Paul planning his own convention

Texas Rep. Ron Paul has booked enough space for 11,000 of his supporters to meet while the Republican convention goes on nearby.

Published June 10, 2008 8:07PM (EDT)

Well, give Ron Paul one thing -- at least he's persistent. The Texas congressman was not given an invitation to speak at the Republican convention in September, despite his surprisingly strong showing in the race for his party's presidential nomination; instead, he'll be holding a convention of his own.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported on Paul's plans in an article on Tuesday; he'll announce them officially on Thursday, at the Texas Republican Convention. Paul's campaign hopes to get 11,000 supporters to come to the Williams Arena at the University of Minnesota, which is in Minneapolis. The official party convention is being held at the same time in the neighboring city of St. Paul.

Jesse Benton, a Paul spokesman, says the decision to hold the separate event isn't related to the lack of a speaking invitation. "We have said from the beginning that we are going to have a presence in St. Paul," Benton told NBC's First Read blog. "[Paul] has said he'd be honored to have an invitation to speak. He's not holding his breath; he's not expecting one... We're fine with that, so we're going to go ahead and have our own event."

Paul's convention will be on Tuesday, Sept. 2. The Republican vice-presidential nominee will speak the next day, and then John McCain is scheduled to accept the party's presidential nomination the day after that. Obviously, this isn't great news for the McCain campaign, as its candidate will most likely have at least a little bit of his thunder (and media coverage) stolen by Paul.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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