Ron Paul made a campaign stop at the University of Texas at Austin this past Thursday to rally support for his bid for the GOP presidential nomination. The Texas Congressman spoke to a diverse crowd of 6,000+ supporters about civil liberties, smaller government, and free market economics.
Paul’s views on decriminalizing the use of controlled substances and his foreign policy have made him unpopular with many far-right conservative members of the Republican Party, but the large crowd gathered on the lawn of the LBJ Library on Thursday didn’t seem at all deterred when Paul’s speech turned to talk of a general withdrawal of American troops from bases around the world, and the legalization of marijuana and other illegal drugs.
But not every issue that Paul brought up elicited cheers, and when talk turned to CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) and the NDAA 2012 (National Defense Authorization Act), supporters jeered their disapproval.
“We were able to stop, you know, the Stop Online Piracy Act because people rallied. But guess what? The bad news is our noise and our voices weren’t quite loud enough because they went in the House today and overwhelmingly passed that new bill called CISPA,” Paul announced to a chorus of boos from the crowd.
At just under an hour, Paul’s speech played more like the first hour of a rock concert than a political rally. Frequent cheers of “End the Fed!” and “President Paul!” spontaneously sprang up and spread through the pumped up crowd before subsiding to let the 12-term congressman continue speaking. And despite weak showings in the various state straw polls, Paul continues to fill auditoriums around the country. His campaign continues to march resolutely forward, and it is clear, with plenty of gold in his campaign coffers, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s campaign on the ropes, that Paul plans on making good his promise to take it all the way to the Republican National Convention in Tampa Bay, Florida.
One thing is certain, regardless of who wins the nomination to go on to face President Obama in November; Ron Paul, and his fervent supporters, are here to stay.