Ron Paul at UF: youth support marks career highlight

By on April 16th, 2013
Former presidential candidate Ron Paul speaks to a crowd of about 2,000 at the University of Florida's Stephen C. O'Connell Center Monday night.

Michael Stone / WUFT News

Former presidential candidate Ron Paul speaks to a crowd of about 2,000 at the University of Florida's Stephen C. O'Connell Center Monday night.

By Michael Stone – WUFT News contributor

Ron Paul said Monday night that the pinnacle of a decades-long political career has been “being well received on college campuses.”

“The young generation are waking up to the fact that (U.S. government officials) don’t need to be telling the world what to do until we take care of our problems here at home,” he told the 2,062 gathered in the University of Florida’s O’Connell Center.

Paul, 77, represented Texas in the U.S. House for three separate spans from 1976 to this past January, and ran for president as the Libertarian candidate in 1988 and as a Republican in 2008 and 2012.

On Monday, he echoed the beliefs that served as the foundations of his political career—instituting the gold standard in place of the Federal Reserve, free trade, elimination of foreign financial aid and preemptive military strikes, ending the war on drugs, lower taxes, individual liberty and limited government.

“Does that mean I have confidence in you that you will never do anything wrong? Absolutely not,” he said. “Do I have more confidence in you doing the right thing than the bureaucrats and the politicians in Washington? Absolutely.”

Coincidentally, Paul’s visit fell on the filing deadline for income taxes. “Some day,” he said, “maybe we won’t make April 15 to be such a bad day and get rid of the income tax.”

Thunderous applause and occasional shouts of “Ron Paul!” filled the breaks in his speech from the largely student crowd. Much of what he conveyed related to issues that weigh heavy on college minds.

“The burden that your generation is assuming is horrendous,” Paul said of the $5.7 trillion in foreign debt that has made the U.S. the “biggest debtor in the history of the world.”

Following a speech of about 45 minutes, Paul was asked student-submitted questions by moderator Josh Holtzman, chairman of ACCENT, the organization that invited Paul to speak for $55,000. Among the questions were Paul’s thoughts on allowing concealed firearms on college campuses and lowering the drinking age.

Paul said he would “lean” toward allowing students to carry concealed firearms, while saying drinking issues should be left to families and shouldn’t necessarily be guided by age.

The former congressman also alluded to his support of gay marriage, asking: “Why don’t we just let people decide what the definition (of marriage) is?”

Intertwined in his speech were criticisms of the Patriot Act, the invasion of Iraq and other U.S. security and military policies. Meanwhile, he offered praise to the Internet as an information resource, WikiLeaks and whistleblowers like Bradley Manning, an Army soldier who remains jailed after allegedly providing classified government materials to Wikileaks.

“The bigger the government, the bigger the lies. And the bigger the lies, the less liberty we have,” Paul said. “Truth is treason in the empire of lies.”

This entry was posted in Politics and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • Pat

    It was a great speech. I think what he said about firearms was if it is a public school, the students should decide, or the school should decide. If they don’t like the rules of the school, then they don’t have to go there.

  • http://twitter.com/FamilyRotten Family Rotten
  • BBinKC

    Nice article. He really should be referred to as Dr. Ron Paul. He earned the right to that title. When you give his background as a US House Rep and Presidential candidate I think you should also have mentioned that he is an OBGYN that has delivered more than 4000 babies. He has also been married to Carol for 56 years. Those additional facts help to provide a truer picture of who he is than his political positions or ambitions.

  • ausscyn

    I heard that he did talk about “blowback,” in light of what happened in Boston.
    Did he?

  • mwstroberg

    Glad he’s still speaking out. After 36 years in the liberty movement, I despaired of ever even seeing government reduced by one penny. Now, thanks to Dr. Paul, I might see that happen in my lifetime, even if we don’t get all the way there to true liberty.

  • truthistreasoninempire
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Ross/1360387722 John Ross

    Wheres the video?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Burkiewicz/100003801642509 Jim Burkiewicz

    Nothing better than getting together with some of my friends from Marion County Florida Campaign for Liberty and going to see the Champion of the Constitution Dr. Ron Paul Educate the masses. https://www.facebook.com/MarionC4L?ref=hl


More Stories in Politics

Panel Discusses Mass Incarceration and Discrimination in Democracy

Students Taking Action Against Racism held a panel at the Bob Graham Center to discuss the issue of mass incarceration. Panelists lamented the lack of true due process in American society.


Why The Pope’s Visit to the U.S. Inspires Gainesville Catholics

Joel Ainsworth plays piano at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church on Wednesday morning. He said Pope Francis is welcoming more people to the Catholic Church. Elena Castello, a sophomore at UF, has wanted to see the pope since she was a young girl. […]

Kim Barton, director of outreach for the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Office, registers a student at Santa Fe College to vote during National Voter Registration Day.

Gainesville Responds To Low Voter Turnout With Registration Drive

About 86,000 of the 140,000 registered voters in Gainesville voted in the last presidential election. In response to the low voter turnout rates, the city of Gainesville has partnered with the Florida Chamber of Commerce to offer a voter registration drive.

Florida Senate Approves Policy Change To Campus Concealed Carry

An amendment to the policy on concealed weapons on college campuses may be presented in the 2016 Florida legislative session. Already passed by Florida Senate and House committees, the policy needs to be approved by three more committees to be considered.

UF Political Parties Weigh in on Expectations Ahead of Republican Debate

The second round of Republican debates will air tonight on CNN. Viewers and the media are expecting this debate to be an intense battle between 11 candidates.

Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments