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Roll Call For Presidential Nomination; Ron Paul Delegates Protest

Aired August 28, 2012 - 16:59   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: And you're in THE SITUATION ROOM. Happening now, we're following Hurricane Isaac. It already is punishing the gulf coast and it still hasn't made landfall. We have a brand new forecast just released. We'll take you to the communities feeling the impact of this powerful storm.

Plus, we're only minutes away from the roll call of delegates here at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. That will show Mitt Romney has locked up formally his party's nomination.

We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer live in Tampa on the convention floor. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

We're following lots of news right here, two major stories. Erin Burnett is here on the convention floor. We're down lower today. We're closer to the scene of all the action. Lots happening right here.

The roll call of states showing that Mitt Romney has been formally nominated by his party to challenge the president of the United States. We'll have that. That's coming up.

But there's another huge story. Look at this. These are satellite images showing a massive hurricane. Hurricane Isaac spreading across the southeast. The new forecast is just in for hurricane Isaac, gaining strength as it barrels towards the Gulf Coast. Let's go straight to CNN's severe weather expert, Chad Myers. He's got the latest forecast for us. What does it say, Chad?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Wolf, we're up to 80 miles per hour now with wind gusts to 100. Here's the problem I see. Northwest movement at eight miles per hour. We are still 105 miles from New Orleans. That means this storm is still going to be in the water, warm water, the bayou, which is still water, for another 14 hours before it really gets as close to New Orleans as it's going to get.

That means this may still intensify even more. A lot of storm surge coming in already. Right over here, Shell Beach is already seven feet above where it should be. Bay St. Louis right there, we actually have a camera, we'll show you a little bit. That is now 5.6 feet above where it should be, and we're just getting started. Here's the camera I was talking about. This is actually a parking lot. This is a dock. All you can see right now are the tops of the docks. I know you will talk to that storm chaser in a little bit. This storm is intensifying because the eye is beginning to get smaller. Think about an ice skater. One foot on the ground bringing her arms in, she skates or spins faster.

So, the smaller the eye gets in here, the faster it's going to go. If we get down to a 20-mile-per-hour wide eye, this could easily still get to that Category 2 we thought it would in the first place. People in Mobile, Gulfport, all the way across (INAUDIBLE) are getting slammed right now by these first outer bands. Winds there, 60 miles per hour already, Wolf.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: all right. Well, it's pretty amazing just how wide it is when you think about it, Chad. I mean, they're already getting hit and it's still hours away. It could be a Category 2. Let's get to Ed Lavandera now who's in Grand Isle, Louisiana -- Ed.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here within the last 30 to 35 minutes or so, we've seen the most intense parts of this storm begin to make its way on shore here in Southern Louisiana. We're on the island of Grand Isle, Louisiana, which is about 60 miles south of New Orleans. And just a little while ago, it's hard to even imagine here, but you could -- there are homes about 400 yards or so behind me.

This is on the north side of the island looking back toward New Orleans with all of the rain now swirling around here in Grand Isle. The visibility has been cut down dramatically. You can't even see the homes there. We've begun to see some of the storm surge coming out of the bay and make its way on to the island, but that's been under control. Nothing terribly serious there right now.

But here are the conditions that have simply deteriorated before our eyes here in the last few minutes. If you look back over this way, not that you can see all the way to the gulf waters, but beyond these homes is where the Gulf of Mexico is. And there's a levee that goes all the way along the beach there. They expect the storm surge to make its way over that levee and start to creep its way in here.

In this area of Grand Isle, they expect, perhaps, about seven feet of storm surge. We're about four feet high here, so where we've done the math on this throughout the day, we're going to be in good shape if that holds up. But we know as Chad mentioned that this storm has just started here in Grand Isle and the intensity of this will just continue to increase.

We have seen dramatic -- excuse me. The wind speed increase dramatically here in the last few minutes and the gusts really intensified as well -- Erin.

BLITZER: I don't know, Erin, if we should let -- I bet we should let him go inside, what do you think, Erin? Let him go inside. All right. John -- Ed Lavandera is getting through some messy times out there.

