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Political Notebook

Ron Paul delegates try to strike down new GOP rules

Alex Casetta of Denver held up a sign in support of Ron Paul in Tampa.
Alex Casetta of Denver held up a sign in support of Ron Paul in Tampa.(ASSOCIATED PRESS)

WASHINGTON — Representative Ron Paul’s delegates are trying to mount a floor fight over new GOP rules designed to limit the ability of insurgent presidential candidates to amass delegates to future Republican conventions.

They are getting help from other delegates, though it is unclear whether they can rally enough support to challenge the rules on the floor of the convention Tuesday.

Mitt Romney, the party’s presumptive nominee, has plenty of delegates to win any floor fight. But the dispute could provide an unwanted distraction for party leaders who would rather focus on promoting Romney and defeating President Obama.

‘‘It’s so heavily scripted. This is not the forum . . . to air the proverbial dirty laundry,’’ said Juliette Jordal, a Paul delegate from Minnesota.

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The new GOP rules would bind delegates to the outcome of presidential primaries and caucuses, allowing candidates to choose which delegates would represent them at future national conventions. Currently, state parties choose national delegates, usually at state and congressional district conventions. The convention’s rules committee approved the new rules last week before the start of the convention in Tampa. The rules were scheduled for a vote by the full convention Monday but many activities were delayed because of Tropical Storm Isaac.

A handful of Paul delegates tried to provide a taste of what is to come after Monday’s brief convention session. They gathered near the rear of the convention hall and waved signs bearing Paul’s name.

‘‘It’s going to shut us out of the process,’’ said Oregon delegate Larry Ericksen, a Paul backer compelled by state rules to vote for Romney at the convention. ‘‘We deserve a voice in the process.’’

Supporters of the new rules say voters expect the delegate count to reflect the outcome of state primaries and caucuses.

They point to states like Maine and Minnesota. Romney narrowly won local caucuses in Maine and Rick Santorum, former senator of Pennsylvania, handily won the presidential caucuses in Minnesota.

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But Paul’s supporters were able to win most of the delegates in each of those states by taking control of the state conventions. Ten Paul delegates from Maine were subsequently replaced by a convention panel last week after the panel decided they were picked through a flawed state selection process. - ASSOCIATED PRESS

Mitt Romney book includes deleted line

TAMPA — Maybe Mitt Romney assumes GOP delegates won’t read all the way to page 177 of his book, ‘‘No Apology,’’ included in their gift bags.

If they do, they’ll find an uncomfortable sentence for Romney — a sentence dropped from the paperback edition. It alludes to his push, as Massachusetts governor, to require all residents to obtain insurance as part of health care reforms.

‘‘We can accomplish the same thing for everyone in the country, and it can be done without letting government take over health care,’’ Romney wrote.

That sounds a lot like the health care mandate in ‘‘Obama­care,’’ which Romney now vows to undo.

In the paperback edition, the passage refers only to preventing a government takeover of health care.

Publications including the Washington Examiner took note of the hardback’s presence. - ASSOCIATED PRESS

Mitt Romney clarifies stance on abortion

TAMPA — Republican Mitt Romney says he is in favor of abortion in cases of rape, incest and the health and life of the mother.

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The presidential candidate’s addition of the health of the mother is certain to raise questions about Romney’s position among conservatives.

Health can be broadly defined and, in fact, running mate Paul Ryan has challenged the health exception as a major loophole.

Romney made the comments in an interview Monday with CBS News.

The network released Romney’s comments before its evening broadcast.

Romney’s position on abortion rights has evolved. When he ran for the Senate against Senator Edward M. Kennedy in Massachusetts in 1994, he backed abortion rights. As a presidential candidate, he has opposed abortion rights. - ASSOCIATED PRESS

Convention schedule of events revised

Republicans plan to compress much of Monday’s original schedule of events into Tuesday.

The afternoon session will be packed with discussion and adoption of the party’s platform and rules.

That session will culminate in the roll call for the nomination of Mitt Romney as the presidential nominee.

It will occur around 6:30 p.m., timed in part for coverage on the networks’ evening news shows.

The centerpiece of an evening of speeches will be the keynote address by Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey.

Known as a blunt-spoken, pugnacious Republican and a galvanizing orator, Christie is expected to lay out the argument for Romney while attacking President Obama’s record on the economy.

The major networks are expected to provide an hour of coverage, starting at 10 p.m. PBS and cable news networks plan more extensive coverage.

Highlights of of Tuesday’s events include:

6-6:40 p.m.: Roll call for nomination of president of the United States; roll call for nomination of vice president.

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7-8 p.m.: Speakers include House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, and Rick Santorum, former senator of Pennsylvania and presidential candidate.

8-9 p.m.: Speakers include Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia, and Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

9-10 p.m.: Speakers include Artur Davis, a former supporter of Obama and former representative, and Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina.

10-11 p.m.: Speakers include Ann Romney and Christie. - GLOBE STAFF

George Clooney helps Obama raise $625k

GENEVA — George Clooney headlined a fund-raiser Monday that took in more than a half-million dollars for President Obama’s reelection campaign, the second dinner this year where the actor has turned his A-list magnetism into political gold.

Clooney raised almost $15 million for Obama’s campaign at Clooney’s Los Angeles home in May. This time he turned to Geneva, the European hub of the United Nations and a global center for international organizations, governance, and business, to pull in a more modest amount.

Organizers said they had taken in at least $625,000 from US donors for Obama’s campaign, including many who were flying in to Geneva for the one-night event from around the world.

Americans Abroad for Obama, the event’s sponsor, says on its website that guests are paying $15,000 per person to dine with Clooney, $5,000 for a photo with him, and $1,000 to attend a reception before the dinner.

The event was being ­cohosted by Geneva-based American lawyer Charles C. Adams Jr. and Matthew Barzun, Obama’s campaign finance chairman.

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The president has called Clooney a good friend who tries to keep his distance so Obama won’t be criticized for hanging out with Hollywood celebrities. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight earlier this month, Obama said he got to know Clooney through his work on Sudan when Obama was in the Senate.

Clooney has led campaigns to end the conflict in Darfur and for more humanitarian aid for millions of people caught up in the fighting. - ASSOCIATED PRESS