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Presidential hopeful Ron Paul speaks at Keaney

By Farah Casalini
On April 19, 2012

  • Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul speaks at Keaney Gymnasium Wednesday. Alex Bouthillier | Cigar


"President Paul! President Paul! President Paul!" Those were the words a sea of people cheered as Republican Texas congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul spoke at the Keaney Gymnasium at the University of Rhode Island last night.

The event was brought by Youth for Ron Paul, a national organization supported by the official Ron Paul 2012 presidential campaign that organizes college students behind Paul's presidential campaign. President of URI's chapter of the organization, Emmanuel Cumplido, said the national organization contacted him asking if URI could host Paul as a part of his college campus crusade.

"His message is resonating with the younger [people]," Cumplido said.

 Once Cumplido introduced the presidential candidate, the crowd of 3,500 people went wild with excitement.

"Ron Paul! Ron Paul! Ron Paul!" the crowd shouted, while also waving their various signs and posters as he walked.

"[The] revolution is alive and well," he said. "[And] the media says we've disappeared."

For the next 35 minutes, Paul discussed his presidential platform, including bringing the troops home from Afghanistan, "restoring liberty to America" and "ending the Fed." He discussed his idea of a "free society," which, to him, involves a country where a free market can prevail and the government doesn't have so much control over the public. He specifically pointed out the Patriot Act, saying that, despite its name, is not at all patriotic.

"Why do[es] [the government] need to know so much about us," he said. "We need to know more about them!"

"Liberty for me comes for me in a national or God given way," he said. "Not from our government."

He brought attention to the current economic status in America, saying that all the country's debt must be eliminated before any progress can be made. He added that there must be more confidence in the free market in order for the United States to regain the status of a wealthy nation again.

"[The people] should be able to spend their money as they gosh darn please," he said.

His platform also rests heavily on the constitution. He said the constitution needs to become the "rulebook," as it once was so many years ago.

He also brought up the issue of medical marijuana, saying that it should be a state-mandated law, rather than a law made by the federal government.

Emma Aspell, a freshman marine affairs and political science double major, attended the event, saying she thought it was a great opportunity to get more informed about politics.

"It's important for Americans to be informed," she said.

Mike Feroce, senior music education major, also attended the event, but would have liked to hear more about health care and abortion.

"He does a great job of appealing to his target audience, but he missed a few key points," Feroce said.

"He's a good public speaker, but I expected more than just a show," he added.

Cumplido said he thought the event went better than expected, exceeding his goal of 3,000 attendees.

"People were really listening," Cumplido said.

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