"Let me tell you, I was a little afraid to come down here," Paul said. "I wasn't afraid of Hurricane Isaac. But there have been a lot of news headlines that say the revolution is over . . . They're saying the revolution isn't happening — they wish!"
Paul's rally is one of the few unscripted events surrounding the Republican National Convention which is being held a few miles away.
This speech was likely to be one of the last of Paul's political career — his campaign ends when the GOP formally nominates Romney and he is retiring from Congress this fall.
He promised his faithful to continue the movement.
"Ultimately, numbers do count. Numbers count even when they don't count all the votes. And we have the numbers!" Paul said. "A bunch of other people are joining us, and they're saying 'The Ron Paul people are right!'"
The speech brought the usual Paul themes: ending the Federal Reserve, pulling out of Afghanistan and Iraq, and legalizing of hemp, marijuana, and raw milk.
Paul's supporters had been waiting to hear him for hours, some impatiently booing other speakers.
"Everything that comes out of that man's mouth is gospel," Stephen Pena, a 23-year-old engineer from Houston, told The Tampa Bay Times.
"I'm in heaven today," said Lynette Rosinger, 63, who had waited for hours to get in to the rally.
Paul reminded his supporters that he wasn't participating in the Tampa events ( via newsmax.com ).
"I just got a call from the RNC," he joked during his speech. "They said they changed their mind. They are going to give me a speech. I can have an hour to say whatever I want — tomorrow night. Just kidding!"