Drawing wild applause and cheers, Republican presidential nominee hopeful Ron Paul stumped at the University of Southern Maine Saturday, in the run up to Maine’s upcoming Republican Caucus.

The event was coordinated on the USM side by Student Body President Chris Camire. Camire said he got in touch Monday morning with with Maine State Representative Aaron Libby, who was looking for a liaison at the university to help coordinate the rally.

“This is incredibly exciting,” Camire said. “It’s extremely educational to be able to see someone who has sat in the United States Congress. Not a lot of people get this opportunity.”

Speaking for about 40 minutes, the 76 year-old congressman from Texas covered the major topics of his platform, advocating a return to the gold standard, a strictly literal view of the constitution, and an end to foreign intervention, the PATRIOT ACT and government regulation of the free market.

Paul reserved some of his strongest criticisms for the current financial system in the United States.

“One of the worst parts of the monetary system is it allows government to grow,” he said. “If government grows, your liberties go down. There is no doubt about that.”

He also drew loud applause for his stated opposition to the drug war. “The war on drugs is a war on American citizens,” he said. “I think we should reassess that whole thing.”

Hastings Formal Lounge was filled to capacity for the speech, with some gathering in an overflow room in Bailey Hall to watch the speech on CCTV.

Many of those in attendance were enthusiastic Paul supporters, like Alexandra Mediate, 20 of South Portland. Mediate, who studied two years at the University of Southern Maine, said she was planning on voting for him in the upcoming Maine Republican Caucus. “I love Ron Paul, he’s my favorite candidate,” she said. “He gives me faith in politics, a little.”

Junior political science major Dylan LaJoie said that while he doesn’t always agree with Paul’s beliefs, he respects the candidate for consistency. “For as long as he’s been running for office now, his opinions have been staying the same for the most part,” he said.

Paul’s speech appeared to be more focused on ideas than on the presidential campaign and was notably absent of mentions of his fellow presidential hopefuls or even the campaign. “I’m more excited about changing the direction of this country,” he said to reporters following the speech.

Paul’s campaign has met mixed results in the first three Republican primaries and caucuses. He came in third in Iowa with 21.43 percent of the vote and second New Hampshire with 22.9 percent, but most recently took a hit in South Carolina, where he finished in fourth place with just 13 percent of the vote. Now Paul has essentially skipped the race in Florida — according to Politico he has not spent a single dollar advertising there, nor organized any events.

Polling last in Florida, where the other presidential hopefuls are gearing up for that state’s primary Tuesday, Paul is the first candidate to visit Maine in 2012. Paul was on the ballot here in the 2008 Republican caucus along with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and the eventual nominee John McCain, receiving 18 percent of the vote.

The congressman has become known for his strong libertarian streak, which at times puts him at odds with his opponents and much of the Republican support base. But it’s exactly these unorthodox political positions, like his support for marijuana decriminalization and opposition to most foreign military intervention, which  make him popular with younger voters. A December Gallup poll showed Paul’s strongest base of support is among voters in the 18-34 age range. And his staunch support for civil liberties has appeal across the political spectrum, drawing in some otherwise left-leaning voters.

Paul also holds many positions more often associated with current American conservatism. He opposes abortion and supports overturning Roe v. Wade — from a conviction that states ought to have the ability to decide abortion legislation. Paul has also spoken against federal student loans, arguing that education is an individual, not governmental responsibility.

With his message of small-government conservatism, anti-war foreign policy and civil liberties advocacy, Paul commands an energetic and devoted following who rock Ron Paul merchandise and maintain active fan pages dedicated to his support. But commentators from organizations including the Washington Post and ABC have noted that Paul may have a “support ceiling,” above which his approval numbers have yet to rise.




  1. The danger is not so much the people elected. The greater danger is the fools that would elect them.
    We have arrived at a decision point where the problem can no longer be avoided or postponed.
    Our debt is growing exponentially, which means we have a short period of time to reverse course. If we don’t reverse course all of these discussions will be meaningless. If we don’t reverse course there will be a day when the US Dollar is no longer recognized as money. On that day you will have nothing in which to pay your bills or buy food or buy gasoline. You will demand the government do something. Much of your freedoms have been taken away from you through the Patriot Act and the NDAA. Those laws have been passed but not used against you yet. They will be when the time is right. The day when the US Dollar is no longer worth anything is the day they will use those laws against you in the name of law and order. You will no longer live in a free society.
    That is what the goal is. To get to that day.
    I distrust the messenger here. They have an agenda that is not in the best interest of individual liberty or a republican form of government.
    They are a tool of the Master Minds who would like to organize the United States into their version of Utopia.
    All Utopian societies run by Master Minds have resulted in the death of tens of millions of people to eliminate dissidents. The Utopian societies always oppress their people in the name of achieving equality for the “masses.” The only thing stopping this from happening to us, is you. Are you going to remain a fool who argues over race, taxes, the environment and other minor issues? OR ARE YOU GOING TO RECOGNIZE WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON?
    The youth intuitively understand what is happening. I am 62, the Chairman and CEO of a publicly traded company and I fear for my grandchildren.

