In what could be considered an impromptu visit, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul held a campaign speech Friday, March 23. at the Southeastern Louisiana University’s University Center during the backdrop of Hammond’s “Blues and BBQ Challenge.”
Senator Pauls speech expanded upon his views of the current administration and the federal reserve as well as opinions and proposed actions that he will take against new issues that have come up. Issues such as the recently controversial PROTECT IP Act, which allows for the government to dictate what could be accessed on the internet, and the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, which had a proposed section that enabled the armed forces to detain Americans accused of terrorism indefinitely without due process.
“[The national defense authorization act] is not what America is about,” said Sen. Paul after explaining the details of the section of the act during his speech. “It needs to be repealed.”
Although starting at 7 p.m., attendees who were able to get their tickets online via Sen. Pauls website were able to get priority seating before the event at 6 p.m., drawing in students and local supporters alike as they packed the entire east side of the University Center.
“For years now politicians have been telling us what we want to hear with little to show for it,” said Southeastern political science major Jack Farrar. “Ron Paul is different, what he says he will do. He’s straight talking and honest.”
At one point before the actual speech, Chris Hand of Denham Springs went on stage to incite the crowd by shouting “Restore” with the audience responding “America.” Following this was two introductions given by Deputy Chairman of the Republican Party of Louisiana Charlie Davis and Southeastern graduating political science major Joshua Dupont.
In addition to the local supporters of Ron Paul, several Southeastern students were in attendance including one newly reelected Student Government Association senator.
“I was blown away,” said freshman Nursing senator and communication major Trevor Vamprand. “I have heard and seen videos on YouTube about him but seeing him in person is totally different. He’s well spoken, stands by his points and does not change to alter his audience and I’ve seen that today.”
Senator Paul has had several speeches at surrounding campuses during his campaign such as one at LSU, however this marks his first time speaking at Southeastern and the Hammond area, to which he enjoyed.
“I thought it was great,” said Sen. Paul after his speech. “I don’t know how many people we had, but we had a good crowd. There was a lot of enthusiasm and I’m always energized by coming to these campuses and this was a specially good one.”