Maryann Tobin

Libertarian Republican Ron Paul has turned down an offer to speak at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, refusing to have the subject of his speech regulated by the GOP.

Among the requirements the GOP placed on Ron Paul's speech were an endorsement of Mitt Romney and advanced pre-approval of what he could say. Paul refused.

Ron Paul told the New York Times that under those circumstances, “It wouldn’t be my speech,” and, “that would undo everything I’ve done in the last 30 years. I don’t fully endorse him (Romney) for president.”

"Paul’s inclusion in the convention has been a much-debated topic within the GOP," according to Raw Story. "Paul openly criticizes some of his fellow Republicans’ central policies, so there is some concern that giving him free reign to speak his mind on the biggest stage would harm Romney’s chances in November."

Ron Paul supporters may still be holding out hope that their free-thinking candidate could somehow find his way to the 2012 presidential ballot, although at this point, it appears unlikely.