Ron Paul fails to win enough delegates in Neb. to be nominated

Presidential hopeful Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) failed to win enough delegates at the Nebraska state GOP convention on Saturday to be nominated at the national convention in Tampa.

Paul won 2 of the state's 35 convention delegates, with presumptive nominee Mitt Romney securing the rest.

While Paul has already conceded defeat in the presidential race and is no longer campaigning, the setback means he will also be denied a speaking role at the Republican National Convention in August.

Romney had won more than 70 percent of the state's votes in Nebraska's primary, but Paul had hoped to win enough delegates at the state convention to address the Tampa gathering. 

Paul had won a plurality of delegates in four other states: Iowa, Maine, Minnesota and Louisiana. He needed five states though to secure a speaking slot, and focused his efforts on Nebraska, the last to hold its GOP convention.

Both sides had expected a contentious fight in Grand Island, Neb., where the convention was held.

Reports said the Romney campaign sent famed attorney Ben Ginsberg, who was on the legal team representing George W. Bush in the 2000 disputed Florida recount to observe the convention.  

While Gov. Dave Heineman, who was the first governor to endorse Romney, did not attend the convention, he helped mobilize supporters of the former Massachusetts governor to ensure there was no Ron Paul upset, reported the Omaha World-Herald.

"He was personally invested," said Nebraska GOP Chairman Mark Fahleson, in an interview with the paper. 

On Friday, Paul had acknowledged his desire to win enough delegates in Nebraska to secure a speaking role in Tampa, charging the Romney campaign with being afraid of allowing him to share his message with the party faithful. 

Paul called the Romney campaign "insecure" in an interview with Fox Business.

"They want this thing to go smoothly. But all conventions are like that. And this is the one thing that annoys me a bit," he said. "If they want this thing to go smoothly and be a big media event, and it costs the taxpayers $18 million, and they don't want a discussion, why can't we have a little debate?”

Romney, the party’s presumptive nominee, seized the 1,144 delegates need for the nomination in May.

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