will take back the party,” Goldwater said, calling Paul “our messenger, our leader, our inspiration.”

Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura — echoing Paul’s libertarian leanings — had the Target Center rocking with in-your-face comments about the two major parties, the state of the nation and what he sees as a government conspiracy to cover up key information about the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The Second Amendment provision concerning gun rights is not about hunting, Ventura said, but about citizens’ “ability to rise up” if the government “gets out of control.”

“And why is it when you ask questions about 9/11, it’s out of bounds?” he said, adding, “Why has the United States Department of Justice not charged Osama bin Laden for 9/11?”

“Inside job! Inside Job!” some in the crowd chanted in response.

“Cause Bush did it,” a man down front screamed.

Ventura said Bush “stonewalled any investigation of 9/11 for over two years.”

The former governor wrapped up by hinting at a 2012 presidential campaign.

“Chanting and yelling isn’t going to do it,” he said as many in the arena screamed support for such a candidacy. “I need action. If I see it in 2012 we’ll give them a race they’ll never forget.”

The long day of speakers also included John McManus, president of the John Birch Society, who told Paul backers, “If you like Ron Paul you’ll love the John Birch Society.”

McManus drew applause by attributing U.S. immigration policy to a “plan to put us in a North American union with Canada and Mexico” and a longer-range plan to merge with the European Union.

Aside from the fact that Paul and Venture seem to attract 9/11 truthers, it appears to be a success, or at least it appears to have accomplish what Ron Paul set out to do with the rally.