Ron Paul still undecided in supporting Romney-Ryan ticket

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Tampa, FL, United States (4E) – Rep. Ron Paul said on Tuesday that he remains undecided for now in endorsing the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan ticket in November’s elections.

Paul said he is for promoting the constitution, prosperity, peace, and individual liberty rather than the politics of the nomination process.

Earlier in the day, Paul supporters failed to nominate the Texas congressman formally through a fair roll call vote as they were denied the chance. They angrily reacted to the removal of Paul’s delegates from Maine and loudly booed when House Speaker John Boehner was introduced to make a speech.

Paul, meanwhile, simply laughed off any possibility that he would support instead President Barack Obama this November, when asked by Fox News host Neil Cavuto. He said: “Not too likely.”

Paul, who organized a separate rally in Tampa along with his supporters during the weekend, told Cavuto that the GOP is anxious to have their delegates released to the Romney-Ryan ticket. Both Romney and Ryan have said they expect Paul’s followers to show up and support them during the convention, but the Texan lawmaker admitted they may not go that way stating that he does not control his delegates.

Paul also talked about the selection of Ryan as Romney’s vice presidential candidate. He noted that the Ryan Budget did not cut anything significantly, so he voted against it.

He said that Ryan’s fiscal discipline plan is not totally serious about spending cuts, since it does not discuss baseline budgeting, and is not willing slash expenditures for domestic and foreign programs. Paul said that the problem about fiscal deficit is a serious and urgent one that needs attention as he thinks the country is entering another financial crisis worse than that in 2008.

Paul admitted that he agrees on Romney and Ryan on certain issues and leans more toward supporting the GOP ticket, although he expects to leave Tampa without issuing an endorsement to both candidates.

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Gov. Chris Christie, Ann Romney electrify crowd in GOP convention

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Tampa, FL, United States (4E) – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was on his usual combative stance when delivered his keynote address Tuesday at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. Ann Romney, meanwhile, tried to soften her husband’s image to the public and made a pitch about the party’s support for women in America.

As he made his case for the GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Christie fired away against political leaders settling with the status quo whom he described as “paralyzed by our desire to be loved”. Christie said that the former Massachusetts governor would take on the country’s big problems regardless of the political price, as he had done in his constituency.

Among the most keenly awaited speakers throughout the convention, Christie fired up the supporters using his straight-talking style he is known for, and encouraged the party faithful to give their support to the Romney-Ryan ticket in November. He also encouraged people to usher in a “new era of truth-telling” — key to the country’s revival that is, according to Christie, currently being held back by the lack of strong leadership from the Democrats.

Christie gained popularity with his conservative crusade against interest groups in New Jersey like public employees and teachers unions.

His charisma and strong speech fired up around 20,000 delegates inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Republicans were counting on his speech not only to increase the energy level in the convention but also to make the case for Romney to fellow GOP members, Democrats and independent voters.

Ann’s speech, meanwhile, talked about her love for her husband, family, and the country.

She offered a more sentimental and personal speech, describing her husband as a man that people can trust. Mitt Romney, surprised those in the audience by walking onstage after Ann delivered her speech and then embraced and congratulated her.

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GOP line up to nominate Romney in Tampa

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Tampa, FL, United States (4E) – Mitt Romney officially became the nominee of the Republican Party after being selected as the party’s presidential candidate during Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. He will try to unseat President Barack Obama come November in the general elections.

Romney needed to muster at least 1,144 delegates’ votes in order to win the party’s nomination, and he easily reached that marked after receiving the New Jersey delegation. Romney eventually got a total of 2,061 votes as announced by the House Speaker John Boehner.

Romney got the support of over 90 per cent of the delegates that attended the gathering. Rep. Ron Paul finished second with 189 delegates or just 8 per cent of the vote. His supporters, who earlier in the week staged their own separate rally, were also in attendance in the venue.

In alphabetical order, representatives from each state and territory took turns to announce the number of delegates that have voted for the former Massachusetts governor. Paul’s delegates were likewise announced, but Romney’s other opponents in the primaries like Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich already released their delegates to Romney — the reason why they were no longer announced.

The roll call process may already been completed during the first day of the convention, but both Romney and his running mate Rep. Paul Ryan need to wait until Thursday until it becomes official after they have accepted their nomination.

The convention was initially scheduled to start on Monday, but the opening festivities were moved to Tuesday due to the threat from Hurricane Isaac heading toward the city of New Orleans.

Tuesday’s convention also saw several of Paul’s supporters expressing their dissatisfaction to proposed rule changes that would make it more difficult for non-establishment candidates in the future to secure delegates and the nomination.

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Home price index shows signs of housing rebound

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

New York, NY, United States (4E) – A closely watched index released its second quarter data on Tuesday showing gains in home prices across major cities in the U.S.

Rising for the first time since June 2010, the S&P/Case-Shiller national home price index, soared 6.9 per cent in the second quarter compared to the first three months of the year. The index covers around 80 per cent of the entire housing market in the U.S.

The measurement for 10 major urban areas was up by 2.2 per cent rise in June compared to May. The index for 20 cities, meanwhile, shows an increase of 2.3 per cent in June from the previous month. Based on seasonally-adjusted data, the increases were 1 per cent and 0.9 percent for the 10- and 20-city lists, respectively.

