Congressman and Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul received a standing ovation, along with some chants and whistles, after addressing a packed audience about the role of the Constitution in Washington's politics at Iowa State University on Friday.
"My campaign is this: I don't want to run your lives," Paul said. "I don't have the authority to do it and it's not in the Constitution. And I don't have moral right, so I don't intend to run your lives."
In his speech, Paul proposed changes to the current tax codes, foreign policy, health care and a return to government by the Constitution. He also said he wants to abolish the income tax and repeal the 14th Amendment, which gives citizenship to any child born in the United States -- including children of illegal immigrants.
Paul said the first thing he would accomplish as president would be to bring all the troops home from Iraq. He argued that the United State's current stance on foreign policy has cost the American people nearly a trillion dollars every year.
"We have to find a place that we can get an agreement on where to cut spending," Paul said. "It will give us a stronger national defense, it will make us safer and freer. If we do one thing, [it should be to] change our foreign policy."
Paul also promised not to run the American economy, as problems such as Katrina and the current state of the educational system prove a breakdown in the governmental systems used to control the economy.
"I have full confidence that freedom really works," Paul said. "The greatness of the Constitution was designed to protect liberty. It was designed to restrict the government, not to restrict the people."
He also said the government needs to change the way it deals with foreign powers, which we "have been bombing or subsidizing."
"Just negotiate, just have trade people, let people travel," Paul said. "Let's give up on nation building and policing the world."
Paul called for an end to all sanctions, including those imposed on Iran and Cuba, saying that "sanctions really are an act of war."
Paul said the sanctions on Iran are the same type of sanctions that led up to the war with Iraq.
Paul also spoke on the topic of health care, because "complications in health care [have] come from the government."
"All goods and services are best delivered in the marketplace. And that you don't have to have a government management of [health care]," Paul said.
Paul spoke about his time after medical school when he worked at a church hospital, where no one was turned away due to income.
"Great hospitals were built by the churches [and] the great universities were built by the churches," Paul said.
Paul also focused on government involvement in another type of health care: the illegality of medical marijuana use, which he compared to the prohibition of alcohol.
He said the law has caused more problems than it has solved, and the government doesn't have the right to decide what Americans do to their bodies.
Some students attending the lecture already knew of Paul's message about decreasing the role of government in everyday life.
"I like that he is for small government. I don't think the government should be involved with many of the things it currently is," said Brad Dwyer, junior in pre-computer science.
Other students attended the lecture in an attempt to learn more about the candidate.
"I just wanted to get a better stance on his views of the government. I was originally a conservative, but this election I'm broadening my views based on the war in Iraq," said Andrew Mixdorf, freshman in pre-architecture.
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© 2007 Iowa State Daily via U-WIRE