BURNETT: That is just --

BLITZER: It's not funny. It could be very, very serious, indeed. But we want Ed Lavandera and all of our reporters to be OK. They're on the scene for us. They're watching what's going on. We'll check in with them once it's OK. But this is a serious, serious storm.

And you know what, the storm is obviously going to hover over what's happening behind us here on the convention floor.

BURNETT: So many decisions on whether to celebrate, how to celebrate, and what it could mean if we do have a hit. And then even after it hits, it's like Katrina, sometimes you don't know how bad the damage will be right away. Well, that impact Thursday night, Mitt Romney's speech.

BLITZER: These people here are getting ready for the nomination. All right. Here's what's going on right now. Let me update our viewers. We'll get back to our hurricane coverage in just a few moments. Ron Kaufman has just seconded the nomination of Mitt Romney to be the Republican presidential nominee.

You see John Boehner, the speaker of the House, he's going through the process as well. And within the next few minutes, they will formally begin the role call of states. As you know, you need 1,144 delegates in order to be the nominee. Let's check in with Dana Bash. She's on the floor right now.

Dana, set the scene for us, because I want our viewers to get a flavor of what's going on with this upcoming role call.

DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what's going on is Mitt Romney was just formally nominated and that nomination was seconded. He was nominated by an official from the state of Virginia, a swing state, and it was seconded by his top advisor, Ron Kaufman, from Romney's home state of Massachusetts.

Now, what's going to happen is, as you said, the role call will begin. So, they're going to go through all of the states and the states will announce who they're going to throw their hat in for for the nomination. You know, that will be for the most part Mitt Romney. One of the moments of drama, if there is one, it's symbolic drama, but it is drama, that we're looking forward to down here on the floor is which state puts him over the top?

Meaning, which state is the one that will actually give him enough delegates to officially clinch the nomination. We are hearing, perhaps, it will be one of the states where he has a home, maybe one that starts with an N, we're told. If that's the case, I'm looking for New Hampshire, but they're trying to keep it a little bit mysterious. Traditionally -- let's listen in now, actually.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Alabama, 50 votes. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Madame secretary, I'm proud to lead the Alabama delegation. Alabama is on the move. Three national football championships in the last three years, a leader in transportation technology, three world-class auto manufacturing plants, and a new jet plant just announced.

But, Madame Secretary, we need a job builder who will slash the $16 trillion debt holding us back. Alabama's 50 delegates unanimously cast our votes for the only person who can do that, the next president of the United States, Mitt Romney!


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Alabama, 50, Romney.

Alaska, 27 votes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Madame secretary, Alaska, the largest red state in this glorious union, enjoys an abundance of pristine coastlines, towering mountain ranges, roaring rivers, serene lakes and streams, gigantic glaciers, wonderful wildlife, extraordinary natural resources, and unprecedented God-created majestic beauty.

Alaska stands ready to elect a new president of the United States. Alaska casts 18 votes for Governor Mitt Romney and nine votes for Representative Ron Paul.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Alaska, 18, Romney.

American Samoa, nine votes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Madame secretary, from the people of the territory of American Samoa, the only American soil in the southern hemisphere. As Proud Americans, we cast our votes, our nine votes, to elect the next president and vice president of the United States of America Governor Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan.

They will restore economic hope and stability to all the people of America. God bless them. God bless the people of American Samoa. And God bless the people of these great United States of America. Thank you.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: American Samoa, nine, Romney.

Arizona, 29 votes.

GOV. JAN BREWER, (R) ARIZONA: Madame secretary, I'm Jan Brewer, governor of the great state of Arizona.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They love you. BREWER: Fellow delegates, thank you. You know, Governor Romney may not be from the west, but he's a westerner at heart. Good old west. He embodies our western spirit and shows all that can be achieved with the American formula of hard work, faith, and opportunity, and freedom. I am proud today to advance and announce that Arizona, the Grand Canyon State, cast 26 votes in president nomination of Mitt Romney, and three votes for Ron Paul.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Arizona, 26, Romney.

