By MAGGIE HABERMAN and EMILY SCHULTHEIS | Politico.com
Ron Paul started what his supporters call a revolution. Now, that revolution is threatening to march on without him.
Despite suspending active campaigning this week in upcoming primary states, Paul went to Minnesota on Friday night to deliver a speech before the stateâ€™s Republican convention as it chooses its delegates to the national one in Tampa this summer. The Minnesota meeting is just one in a string of state party conventions that have seen the Texas congressmanâ€™s backers infiltrate their top ranks and nab delegates.
In what amounts to public pleading with his passionate supporters, Paulâ€™s campaign has made clear that he wants them to tamp down the rhetoric, and to be respectful of Mitt Romney at the national convention in August when Romney is crowned the GOP nominee. That isnâ€™t sitting well with some Paulites, who have made their anger clear on message boards and in videos over the past week.
The question for Paul now is whether the movement he sparked will overtake him.
Since Paul effectively declared the end of his campaign, missives posted on the fan page DailyPaul.com have been brutal about Paul national campaign chairman Jesse Benton, who declared, to some supportersâ€™ disgust, that the retiring congressman simply canâ€™t mathematically secure the GOP nomination. Benton has pleaded for â€œdecorumâ€ from Paulâ€™s notoriously raucous backers, who drowned out Dick Cheney with boos at CPAC in 2010 and greeted Josh Romney with similar disdain at the Arizona convention last weekend.
â€œJesse acknowledges we have stealth Ron Paul supporters among the Romney delegates,â€ wrote one supporter on the DailyPaul.com, whose cyber-handle is Bob-45. â€œHe knows delegates can abstain or may even be unbound. This chops the legs off the Ron Paul campaign at a critical juncture. I no longer have any confidence in Jesse Benton; and, if Ron Paul keeps him after this, I will have lost a great deal of confidence in Ron Paul.â€
To read more, visit: Â http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0512/76505.html
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