    • Well I think you’ve got cause and effect there. Although I do agree. The politicians are the ones who cause the damage, but if the people are unable to see through the manipulation and use their votes to change Washington, then the damage only continues and never gets fixed. One idiot politician causes some damage for their own short-term gain, but it’s the never ending stream of them that will do us in.

      Although I don’t know if it’s fair to expect the average American to be able to understand the system well enough to grasp the complexity of the tricks Washington plays. Could they understand how the housing and energy prices are being to hide the crazy inflation the fed is causing? I doubt it. So what do we do?

      • Read.

        How to Kill 11,000,000 People

        Talk to your neighbor


         Ron Paul 2012!  Republican or Not.  The only candidate who doesn’t want to be President.

      • I thought of a few ideas. Youtube. Make simple videos, add humor, music, man on the street interviews asking questions a 5th grader should know the answer to. Show the books which explain the Federal Reserve like The Creature From Jekkyl Island, or others you may have, Facebook and Twitter are quickly spreading links and web sites that promote the blessings of liberty.

  2. It is actually very simple: Voters who want  MORE corruption in Washington, lobbyists
    writing the bills, undeclared wars with “collateral” (civilian) damage,
    indefinite detentions (even US citizens), drone attacks that kill combatants
    and innocents, erosion of civil liberties, drug war on the people and
    minorities, censoring of Internet, out-of-control debt and
    spending, graft and greed, crony capitalism, pandering to special interests,
    bailouts, and MORE OF THE SAME, must NOT vote for Ron Paul.  
    Voters who want balanced budgets, sound money, smaller government, honesty,
    integrity and transparency in Washington, non-interventionist foreign policy,
    restoration of civil liberties, end of the war on drugs and a President
    committed to Constitution CAN vote for Ron Paul

  3. He does NOT support marijuana LEGALIZATION – he supports DECRIMINALIZATION

    I’m all for more state’s rights. People should have more say in the day to day affairs of their own locality. That way you can move somewhere different if you don’t like one place, and ideas can be tried out at the state level. Our states are the size of most european countries, we get into trouble when we try to apply european national policies at our federal level. Plus people don’t have enough say in the federal government, it’s all bought out by large corporations who regulate the little guy out of work and home

  4. When people mention that Ron Paul has a strictly literal view of the Constitution, they are often referring to the fact that he interprets “gold and silver Coin” literally; the implication is that such language in the Constitution is merely the old vernacular for any sort of money at all, so it shouldn’t be taken so literally.

    However, we know from history that this is not the case; the Founding Fathers ACTUALLY thought hard about monetary policy, and it’s a shame that the principles behind their careful thought have gotten ignored.

    From the Constitution:

    Section. 8.

    The Congress shall have Power… To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin

    Section. 10.

    No State shall… coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts…

    Firstly, paper fiat money was known to the Founders: The mass printing of the paper Continental Dollar led to its destruction and thus the loss of people’s savings; because inflating the supply of a currency by printing money transfers everybody else’s wealth to the people who print the money, inflation is a kind of taxation, though one that the government can levy without public discussion or legislation, which makes it Taxation without Representation (the reason for the American Revolution). For the Continental Dollar, this silent tax was so great that the extreme inflation was no different than stealing all of someone’s money in one go. Consequently, the choice of the word Coin is deliberate; it is not just an old word for anything that can be called money.

    Secondly, only the Congress may coin money as a U.S. currency.

    Thirdly, states (that is, governments) are restricted to using gold and silver Coins to pay their debts.

    Fourthly, at least state governments are forbidden from issuing bills of credit (meaning IOUs, meaning deficit financing); through deficit financing, our governments have reached into the pockets of not just existing people, but also people who have yet to be born! The idea is that the deficits can be paid off on the backs of future workers (the Federal Government has really abused this privilege, but abuse of privilege is what you can expect from centralized power). That is the ultimate in Taxation without Representation.

    All together, these principles clearly state that U.S. governments are supposed to be restricted to paying for everything with gold and silver. The purpose of this is clear, especially in the context of the collapse of the fiat Continental Dollar: It should be as hard as possible for governments to fabricate money.

