U.S. Presidential candidate Ron Paul drew a massive crowd to his campaign rally at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) on Friday, and Digital Journal was there to capture every minute.
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.
"The seeds have been planted," Paul said. "There is no way they can silence the freedom movement today."
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."
Thousands look on as Ron Paul delivers a campaign speech at the University of California, San Diego.
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."
So many people attended the Ron Paul rally at UCSD that the crowd looked like a sea of faces.
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?"
"We have to cancel this notion out that the federal government -- any government -- can protect us from ourselves," Paul declared.
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.