Ron Paul is continuing to fight for the GOP nomination, and with a reputation of support from college students, the libertarian-leaning Republican still seeks to win Texas.
Paul spoke to a lively audience of 5,000 supporters, students and area residents on the LBJ Library lawn Thursday evening about his campaign platform and desire to “revolutionize” American monetary and military policy.
With 76 delegates, Paul will be the last Republican candidate competing with Mitt Romney since Newt Gingrich is planning to drop out of the race Tuesday. Paul has significantly fewer delegates than Romney, who has 832. Caitlyn Bates, president of the UT chapter of Youth for Ron Paul, said Paul has a better chance than the delegate count shows.
“Ron Paul polls extremely well, and people aren’t looking at the data that compare Ron Paul versus Obama and Mitt Romney versus Obama,” Bates said, whose organization planned and coordinated Thursday’s rally. “Ron Paul gets a significantly stronger liberal vote than Romney.”
Bates also said her organization is attempting to reach out to older voters who would be less likely to endorse the socially liberal programs Paul supports.
Stepping out of a Chevrolet Suburban while the crowd chanted, “end the fed” and “preserve the constitution”, Paul greeted the audience and then immediately began to roll out his campaign positions.
“In the last four years people woke up and realized that the old system doesn’t work anymore,” Paul said. “This monetary system doesn’t work and our entitlement system enriches the rich and drains on the poor — our military system in this country is deeply flawed and many people are thinking that it’s time for them to come home.”
Paul dedicated most of his 45 minute speech to attack what he called “a lack of transparency in the Federal Reserve”, the power of the military industrial complex and encroachments on personal freedom through the National Defense Authorization Act, the PATRIOT Act and the SOPA-like Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, which is scheduled to go before a vote today.
“The civil liberties have been attacked since 9/11 because of erroneous analysis of 9/11 — Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11,” Paul said. “Unfortunately, we have not taken the advice of the founders. The government is supposed to be open and protect our privacy, but it seems the government doesn’t seem to care at all about our personal privacy.”
Carrying a yellow flag with the mantra “Don’t Tread on Me”, Julie Moseley, a Cedar Park resident and registered member of the Libertarian party, said seeing Ron Paul was “like seeing a rock star”.
“As far as the greatest nationally known proponent of libertarian ideals, Ron Paul is it,” Mosely said. “I think we have every chance to win this race as Romney does.”
To cries of approval from the audience, Paul said he was against the war on drugs.
“If we can protect intellectual and religious liberties, why can’t we protect the liberty of individuals to put into their body whatever they choose?” Paul said. “We have to think about the restoration of personal responsibility. Who should do the regulation? You, the individual. That’s where the real regulation should come from.”
Chemical engineering junior Joseph Kao, who describes himself as libertarian, said he is a Ron Paul supporter but believes Paul is unlikely to win the nomination.
“If we are being completely realistic, I think he has a slim chance of winning,” Kao said.
Kao’s friend Omar Shafi, engineering junior said winning wasn’t “the point”.
“We want to establish a Republican platform that makes sense. Young people like Ron Paul because he makes sense,” Shafi said. “Romney and Obama are the same person, one’s black and one’s white, that’s the only difference. We want a candidate who stands out from the two parties.”
Printed on Friday, April 27, 2012 as: Ron Paul compaigns for campus supports