USA Today ran a story late Saturday from the Arizona Republic that portrayed Ron Paul supporters undeservedly in a bad light.
According to Rebekah L. Sanders at the Arizona Republic, Mitt Romney’s son, Josh Romney, was booed off the stage at the Arizona Republican Convention during a speech he was giving on behalf of his father’s candidacy.
Here are some exerts from Sanders story:
Josh Romney had to stop repeatedly as people booed and yelled for Paul, who has continued campaigning in the Republican primary. All other challengers, including Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, have dropped out of the race, and Romney has a commanding lead over Paul in the estimated delegate count.
Josh Romney tried to appease the crowd, taking a minute to recognize his father's former challengers.
But as Josh Romney wrapped up, with an admonition to choose the preferred slate of Mitt Romney delegates, the crowd exploded with competing boos and cheers, cutting him short.
Some attendees said they heard Paul supporters chanting outside that Mitt Romney is "the white Obama."
(Note: Some eyewitnesses have said that the chanting was that Mitt Romney is "Obama-lite" and not "the white Obama.")
An eyewitness account from a convention delegate corrected the erroneous story: “Romney was not booed off the stage. The truth is [Josh] Romney was booed when he called for an endorsement of the Romney slate. He continued his speech until the end. That is definitely documented. He was not booed off the stage.”
The documentation that he refers to is what has become a proliferation of video cameras among Paul supporters at state conventions. Yesterday’s Oklahoma Republican Convention was streamed by at least two Paul supporters live online, while Arizona had at least one Paul supporter streaming it live. On the internet thousands of Ron Paul supporters around the country are doing something that no one before has been able to do – training for their own state convention by remotely attending every state convention that precedes it.
“As the primary season moves forward, our supporters are getting more and more prepared from watching the conventions that came before theirs,” commented a Paul supporter.
Sadly, numerous other newspapers ran with the same story that USA Today ran with, even using the same or a similar headline. This slanderous headline paints the passionate Paul supporters in a bad light, and while there are bad apples among the group, those bad apples do not seem to be the trend, contrary to what USA Today indicated.
However, another campaign has been the source of a prevalent negative trend that has been especially noticeable over the past few weeks. As Paul’s delegate strategy begins to bear fruit, the Romney campaign has grown incrementally nastier at state convention after state convention. This behavior from the Romney campaign is divisive to the Republican Party and not becoming of a presumptive frontrunner, perhaps shedding doubt on how much of a delegate lead Romney really does have over Paul.
In Nevada last week at the state convention, there were numerous signs of fraud from the Romney campaign, but Nevada Republicans stuck it out despite the discomfort generated in the midst of pettiness such as distributing fake slates.
Ron Paul’s liberty movement is being confronted with a true test – can they remain firm and successful in the face of their political opponents, while turning the other cheek repeatedly in order to maintain focus? Only time will tell if the dirty tricks team that the Romney campaign has assembled will overcome the resolve of the Paul supporters.