Arkansas, 36 votes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Madame chair, the great state of Arkansas cast its 36 votes for the next president of the United States, Mitt Romney and the next vice president of the United States, Paul Ryan.



BLITZER: All right. We're going to continue to watch the roll call of states. You'll be able to see at the bottom of your screen where that tally is. Remember, 1,144 the magic number. He'll get it. The question is when will he get it. We'll soon find out. We'll take a quick break. More of the roll call, more of the Republican National Convention right after this.


BLITZER: They're continuing the roll call of states here in Tampa at the Republican National Convention. Just finished up with Colorado. Let's take a look see where we stand. Remember, 1,144 the magic number needed to make sure that Mitt Romney will be the nominee. Connecticut announcing its decision.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- proudly casts all 28 votes for our friend and our good neighbor, Governor Mitt Romney!


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Connecticut, 28, Romney.

Delaware, 17 votes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Madame secretary, the great state of Delaware, the first state to ratify the constitution, the first state to make its -- ladies and gentlemen, excuse me, to make its pride in our country and our constitution and our way of life known cast all 17 of its delegates, all 17 of its delegate votes for the man who will return constitutional government to the United States, the man who will return the rule of law to the White House, Mitt Romney!


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Delaware, 17, Romney.

District of Columbia, 19 votes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Madame Chair, the District of Columbia is excited to pledge all 19 of our delegate votes to Mitt Romney.


District of Columbia, 19, Romney.

Florida --



LT. GOV. JENNIFER CARROLL, FLORIDA: Madame Chair, please I ask that we take a moment of silence for those that have been affected by Isaac, the storm, as well as those that will potentially be impacted by the storm. Madame Chair, Florida is the Sunshine State -- well, most times.


CARROLL: I am Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carol, proud home of Governor Rick Scott who has shown America that Florida knows how to prepare and respond to hurricanes and provide hospitality to our visitors. Florida is also --


CARROLL: Florida's also proud to have been the home of Governor Romney's first major state primary victory.


CARROLL: The proud home to the convention that will nominate Governor Romney for president and a proud home of 29 electoral votes that will put Governor Romney over the top in November when we make him President Romney. So, we are proud to cast our 50 votes for the next president of the United States, Governor Mitt Romney.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Florida, 50, Romney.

Georgia, 76 votes.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Madame secretary, on behalf of the Georgia Republican voters and the empire state of the south still have a heart stand here as chairman of the GOP with speaker of the House David Rollston and we, along with Governor Nathan Deal, proudly give 72 of our delegate votes to the next president of the United States, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold on. Whoever controlled the microphone (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Could I please have the state of Georgia repeat your vote count?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, you can, Madame secretary. Seventy- two delegate votes for Mitt Romney. We have three for Ron Paul and one undecided.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Georgia, 72, Romney.


BLITZER: All right. So, let's take another quick break. We'll continue to monitor what's going on. Remember, 1,144 needed to make it official. We will keep the tally going at the bottom of the screen. You'll see it. Much more of our coverage of what's going on in the Republican National Convention floor right after this.


BLITZER: All right. State of Illinois now announcing its support for Mitt Romney as this roll call continues. Let's listen in.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michelle and Barack Obama --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to bring them back. And we're the state of the soon to be immediate past president of the United States of America. Illinois casts 69 votes unanimously for Mitt Romney to be the president of the United State States.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Illinois, 69, Romney.

Indiana, 46 votes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Madame secretary, the great state of Indiana where Governor Mitch Daniels led us to a $2 billion surplus, tax cuts, and plural balanced budgets and where will soon elect Mike Pence, our 50th governor and Richard Murdoch, the 51st vote to repeal and replace Obamacare in the United States Senate where we will have two Republican women join us in Congress and our already strong Congressional delegation expand our state House legislative majorities and keep all of our statewide elected offices proudly cast all of our 46 delegate votes to America's next great president, Mitt Romney.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Indiana, 46, Romney.