The housing industry received a slew of positive data this past several weeks. The new home sales for July improved by 25 per cent compared to the same period in the previous year; sales of existing home sales grew 10 per cent year-on-year; and residential building permit applications rose by 30 per cent.

These developments point to a rebounding U.S. housing industry and one that is trying to surface from another recessionary dip — the second one since 2006.

In 2006, home prices tumbled, bounced back in 2009, but went down again in 2010.

Economists, however, remain cautious as the upbeat news could overstate the notion that the housing is moving towards full recovery. Recently, the type of homes sold in the market have changed with lesser repossessed homes in the mix. Homes that sell at huge discounts move prices down.

Home prices in Phoenix have risen 13.9 per cent in June compared to the same period last year, posting the biggest increase among the 20 cities listed.

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Ron Paul rallies supporters in Tampa ahead of GOP convention

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Tampa, FL, United States (4E) – As the 2012 Republican National Convention (RNC) unfolds today in Tampa, Florida, GOP lawmaker Ron Paul on Sunday kicked off the convention week by further strengthening his outsider image within the party ranks during a separate rally with supporters at the University of South Florida’s Sun Dome.

The event organized on behalf of the Texan congressman drew a crowd totalling around 8,000. Paul, whose latest bid for the White House ended earlier this year, reportedly has not accepted the invitation to be in the GOP convention where Mitt Romney is expected to officially accept the party’s nomination.

Paul’s supporters waited for five hours to hear him deliver his speech that lasted for more than an hour. He appeared to be in full spirit, shouted at times, and in some instances kept his voice low to emphasize on some crucial points.

Despite coming up short once again to secure the GOP nomination, Paul still made it clear to his supporters that his pursuit for libertarian ideals and adherence to the basic law of the land — the U.S. Constitution — remain stronger than ever.

Paul’s rally essentially became the only political event in Tampa on Sunday as the GOP convention was delayed due to Tropical Storm Isaac. Paul and his followers took the opportunity to take a jab at the convention.

Just like during the presidential campaign, Paul continued his criticism of both Democrats and Republicans for allowing the country to get into costly wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, huge government, and the loss of civil liberties among Americans.

Paul also hit the planned rules changes that the GOP is seen to adopt during the convention, which will change the way in the awarding of delegates during primaries. The new rule will make it more difficult for anti-establishment candidates such as Paul to win delegates at the convention moving forward.

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House Speaker John Boehner likes GOP platform and convention trimmed down

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Tampa, FL, United States (4E) – House Speaker John Boehner said on Monday that the Republican Party’s new platform will get a better chance of actually being read by the American people if it can be written in one page.

The blunt-speaking Ohio congressman made this statement during the eve of the Republican National Convention (RNC) opening day that was moved to Tuesday because of Tropical Storm Isaac. Party platforms even received more attention when Pew Research Center for the People released their survey results on the same day showing that more Americans actually want to find out more about platforms rather than seeing Mitt Romney deliver his acceptance speech.

Boehner, who is also the chairman of the RNC and a leading party figure in Washington, never hid his criticism about the new platform that was completed last week by the party’s platform committee currently chaired by Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia.

The party platform took weeks to create, although not too Americans have actually read it, according to Boehner who offered his views to reporters during a lunch meeting with the media. He also added that he has never seen or met any one who has read the party platform.

The platform made the headlines last week when it was learned that its drafters convened after Missouri Rep. Todd Akin got into trouble for making controversial comments regarding rape and pregnancy. This year’s platform now contains a provision about condemning abortions except for special situations like rape or incest.

Despite suggesting to have everything fit in one page, Boehner was actually instrumental in drafting the 48-page “A Pledge to America” document in which he helped write with other House Republicans prior to the 2010 mid-term elections. Its introduction was even two-page long.

Boehner also stressed that Congress has always been the “whipping boy” of the public when asked about the issue of Congress’ unpopularity where recently some members from his own party like Akin and Kansas Rep. Kevin Yoder — who went skinny dipping in the Sea of Galilee — made matters worse for Congress in terms of public opinion.

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GOP ready to begin after TS Isaac caused opening day events to be cancelled

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Tampa, FL, United States (4E) – Even as tropical storm continues its path towards New Orleans, the Republican National Convention (RNC) organizers have vowed to continue with their complete list of events in Tampa, Florida beginning Tuesday morning.

According to a memo released by Preibus on Saturday, the primary concern of the organizers is to ensure the safety of guests, delegates, and media people who are in attendance at the RNC as well as the local citizens.

Tropical Storm Isaac is located about 368 miles south-east of New Orleans, moving at a speed of 69 mph. A hurricane watch is currently in effect and storm surge and floods are expected to form from the strong rainfall.

Vice President Joe Biden dropped his entire schedule to Tampa following the announcement from Priebus, according to the White House.

Political leaders scheduled to speak on Monday were Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley — they will have the opportunity to speak on Tuesday. Other speakers whose speeches were likewise moved are former state governors Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and Jeb Bush of Florida, who will speak on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

The Republicans have also set up contingency plans to make sure attendees’ safety is ensure, according to RNC spokesman Sean Spicer. No details have been released yet regarding those plans, but he made sure the convention’s business of naming Mitt Romney as the party’s official presidential nominee will go on as planned.

For the second straight time, a hurricane has hit a GOP convention event. In 2008, Republicans canceled several events during opening day of the RNC in Minneapolis-St. Paul after Hurricane Gustav moved towards Louisiana’s gulf coast.

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