• Click here to watch the Nebraska and Iowa delegations casting their votes as Mitt Romney is officially nominated.
TAMPA, Fla. — Ron Paul's revolutionaries can give up on the dream of seeing their libertarian hero behind the podium at this week's Republican National Convention.
In a last-minute bid to get Paul's name into the formal nominating process — and thereby guarantee him speaking time — supporters from Iowa and Nevada delivered nominating petitions for Paul to the convention secretary and said several other states had done the same.
Yet their efforts were simply brushed aside.
This year's Iowa delegation is packed with Paul supporters, despite his third-place finish in the caucuses. That was evident when delegation Chairman Drew Ivers took over the microphone to announce Iowa's votes during the roll call of states.
“The first-in-the-nation caucus state that serves our political process by rewarding hard working, liberty-loving candidates with delegates to this magnificent convention, Iowa casts 22 votes for Ron Paul,” Ivers declared, taking a dramatic pause before adding that the state's remaining six votes would go to Romney.
Those counting votes on the convention hall stage, however, acknowledged only the six Romney votes, just as they did when other state delegations tried to cast votes for Paul.
The Nebraska delegation, which included two Paul supporters, simply announced that it was casting 33 of its 35 votes for Romney.
To add insult to injury, the convention also approved by voice vote on Tuesday rules designed to limit the ability of insurgent presidential candidates to amass delegates to future Republican conventions.
They will bind delegates to the outcome of state presidential primaries and caucuses, preventing a candidate like Paul from pushing up delegate counts at state conventions. Paul supporters put together an impassioned effort at county and state party conventions to secure delegate seats.
Paul didn't win a single presidential primary, but he got 190 delegate votes during the roll call that officially nominated Romney on Tuesday. Romney clinched the nomination with 2,061.
Many of the Iowa delegates howled their disapproval of the new GOP rules during the voice vote, but the changes were approved all the same.
Other delegates clapping in approval of the changes prompted Paul supporter Mark Hansen of Council Bluffs to remark:
“Today a little bit of liberty died, to thunderous applause.”
Delegate Nancy Bowery of Shenandoah, Iowa, said she's concerned that the rule changes undermine the party's grass roots.
“What kind of party is that?” she said. “It's not your party. It's their party.”
Ivers said the push for Paul's nomination at this convention may be over, but that the libertarian-themed, limited-government movement behind him continues to make progress.
“We made a statement to Iowa and the world that America is more and more serious about bringing this insane spending under control,” Ivers said.
He also said the choice should be easy for all Republicans to get behind Romney in November.
Bowery disagreed, saying she'll likely back a third-party candidate. She said it wouldn't be right for her to vote for Romney.
“He doesn't represent me. He doesn't stand for what I stand for,” Bowery said. “He stands for big government. He stands for basically the same thing as all the other presidents have stood for. To vote for him, I would be agreeing with all of that.”
This report contains material from the Associated Press.
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