"Republicans and Democrats alike must slay their sacred cows," Senator Rand Paul said. "Republicans must acknowledge that not every dollar spent on the military is necessary or well-spent, and Democrats must admit that domestic welfare and entitlements must be reformed."
The Kentucky senator, elected in 2010, was preceded to the stage by a short video tribute of his father, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who fell short in his White House bid this year.
The Tampa Bay Times Forum erupted in cheers when the film began playing, and members of the denim-shirt clad Texas delegation began waving their hats in glee.
"Ron Paul was the only one I know who made a difference by making a point," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in the Paul tribute film.
Rand Paul defeated Trey Grayson -- a better-known Republican backed by party leaders -- to win the GOP nomination in the Blue Grass State two years ago. An ophthalmologist, Paul defeated Democrat Jack Conway to win the seat of retiring Republican Jim Bunning.
Paul was active in his dad's campaign and surprised some when he endorsed Romney after the elder Paul stopped campaigning actively for the nomination.
"To lead us forward, away from the looming debt crisis, it will take someone who believes in America's greatness ... someone who has created jobs, someone who understands and appreciates what makes America great," he said. "I believe that someone is our nominee: Governor Mitt Romney."
Last night, Ron Paul's supporters disrupted the GOP convention's proceedings in protest of party rule changes that would make it more difficult for insurgent presidential candidates to amass delegates at future conventions.
Ron Paul declined a speaking role at the convention, in part because he didn't want to give a "full-throated" endorsement of Romney or have his speech vetted by the Romney campaign. He and his supporters held a rally at the University of South Florida Sun Dome earlier this week.
The Ron Paul video featured tributes from Tea Party favorites such as Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan.