Presidential candidate addresses supporters at Colorado Convention Center
Supporters packed into the Colorado Convention Center Friday evening to attend a rally for Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul.
Paul has been attempting to rally support for his campaign in the days leading up to Feb. 5, the decisive day in determining who the Republican nominee will be.
At the rally, Paul emphasized the need to reduce the federal government’s influence on American’s lives, echoing his 1988 presidential bid as the Libertarian Party’s nominee.
“We’ve created an entire generation dependent on government programs,” Paul said.
Dubbed Super Tuesday, voters in 22 states as well as American Samoa and the Democrats Abroad will turn out to determine who they want to represent their party in the presidential race.
Paul said that if elected, he promises his supporters that he will eliminate the income tax, the IRS, the national bank and other “needless functions of our government.”
Paul went on to say that the government is devaluing the dollar and that America’s current money system is corrupted and unconstitutional.
He also said the government is using the war on terror as a tool to limit American citizens’ freedoms, using the threat of terrorist attacks as scare tactics.
“We never have to sacrifice one bit of our liberty to be safe and secure,” Paul said.
Student supporters said they liked Paul’s point of view.
“It’s about personal liberty, taking control, and running your own life,” said CU-Denver student Nicholas McClellan, 28. “The idea is spreading; the movement is spreading. It’s about what’s happening now and in our future.”
In order to implement his ideas, however, Paul must first win enough delegates to become the Republican nominee.
Both parties’ nominees are decided by the number of delegates that they are awarded. For the Democrats, delegates are split up between candidates based on how much support they’ve drawn within each respective state.
The Republican contest, however, is a winner-take-all affair in some states, where the candidate who has the most supporters wins all of the delegates the state has to offer.
With only six of the 1,191 delegates needed to win his party’s nomination, Paul sits at a distant fourth place behind front runners John McCain and Mitt Romney, who have 95 and 67 delegates, respectively.
Candidate Mike Huckabee, who is in third, currently has 26 delegates.
Paul has disagreed with his fellow Republicans on many issues, claiming that the Iraq war was “unconstitutional” and opposing federal legislation banning same sex marriages.
“I think he’s too honest,” said Mike Bridwell, 23, a foreman electrician who attended the rally. “No one is going to go for it unfortunately.”
Even though Bridwell did not believe that Paul would receive the nomination, he said that the work he was doing was still important.
“He’s opening eyes and he’s getting people interested,” Bridwell said. “I thought it was refreshing.”
Paul acknowledged his current situation, telling his supporters that he did not claim to know what the future would hold, for his election or otherwise.
“If we are not successful, short term or long term, then we face a bleak future,” Paul said.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Stephen Oskay at Stephen.Oskay@colorado.edu.