Like the other Republican presidential candidates, Ron Paul has spent time in New Hampshire before the state’s primary to get his campaign message out to voters. His events are attracting lots of voter interest.
When he came to the University of New Hampshire in Durham last Friday, hundreds of people packed into the town hall event. Every seat was filled and the walls were lined with even more supporters. Interestingly, the majority of the audience seemed to be independents, and undecided voters. A significant number of the crowd was young voters.
Accompanying Paul on his visit was his wife, Carol, daughter-in-law Peggy, and his granddaughter Linda.
Paul entered the Granite State Room at UNH to a big round of applause. He took the stage with New Hampshire State Senator Jim Forsythe who moderated the meeting. Dr. Paul began the event by talking about the basics, including his experience as a congressman, his career as a doctor, and how this is his third time as a presidential candidate.
After speaking about his background, Dr. Paul got down to business.
Dr. Paul discussed unemployment concerns. He pointed out how there is a discrepancy in what statistics the government shares about unemployment. He believes they are deceiving people and not revealing truly how bad it is. Unemployment and inflation is at its worst, he explained. As a result the standard of living is going down.
“The middle class is shrinking,” Paul said. “This is a characteristic of a country that is living beyond its means.”
Paul also summarized his campaign goals as “free markets, the protection of civil liberties, sound money, property rights, contract rights, and sensible foreign policy.”
“The job of the President is to protect freedom,” he asserted. “It isn’t to run the world or to run your life. Our goals should be peace and prosperity.”
After Paul’s speech, the audience was allowed to ask questions. But Paul and Senator Forsythe specifically requested that only undecided voters ask questions.
Many of the people who asked questions expressed concerns about health care. Paul is strongly against Medicare and Medicaid. He thinks that America should always give people the option to opt out if it is bad deal to be involved in.
On the topic of war, Paul stated he thinks the country should only go to war with “a great deal of caution.” The audience roared with applause and approval.
“My greatest fear is that we will overreact, go in, and not have a good reason to go in, like we went into Iraq,” Paul said. “The goal is peace not occupation.”
After the town hall, Paul stayed to take photos with voters. As he left the event, this Kid Reporter was able to talk with him as he headed to his vehicle.
Many of his fellow candidates have said that the 2012 election is very important. But Paul thinks what’s more important is that young people think, study, read, and understand what government should be about.
“If they vote for people who want to change things in a real way, that makes a big difference,” he explained.
Paul strongly encouraged young Americans to get a good education and be curious. He shared how he was always very curious about what made the world and economy work.
One of the best ways to do this is through national service, he said.
“Service to your country is learning, understanding, and being well educated and knowing how to take care of yourself and your family,” Paul said. “This is the greatest service you can provide.”
The 2012 election is the third time Paul has run for President. This time around, he is attracting larger crowds and more media attention. He thinks that the more voters look at his record, the more comfortable they will feel electing him.
“If people believe in freedom, they will look very carefully at everything that I have done for all my life in politics,” Paul said. “And if they come to the conclusion that freedom is really popular with all the people then they are going to pay a lot of attention to me and if they are old enough, they are going to vote for me.”