Iowa, 28 votes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Madame secretary, the great state of Iowa, the land between the Missouri and the Mississippi, the land that feeds millions of fellow Americans with our corn, beans, hogs, and cattle, the first in the nation caucus state that serves our political process by rewarding hard working, liberty-loving candidates with delegates to this magnificent convention. Iowa casts 22 votes for Ron Paul --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And six votes for Mitt Romney.



Kansas, 40 votes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Madame secretary, I am proud to represent the great state of Kansas.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A state where we often say, "there's no place like home" for Barack Obama in Chicago.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A state where we grow leaders like General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Senator Bob Dole, and our incredible governor, Sam Brownback.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A governor who is leading us to become a no-state-income-tax.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In Kansas, we celebrate success like KU basketball, the WSU shockers, and K-State football otherwise known in 2011 as the Texas state champs --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Leadership, success, these are all great qualities In Mitt Romney. We are most pleased to offer 39 delegate votes for Mitt Romney and one for Rick Santorum.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kansas, 39, Romney.


BLITZER: All right. So, you can see Mitt Romney well in a way (ph) to getting that 1,144 delegates, the votes needed for him to be the Republican presidential nominee. We'll continue monitoring the roll call. If you're confused a little bit why some of these states are giving Ron Paul more votes than Mitt Romney, we'll explain on the other side.


BLITZER: All right. They're already up to Maryland right now. They're reading the number of delegates, number of votes for Mitt Romney in Maryland. I just want to point out to our viewers, when the announcer tells us how many votes Romney got, she is not saying what Ron Paul or Rick Santorum or anyone else gets. They are only formally announcing publicly from the podium what Mitt Romney is getting.

No mention of Ron Paul from the podium whatsoever. Also in some of these states you probably noticed that Ron Paul is actually doing better as far as vote count. This concern that Mitt Romney in Iowa for example even though Santorum and Mitt Romney did the best among the actual beauty contest in Iowa, the Iowa caucuses, Ron Paul though when it actually came to the Iowa convention got most of the actual votes. That's why he got more votes in Iowa as an example. Let's continue to monitor this roll call.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As chair of the Michigan delegation and the governor of the great state of Michigan, it is great to be here. We were at the state at the bottom for the last decade. And we're proud to say with Republican leadership, we've balanced our budget. We've reformed our tax system. We're paying our liabilities, and we need that mess in Washington fixed. We're the place to look to. And we're proud of that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Also the home of the best tourism with pure Michigan. You're all welcome to come. And I'm very proud to report we take great pride in being the home state of Governor Romney and the Romney family.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As such, I'm very proud to defer the announcement of our vote to Governor Romney's brother, Scott Romney.





UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Scott, Scott, Scott, Scott, Scott, Scott, Scott, Scott, Scott --

SCOTT ROMNEY, BROTHER OF MITT ROMNEY: The great state of Michigan where Mitt Romney's father, George Romney, served as governor. Michigan, where Ann Romney and Mitt Romney were born, raised and fell in love. Mitt Romney loves our country. He will bring jobs and opportunity to the poor and middle class. He will restore fiscal sanity and economic growth. He will provide America with leadership in bringing peace and prosperity at home and abroad. I am truly honored to announce these votes for a man who happens to be my brother and whom I love, Mitt Romney, the next president of the United States.


UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Mitt, Mitt, Mitt, Mitt, Mitt --

BLITZER: Michigan, you saw Scott Romney, Mitt Romney's older brother making the announcement. We'll take a quick break. They're about to go over the top. I want on the other side to be there when they do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twenty-four votes for Mitt Romney, four votes for Ron Paul.


