UCSD Youth for Paul
sponsored at the event, which was Paul's last scheduled campaign stop in California before the state's primary election on June 5. San Diego 6 News
estimated there were around 5,000 people in attendance.
Known for decades as an ardent defender of freedom of speech, Paul focused on the issue early in Friday's speech. "I want to make sure the First Amendment is protected on the Internet as well!" he declared, signaling his opposition to the invasive SOPA and CISPA bills. The audience responded with thunderous applause.
As he has done at previous campaign events, Paul pointed out the economic benefits that the U.S. would retain if Congress had followed the Constitution when it comes to waging war:
"Just think, how many wars would have been fought since World War II? None! Just think of how much money we would've saved... how much richer we would be... how much less debt we would have. Think how much less pervasive this whole notion of deficit spending would be. This country would be so much wealthier. So obey the Constitution and we would have a lot less wars."
Paul also spoke out on issues that made headlines last week, including the scandal surrounding Daniel Chong, a UCSD student who was locked up for five days
without food or water by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). "It's done in the name of being a compassionate conservative, and that's not compassionate at all," Paul stated. "If any agent of the government abuses the rights of the individual, they are personally liable and should be sued."
In addition, Paul addressed the wrangling between the U.S and China over Chen Guangcheng, the blind Chinese dissident who sought refuge in the U.S Embassy in Beijing, as reported by the Los Angeles Times
. Paul took issue with U.S. politicians who see this as an opportunity to demagogue about China's human rights abuses. "How much authority do we have and how much benefit do you think we have in lecturing and changing China?" he asked. "At the same time, what's happening to the civil liberties of individuals here in this country?"
While most of the media has crowned Presidential candidate Mitt Romney as the presumptive GOP nominee, the Paul campaign continues to accelerate, gaining a plurality of delegates in Iowa, Minnesota and several other states over the last month, according to Politico
and the Huffington Post
. If the enthusiam displayed by Paul supporters on Friday continues to grow, the Romney campaign could be in for a surprise in August.