Ron Paul Rallies in Austin
Thousands of Ron Paul supporters and Tea Party advocates gathered Sunday on the south mall of the State Capitol. The Texas Congressman was joined by his son, U.S. Senator Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, and U.S. Senate hopeful, Ted Cruz. Cruz is battling Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst for the opportunity to replace retiring U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Cruz spoke for about 20 minutes before U.S. Congressman Paul. And was quick to attack what he called the “radical” policies of President Obama.
“I am convinced the longest lasting legacy of Barack Obama is going to be a new generation of the Republican Party who stand and fight for liberty,” Cruz said.
Though Cruz garnered a number of raucous cheers from the crowd, it was clear most of those in attendance were there to see Ron Paul. Ryan McConnell hopped on a bus from Houston with his girlfriend early Sunday morning, making a 165 mile trek just to see the man speak in person. “Ron Paul’s really [who] got me into researching everything,” McConnell said. “We knew he was coming to Austin tonight, so we decided we’d come out here and check it out.”
When the congressman from Texas finally took the stage, a little before 3 p.m., his tone was upbeat, but practical. He hit the major points of his presidential campaign – cutting the budget by a trillion dollars, getting rid of the Federal Reserve, and ending the war on drugs. But Paul admitted that at this stage in the game, his campaign was more about ideology than about overtaking Mitt Romney and winning the GOP Presidential nomination.
“We don’t know exactly what will come out next week with our primary. We don’t know exactly what will come out in August. We think good things will come of it,” Paul said. “We don’t know what will happen in November, but we do what is happening in the country and how people are waking up and how many people now endorse the principles of liberty. You know, an idea who’s time has come cannot be stopped by armies or by the politicians.”
Tim Stanley says the shift in voter sentiment might end up being Paul’s lasting legacy. Stanley is a professor of American Politics at Oxford.
“He is the conservative base’s rebellion against the mistakes made by George W. Bush,” Stanley said by phone. “He’s a rebellion against the high defense spending, against the wars, against the big domestic spending, against Medicare. And you see that kind of rebellion happening throughout the Republican Party’s history.”
Ron Paul enjoyed a small victory over the weekend when his campaign took the majority of delegates in Nevada and Maine. But the candidate still trails Mitt Romney by almost 800 in the delegate count.
The Texas Republican primary is on May 29th.