    The Federal Reserve system and the fiat nature of the dollar is in complete contradiction to these principles. The current financial crisis and the endless misadventure of government is exactly what the Founding Fathers were trying to avoid so explicitly. They are the ultimate in centralized power.

  5.  Washington Post and ABC have noted that Paul may have a “support ceiling,” above which his approval numbers have yet to rise.
    But his numbers continue to grow they don’t fall so what does that say? It says we will reach that level and we will pass it grinding out of your begrudging hands the recognition that Freedom is popular Slavery is intolerable and we will not go quietly in to the Night we will not die from the bullet or lash of Unconstitutional laws we will live and die Free and the rest of you who may out survive us will hold your live cheap from this day till that.
    Ron Paul for freedom 2012. 

  6. “But commentators from organizations including the Washington Post and ABC have noted that Paul may have a “support ceiling,” above which his approval numbers have yet to rise.”  I guess the GOP straw poll results in TN and AZ show they didn’t get the memo…Ron Paul won both by total landslides, over 200 votes each

  7. Some simple facts:

    * A rather large majority of people will always feel the need to use drugs such as heroin, opium, nicotine, amphetamines, alcohol, sugar, or caffeine.

    * The massive majority of adults who use drugs do so recreationally – getting high at the weekend then up for work on a Monday morning. 

    * A small minority of adults (5%) will always experience drug use as problematic. – approx. 3% are dependent on alcohol, and 1.5% dependent on other drugs. 

    * Just as it was impossible to prevent alcohol from being produced and used in the U.S. in the 1920s, so too, it is equally impossible to prevent any of the aforementioned drugs from being produced, distributed and widely used by those who desire to do so. 

    * Prohibition kills more people and ruins more lives than the drugs it prohibits.

    * Due to Prohibition (historically proven to be an utter failure at every level), the availability of most of these mood-altering drugs has become so universal and unfettered that in any city of the civilized world, any one of us would be able to procure practically any drug we wish within an hour.

    * Throughout history, the prohibition of any mind-altering substance has always exploded usage rates, overcrowded jails, fueled organized crime, created rampant corruption of law-enforcement – even whole governments, while inducing an incalculable amount of suffering and death. 

    * The involvement of the CIA in running Heroin from Vietnam, Southeast Asia and Afghanistan and Cocaine from Central America has been well documented by the 1989 Kerry Committee report, academic researchers Alfred McCoy and Peter Dale Scott, and the late journalist Gary Webb.

    * It’s not even possible to keep drugs out of prisons, but prohibitionists wish to waste hundreds of billions of our money in an utterly futile attempt to keep them off our streets.

    * The United States jails a larger percentage of it’s own citizens than any other country in the world, including those run by the worst totalitarian regimes, yet it has far higher use/addiction rates than most other countries.

    * Prohibition is the “Goose that laid the golden egg” and the lifeblood of terrorists as well as drug cartels. Both the Taliban and the terrorists of al Qaeda derive their main income from the prohibition-inflated value of the opium poppy. An estimated 44 % of the heroin produced in Afghanistan, with an estimated annual destination value of US $ 27 Billion, transits through Pakistan. Prohibition has essentially destroyed Pakistan’s legal economy and social fabric. – We may be about to witness the planet’s first civil war in a nation with nuclear capabilities. – Kindly Google: ‘A GLOBAL OVERVIEW OF NARCOTICS-FUNDED TERRORIST GROUPS’ Only those opposed, or willing to ignore these facts, want things the way they are.

    * The urge to save humanity is almost always a false-face for the urge to rule it. – H. L. Mencken (1880-1956) American editor, essayist and philologist.

  8. Sure Ron will get the most votes, but it comes to counting . . .  how can we stop rigging. Like it might have happened in IOWA. see youtube.

  9. Ron Payl is the only choice if we actually want to restore our great nation-any other is just another step to the end of America. We can make a difference! Please stand up and be passionate! It bothers me that do many people I know don’t even care to vote anymore!

  10. Thank you Free Press for this informative article.  As a social worker what concerns me about Ron Paul is his apparent lack of understanding of and compassion for issues of poverty, as well as challenges facing the shrinking middle class.   Being a realist, the fact is, government must play a role in our society assisting those in poverty, those with mental illness, those who had disabled with appropriate programs.  Those of us who don’t use those government programs, let’s never forget how fortunate we are, and how concern for others is an essential and vital component of a just and equitable society…. “One nation, under God, with liberty and JUSTICE  for ALL.”  (My capitals).  

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