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Campaign stop: College Station

GOP hopeful brings liberty message to Rudder

The Battalion

Published: Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 20:07

Down-but-not-out GOP candidate Rep. Ron Paul will make a campaign stop at Texas A&M on Tuesday, looking to generate support with students as Mitt Romney threatens to put the Republican primary out of reach.

Paul, who will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Rudder Theatre, was invited to A&M after Youth for Ron Paul at Texas A&M began a petition to have the seasoned representative from Texas’ 14th district speak to Aggies.

Derek Seidel, graduate genetics student and member of Youth for Ron Paul, said he is excited for Paul to come to A&M and what the occasion means for the student body.

“It provides an opportunity for those concerned about the future of our country to gain a perspective that isn’t conveyed by our nation’s mainstream media and the other presidential candidates, including Obama,” Seidel said. “The ideas that Ron Paul has for fixing our country are unmatched by the other candidates who mostly rely on unsubstantiated promises with no real answers to the problems we face.”

Seidel said he isn’t discouraged that Paul hasn’t kept pace with GOP contenders Romney and Rick Santorum in recent months, saying students need to pay attention to the policies and ideas Paul brings “now more than ever.”

“It makes no sense for the youth to be apathetic about our politics only to inherit the consequences later in life,” Seidel said.

Tuesday’s event adds to Paul’s list of university visits, where he has drawn large crowds of college students. The “Ron Paul Revolution” has relied on energy and enthusiasm from the college demographic to spread its message, something Seidel attributes to the generations’ political awareness and use of the Internet.

“We are the future of America, including those who will run for public office one day,” Seidel said. “If you’re asking why the youth is so involved, it has to be that we use the Internet more than older generations. You won’t get Dr. Paul’s message through mainstream TV news networks. The Internet has given us a chance to inform ourselves.”

Some students said they are attending the event to hear Paul’s message. Senior chemical engineering major Samuel Congiundi said the event is a chance for those who are undecided to hear Paul’s message.

“I’m going to show my support for Ron Paul. I’m trying to bring friends who are undecided or who do not know much about him, as well,” Congiundi said. “Be prepared for a huge turn out. Freedom is a universal message that appeals to everyone.”

Seidel said he believes Paul can still win the GOP nomination, but added that even if he doesn’t, the campaign will still have impacted U.S. politics.

“His ideas are spreading and people are waking up to what’s really going on in this country. Regardless of the outcome in November, the ideas that he has shared cannot be stopped,” Seidel said. “His message resonates with people of all ethnic, social, economic backgrounds. He is a man who can truly bring people together regardless of their differences.”

Billy Yoder, sophomore political science major and member of Youth for Ron Paul, was active in the push to bring Ron Paul to A&M.

“The officers and members of Youth for Ron Paul at Texas A&M University worked very hard through their schedules to gather the petition signatures needed to host Congressman Paul,” Yoder said. “We gained 1,200 signatures in just four short days. That really solidified the support that Ron Paul has on this campus.”

And while not every person attending is a Ron Paul supporter, they are still taking advantage of having a presidential hopeful visit the University.

Ryan Davenport, senior interdisciplinary studies major, said A&M has played a large role in the country’s political history and continues the tradition today.

“The fact that a presidential candidate is making a stop for a rally at Texas A&M demonstrates just how relevant our community and our students are,” Davenport said.

Before he became a politician, Paul was a medical physician, an OBGYN. Davenport has an uncommon connection to the presidential hopeful — having been delivered by Paul.

“We have one of the most conservative student bodies in the nation,” Davenport said. “That, coupled with our mission to ‘developing leaders of character dedicated to serving the greater good’ makes Texas A&M a prime stop for Ron Paul to excite his base, recruit volunteers and spread his message.”

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