BLITZER: Getting very close to Mitt Romney formally getting the Republican presidential nomination. Nebraska just making its announcement right now. Remember 1,144 number of votes needed to make it official. Romney will be the Republican presidential nominee. Very, very close to that. Once that happens there is going to be a lot of excitement. They're going to be dancing. There's going to be music. So stand by for that. They're getting close. Let's listen in to this announcement.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nebraska, 33, Romney.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nevada, 28 votes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In Nevada, freedom is not just a word; it is a way of life. The "Silver State" is well represented here at the National Convention. We have delegates from Clarke County (ph), home of Las Vegas entertainment capital of the world. Douglas County (ph) on the shores of beautiful Lake Tahoe. Elko County (ph), mining capital of the world, and Washoe County (ph), home of the biggest little city in the world. Six states nominated the champion of the Constitution Congressman Ron Paul for president of the United States.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Iowa, Minnesota, Alaska, Virgin Islands, Oregon and Nevada. In the spirit of freedom that inspired the founding of our country and in honor of the liberty that has made the United States the greatest country on earth, we proudly cast 17 votes for Congressman Ron Paul --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- five abstentions and five for Romney.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nevada, five, Romney.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: New Hampshire, 12 votes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Madame Secretary, New Hampshire, the "Granite State" where it all --

BLITZER: So once again I just want to point out to our viewers from the podium they're only announcing the votes for Mitt Romney. They are totally ignoring the votes for Ron Paul, the Republican congressman from Texas. Even though in some of these states we just heard in Nevada, he is getting more votes than Mitt Romney and that is clearly irritating a lot of folks, the Ron Paul supporters who have gathered here. I just want to point out they are trying as best as they can to ignore Ron Paul and the votes that he has received.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: New Hampshire, nine, Romney.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: New Jersey, 50 votes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Madame Secretary, the "Garden State", the proud home of tonight's keynote address given by Governor Chris Christie proudly casts all 50 of its votes for the next president of the United States, Governor Mitt Romney!


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: New Jersey, 50, Romney.


BLITZER: All right, so there it is. It's over the top for Mitt Romney. He is now the Republican presidential nominee, not just the candidate. Mitt Romney going over the top. You just heard it there live. They are now celebrating, all the Mitt Romney supporters. Erin Burnett is here. You know it's fascinating, Erin, the way they have tried even at this great moment of celebration for Mitt Romney to completely ignore Ron Paul even though in some of these states he did better than Mitt Romney. Obviously Ron Paul was never going to get the Republican presidential nomination, but what a snub --


BLITZER: I think my tweets on my Twitter in-box they are going off the roof right now because a lot of folks are upset about that.

BURNETT: The Ron Paul supporters are loyal and they are -- they are -- they want much more of Ron Paul. And earlier of course there was the whole ruckus on the floor --


BURNETT: -- and they were waiting to get the information. They wanted to have more for Ron Paul.

BLITZER: Yes. There are Ron Paul supporters here. But let's go back and listen to the rest of this roll call. But it is official now. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee. They're going to finish the roll call to make it completely official. Then by acclimation Paul Ryan will be the vice presidential nominee as well. Let's stay on top of this. Let's listen in to New Mexico for a moment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- to respect God, respect the flag, to respect others and respect themselves. New Mexico is looking for a president who will unite this country instead of divide it. New Mexico casts all 23 votes for the next president of the United States, Governor Mitt Romney.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: New Mexico, 23, Romney.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: New York, 95 votes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Madame Secretary, the great state of New York, the "Empire State" which stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to Lake Erie, New York, the media capital of the world and the financial capital of the world, New York, which won from the Democrats more congressional seats than any other state in sweeping Nancy Pelosi out of the speakership and John Boehner into the speakership, New York reacting to the vision of Mitt Romney, of an opportunity society of free people and free enterprise proudly casts all its 95 votes for the next president of the United States Mitt Romney!


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: New York, 95, Romney.

BLITZER: Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee, went over the top 1,144 just a little while ago. John King is watching this together with Erin and me. John, as you see what's going on right now, this is just largely a formula -- a formula, if they will, but I'm pretty surprised the way they have totally ignored Ron Paul. Some of those states like Iowa and Nevada he got more votes than Mitt Romney did. But they're not even reading the number of votes he got from the podium.

