U.S. Rep. Ron Paul launched the Minnesota portion of his presidential campaign with a spirited rally at the St. Cloud Civic Center Saturday.
Paul’s speech in St. Cloud touched on issues like domestic economic policy, the drug war and foreign interventions.
“The country and the world is in a mess today, and I’m quite convinced that we know exactly how we get here and exactly what to do,” Paul told the crowd, “and one thing’s for sure is we don’t need more government.”
Paul blamed the Federal Reserve for helping to bring about the speculative bubbles that sunk the nation’s economy.
“It’s the Federal Reserve that by interfering in the monetary system, monkeying around with interest rates, they create the bubbles,” Paul said. “For a while they can create one bubble and patch it up again, but eventually the big bubble bursts.”
He also condemned government bailouts of big banks and companies.
“They said if we don’t bail out the system there would be a depression,” Paul said. “Guess where the depression would have been? It would have been on those who were receiving our money. Instead the depression was dealt to the people, the middle class, they lost their jobs and they lost their houses and we the taxpayer absorbed the debt.”
Paul also voiced support for abolishing the Department of Education and the federal income tax, condemned the drug war as a tragedy and worried about creation of a worldwide monetary currency.
He told supporters that the country is increasingly in agreement with their libertarian economic views.
“We’re witnessing the end of an economic era,” Paul said. “This is a tremendous opportunity for those of us who believe in liberty to get this message out.”
Paul’s foreign policy stances have drawn jeers from some Republican crowds at debates, but he continues to advocate for neutrality and condemn the United States’ assassination of American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, saying that ”what we must worry about is the rule of law because the rule of law protects us.”
Organizers put the turnout for the Republican candidate at about 2,500. Paul has trailed in most polls, but has captured a number of high-profile straw poll victories.
“You can not stop an idea whose time has come and the idea of liberty’s time has returned,” Paul said of his supporters. “We don’t have to understand each little issue, all we have to do is legalize freedom.”
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