Less than 12 miles away from the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Texas Rep. Ron Paul gave an impassioned farewell speech to about 8,000 raucous supporters at a farewell rally Sunday night where he declared the so-called Ron Paul Revolution was not over.
"It made the paper in Washington that the revolution wasn't happening," Paul said as fans chanted "President Paul!" at the University of South Florida's Sun Dome on Sunday with a rock star fervor. "Don't they only wish."
For rally organizers the real message was simple: the Republican Party needs new ideas -- and the droves of young voters and libertarian supporters can help guide the party to its "true conservative" principles and to attracting Latinos.
They depicted the assertion by the Romney campaign that it is reaching out to Hispanics as a cynical one that turns a blind eye to how the party is treating the increasingly important voting bloc.
"What Hispanic outreach?" quipped Fernando Cortes about the Romney campaign.
Cortes, the deputy controller and director of the Ron Paul campaign's Hispanic Outreach Initiative, said that the campaign of presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and the Republican Party’s rhetoric -- particularly on immigration – was alienating Latinos.
"In terms of Hispanic outreach, it's really hard to do when your tone is anti-Hispanic."
Political experts say that Latino voters can make the difference in crucial battleground states like Florida, Nevada, and Colorado.
"We want to set the tone for the rest of the convention that we are here to stay and build the party," said Cortes, 28, who expressed confidence that the movement will continue in the absence of their retiring leader.
Cortes particularly thinks the Republican Party could win more Latino support with Paul's message of small business entrepreneurship and liberty that transcend the current party rhetoric.
"For the first time in several decades the Republican Party is now talking about gold, the Republican Party is now talking about freedom of information," Cortes told Fox News Latino. "The presumptive nominee is speaking about auditing the fed --we have changed the discourse."
In January, the Paul campaign kicked its Latino outreach into high gear in Nevada, where he had hoped to stir up Latino support in one of the recession’s hardest hit states.
Then, as now, Paul's supporters had spoken about a woefully lacking outreach by the GOP to Latinos.
Cortes told Fox News Latino in January that Paul had been running the strongest Hispanic outreach of all the GOP primary campaigns. He noted the Paul campaign’s Hispanos Por Ron Paul Facebook page as well as Paul’s Hispanic Outreach YouTube channel that included campaign advertisements subtitled in Spanish, and poll data as prime indicators that Paul was enjoying more Latino support than his GOP rivals.
The Ron Paul farewell gathering in Florida Sunday night was a celebratory counter convention rally for Paul supporters who are still lukewarm about Romney as well as President Barack Obama.
The six hour "We are the Future" rally was a tribute to Paul, who has run for President unsuccessfully three times. It began at noon, and didn't reach fever pitch until around 5pm when Paul addressed the crowd after hours of speeches from economists, Sen. Tom Davis of South Carolina , Paul's son Sen. of Kentucky Rand Paul, and more.
"We'll get into the tent, believe me, because we'll become the tent eventually," Paul said of the established Republican Party that is "failing" the country but that will one day join his followers. "Once they know we are the future they will know about us."
"The answer is not more efficient government," Paul said in his speech, which ran for slightly more than an hour. "It's getting government out of things they're not supposed to be doing."
Meanwhile, on Monday, presumptive GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan told Fox News that he feels confident that Paul's supporters would end up being "very comfortable with us."
"We see eye to eye on a lot of issues and believe in some ... limited government," Ryan told Fox News. "We believe in academic freedom. We believe in the founding principles. We believe that this is a watershed moment for America, whether or not we're going to reclaim the American idea or we're going to become, you know, a cradle-to-the-grave welfare state, which is where I think the president is taking us."
The crowd at the rally was filled with veterans, small government supporters and young college students, who wore Ron Paul RepubliCAN shirts, 'SuperRon' buttons which featured Paul in a superman outfit, and signs that read "I am Ron Paul."
Some like Dawn Waters, 42, drove from Chicago despite the threat of Tropical Storm Isaac wearing three Ron Paul Buttons. A student, she planned on driving back home after Paul's speech in time for class on Monday morning.
"I lost faith in Washington and politics…I gave up," said Waters, who said the last time she voted was when Reagan was running for office. "Ron Paul brought me back."
Waters says she's an undecided voter this election and is having a tough time choosing between -- former Gov. Gary Johnson on the libertarian ticket or writing in Paul.
"I don't believe in voting between the lesser of two evils," she said.