By Darcie Moran
Ingham County Chronicle staff writer
The Texas congressman and Republican presidential candidate spoke to a crowd of over 3,800 on MSU’s campus -– his largest primary campaign rally ever.
Paul used the opportunity to express his plans to younger voters if he were to become president: no involvement in foreign or non-defensive wars, repeal the 16th Amendment, cut $1 trillion in his first year, repeal the Federal Reserve Act, end the war on drugs, and repeal the Patriot Act.
“Washington is sound asleep,” Paul said. “What we need to do is make sure they hear us.”
Paul, who has been referred to as the candidate of the people, summarized his ideals in one word -– liberty. The candidate said the attack on personal liberties have been constant and steady.
“If you speak out and do your job, Washington will change,” Paul said.
Paul was well-accepted by the crowd who interrupted his speech on multiple occasions to boo the mention of certain policies, cheer his views and chant sayings including “President Paul.”
A single audience member appeared to be the only one in opposition of Paul; a young woman interrupted his speech to yell and wave a banner concerning his position on abortion. Paul is a pro-life candidate.MSU Youth for Ron Paul chapter leader Ethan Davis introduced Paul to the crowd, describing how Paul changed his life.
“My hope was (the rally) would inspire people the way he inspired me,” Davis said in a later interview.
The economics junior said he is optimistic for Tuesday’s primary and was encouraged by the number of people that were present for the event -– though he recognized many don’t favor Paul to win.
“Once you’re a Ron Paul supporter, you’re always a Ron Paul supporter,” Davis said.
MSU Youth for Ron Paul had to achieve more than 1,000 petition signatures for Paul to visit.
Paul is currently ranked third in most polls for the Michigan Republican presidential primary.
“There are too many people that think that he is not an electable candidate,” rally attendee and Charlotte, MI, resident Linda Bacon said. “He is … I think he’s got a chance.”
Kent Kerwin and his grandson drove more than an hour from his home in Goodrich, MI, to see Paul at MSU.
“I really don’t want Romney to win,” Kerwin said. “I think I made my choice today in Ron Paul.”
With Tuesday’s primaries weighing on the candidates, Paul supporters hope this rally will turn the odds in his favor.
“He represents the truth,” Davis said. “Ron Paul is the only one that can beat Barack Obama.”