JOHN KING, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: And Wolf, to be frank and in a word it seems pretty petty. There's no suspense here. Mitt Romney is going to be the nominee of the Republican Party. Paul Ryan will be the vice president. Mitt Romney officially is the nominee of the Republican Party once he went over the top there and yet there's bad blood. The Ron Paul supporters went to state conventions after the primaries and caucuses and they took over those state conventions. And, yes, they surprised the establishment.

They won more delegates at those state conventions than they did on primary or caucus day. That has the establishment mad. It has the Romney campaign mad. It has the Republican National Committee mad. But they did it within the rules and so here the Romney campaign forces essentially tried to rewrite the rules with the help of the Republican National Committee, so there's bad blood on the floor. Mitt Romney won. To not mention Ron Paul's vote total during the roll call seems like taking that bad blood, shall we say, to the fifth grade petty level.

I have in my hand, I don't know if we have time to show it, this is a fact sheet some Ron Paul supporters were distributing on the floor complaining about the rules being rewritten. They're saying not only does it hurt Ron Paul this time, their argument that Sarah Palin is on their side is that it hurts grassroots activists the next time we elect a president. And what many Republicans see, Wolf and Erin, is the Romney campaign already gearing up, getting ahead of themselves perhaps thinking that if he is elected president, these new rules would help him not face a challenge from the right or from -- are they thinking that far ahead?

Is that conspiracy theory thinking on behalf of the Paul people? Who knows, but it seems silly on a day Mitt Romney gets this crowning achievement of his political career to be having a petty fight with the supporters of a man Governor Romney actually gets along quite well with. There is no bad blood between Ron Paul and Mitt Romney. But there is bad blood between Ron Paul supporters and their party. And for those at home watching who think who cares there aren't that many Ron Paul people, I would remind you, George W. Bush won a state in 2000 by about 535 votes in a very close election, every now and then every vote matters. You don't really want to make these people mad.

BLITZER: All right. Hold on for a minute. I want everybody to hold on because it does sound pretty petty. I've covered a lot of these conventions. And I don't remember a time if ever when the person on the podium reading the roll call fails to mention anyone other than obviously Mitt Romney in this particular case the leading candidate. A complete, complete snub of Ron Paul and I don't remember that happening. Maybe it has happened in the past. I certainly don't remember it. Dana Bash is on the convention floor. Jim Acosta is there as well, John Berman. Stand by. We're going to go get some reaction to what's going on. We'll take a quick break. More from the Republican National Convention right after this.



BLITZER: All right. I want to listen to this. Just listen. They're going to make an announcement. Let's listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pennsylvania, 72 votes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Madame Secretary, I'm Governor Tom Corbett (ph) and I'm proud to be leading this delegation from the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the cradle of democracy, the birthplace of a nation where our Constitution and our Declaration of Independence were both created, where this party started in Pennsylvania with its first meeting in Pittsburgh and its first national convention in 1856 in Philadelphia. And I'm proud to say that we are here to tell the world that we are open for business. And I am proud to say that we are going to support the president, the next president of the United States by casting 67 votes for Mitt Romney and five votes for Paul Ryan.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pennsylvania. 67, Romney.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Puerto Rico, 23 votes.

BLITZER: All right so once again, they're not naming Ron Paul, how many votes Ron Paul is getting. You heard Pennsylvania say Paul Ryan -- that was obviously a blunder on the part of that spokesperson from Pennsylvania. He meant Ron Paul, but they're not announcing Ron Paul's delegates or votes from the podium. Dana Bash, you're on the floor. I know a lot of the Ron Paul supporters are pretty upset. What's going on over there?

DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Some of the Ron Paul supporters are very upset for the reason that you were discussing earlier, not so much that they don't have -- of the rules which are issues that for the most part deal with four years from now, but just for the symbolic slap in the face that they're getting by the fact that they're not being announced, the delegates are not being announced from the podium. But he talked right before the roll call started about the fact that it is also symbolic traditionally in recent history for a key state to put a nominee over the top. My understanding in talking to Republicans here on the floor is that they're hopeless.

