TAMPA---It was less anger and more love at the Ron Paul rally Sunday, where the Texas congressman and cult hero delivered what was likely to be his last-ever speech as a candidate for president, after five years in the race.
According to police and organizers, some 11,000 people gathered in the University of South Florida Sun Dome to see the speech, which hit on all of Paul's favorites themes: ending the federal reserve, ending the war on drugs and a foreign policy of non-intervention.
Hundreds of Paul fans who couldn't get in to the sold-out event watched the speech on a nearby jumbotron, or hung around outside the building, many of them smoking cigarettes as they stood pressed up to the glass.
Paul, who is a member of the Republican party but holds Libertarian views, has been an irritation to the GOP as he has continually added delegates to the convention despite having stopped pursuing the nomination months ago. Earlier this week, the Romney campaign told Paul he could speak at the convention—so long as he endorsed Romney and got his speech vetted by the campaign. Paul politely declined, saying he didn't "fully" endorse Romney.