Local Ron Paul Supporters Remain Optimistic
Those who favor the Texas congressman gathered at the Copper Top Pub in Temple Terrace to watch the election results.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney might have taken Florida, but that doesn’t mean Ron Paul supporters are counting out the Texas congressman.
Paul Fosse of Citrus Park compared Paul’s campaign to a football game.
“Very few football teams quit after the first three minutes,” he said. “They keep going. It seems kind of silly to give up after four states.”
Fosse helped organize a Ron Paul Watch Party Tuesday evening at the Copper Top Pub in Temple Terrace using meetup.com and Facebook. About 50 people watched TV news stations report Florida’s election results. Paul hovered around 7 percent of the vote.
“We’d be happier if he was in double digits,” Fosse said, “but what’s great is to see the enthusiasm of the supporters.”
Young and old, those at the Copper Top seemed eager to share their opinions on Paul and why they favor him.
Bob Rocco, 60, of Temple Terrace said he’s been following Paul for almost 20 years in the House of Representatives. He said Paul has never voted for an increase in taxes.
“I truly believe he’s our last hope in the country,” Rocco said.
David Peters, 27, also of Temple Terrace, overheard Rocco’s sentiments and added the Internet has helped the younger generation learn about Paul.
“That’s why this is taking place,” Peters said, gesturing to all the people in the room.
Dave Jones, who is from Nebraska and living temporarily in Westchase, said he was pleased with Paul’s showing so far. He said he was at the University of South Florida during the Republican Candidates Debate on Jan. 23, waving signs for Paul.
“For me at this point in time, the voting results don’t really matter,” he said. “It’s not about the guy, it’s about the cause.”
That cause is liberty and protection of the constitution and freedoms, Jones explained.
Lea Rashka, who used to live in Temple Terrace and now resides on Davis Islands, said Paul just makes sense to her.
“I like his economic policy, his foreign policy and his thoughts on non-intervention,” she said.
Rashka helps organize the meetup.com and Facebook groups.
“One of the things I like about this is I’m meeting people of like minds,” she said.
Paul supporters also used social media to organize a meeting after the USF debate at the Copper Top, which Paul appeared at briefly. Fosse said the group originally chose to meet at the Temple Terrace pub because it seemed enthusiastic to host them.
And enthusiasm is important to Paul supporters, Fosse said. Their enthusiasm for Paul is something supporters of other candidates’ can’t match.
“I’m enthused about my candidate, as you can see many of us are,” he said. “It’s pretty hard to find an ex-Ron Paul supporter.”