That would be New Hampshire is a state where Romney has a house and it is an important swing state for him, critical swing state. That didn't happen. It went to the next state New Jersey and the main reason I'm told is because they really couldn't calculate the math. They weren't entirely sure because they didn't know where the Ron Paul delegates would be and how many would cast their vote. So that's why it didn't work out in terms of the theater and in terms of the symbolism exactly how they wanted.

BLITZER: That's obviously what happened clearly Dana. Thanks very much. John Berman is over at the main delegation. John, there were some dramatic moments where you are. Tell our viewers what happened.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, I'm actually standing amidst of empty seats here in the main delegation. And the reason is because a good part of this delegation walked out. This was ground zero for the Ron Paul sort of protest earlier today. I think we have some video of it. There was argument over seating, which delegates would be seated and at that point, this really erupted over here with people shouting (INAUDIBLE).


BERMAN: There are people here shouting. They did not get seated. They were very, very unhappy with how things went obviously Wolf, and they simply walked out. Now I can tell you the remaining people in here, Mitt Romney supporters, say they're frankly relieved with the outcome right now. They say it's a lot less tense without the Ron Paul people here and they did cast their ballots. When they cast their votes they cast 14 for Mitt Romney and even in the absence of the Ron Paul delegates they did cast 10 for Ron Paul -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, John, thanks very much. We'll get back to you. Jim Acosta has a guest, the former New Hampshire governor, John Sununu. Jim, ask him why they decided to so blatantly and publicly snub Ron Paul, even though he's got a lot of votes, not obviously nowhere near what's needed, but they're not even reading his name from the podium.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I can tell you that talking to Governor John Sununu here that he's got some choice words about this delegate drama down here on the floor. Governor Sununu, what do you make of this protest it almost seems here on the floor on the part of these Ron Paul forces --

JOHN SUNUNU (R), FORMER NEW HAMPSHIRE GOVERNOR: People have to understand what this convention is concerned about. Let's take Iowa. Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum each got about a third, even more than a third of the votes each. Ron Paul didn't do that well. But because the Ron Paul folks in essence packed the caucus that follows the caucus, they end up with virtually all of Iowa's votes. That's not the way to run a convention, and the Ron Paul people are upset that the delegates at this convention have expressed concern about what they feel is a hijacking of process.

ACOSTA: And do you think that they've abused the process here?

SUNUNU Well I think if you look state by state and talk to people in those states, you'll hear some very strong comments from the people that took the time to show up at those either primaries or caucuses and find out that they don't get delegates because of the parliamentary tactics that the Ron Paul people implore (ph).

ACOSTA: Should that affect their status as having first in the nation caucus rights --

SUNUNU: I don't think so. I think the folks in Iowa are going to address that issue with internal rules.

ACOSTA: And Ann Romney is speaking later tonight. We keep hearing that she's going to show the softer side of Mitt Romney. Why are we just getting to that now, Governor?

SUNUNU: Because there's a tempo to presidential campaigns. And to tell you the truth most people don't pay attention until the kids go back to school, just before or just after Labor Day, and this is the right time for that to come and be, if you will, the presentation of this candidate to America. We've got about 70 days. Presidential campaigns are sort of like basketball games. Basketball games, it is all in the last two minutes. In a presidential campaign, it is all in the last two months.

ACOSTA: Governor Sununu, thank you very much. I appreciate it. And we are entering that stage as the governor just mentioned, we're heading into the final two minutes or two months, if you will, and Wolf, I'll toss it back to you. Very interesting to hear those words from John Sununu. As you know, he doesn't hold back. He doesn't exactly show the softer side of Mitt Romney --

BLITZER: He doesn't mince his words at all, John Sununu, the former New Hampshire governor. All right, we'll take a quick break. Much more from the convention floor here in Tampa right after this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cast one vote uncommitted, one vote for Governor --


BLITZER: All right, check this out. Look at these pictures coming in from Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans. The wind is really, really beginning to pick up. This Hurricane Isaac is getting closer and closer, closer and closer to the Gulf Coast, New Orleans clearly at risk right now.