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Ron Paul Draws CA Crowds On Drug, Student Loan Message

Ron Paul Draws CA Crowds On Drug, Student Loan Message
4/6/2012 12:20 PM ET

Although almost universally panned by media and the RNC establishment, last-place Republican Presidential hopeful Ron Paul drew massive crowds at three California universities this week.

At his last stop in Berkeley, CA, on Thursday, the 77-year-old three-time presidential candidate reportedly drew between 1,200 and 2,000 students.

"People from the right talk about states' rights. Just think about it. If you had states' rights in California you wouldn't have the feds coming in and invading and telling you what you do with your own body," Paul told the crowd at the University of California, Berkeley.

The crowd was noticeably chilly when Paul spoke about his famous libertarian ideology of near-anarchy levels of small government and international isolationism.

But the crowd at the liberal college - famous for its anti-conflict, anti-war-on-drugs ideology - erupted in applause when Paul spoke about his narcotics policy.

"The war on drugs is a total failure...I want a free society where you could actually have the freedom to drink raw milk if you want to."

The long-term Texas congressman stopped at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Cal State-Chico earlier in the week, drawing a total of 8,500 people at the three colleges, according to his website.

At Chico, Paul gathered support for his free-market policies and their ties with student loan debt.

Last month, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released a report stating, "The outstanding student loan balance [in the U.S.] now stands at about $870 billion, surpassing the total credit card balance ($693 billion) and the total auto loan balance ($730 billion)."

These staggeringly high numbers have led some media outlets to call student loan debt "the next financial crisis" waiting to happen.

At Chico on Wednesday, Paul said these numbers are due to the lack of a truly free-market economy in the U.S.

"The burden [of student loan debt] is falling on the young people."

"If we had a free market economy they would at least have jobs when they leave college," he added, noting he had to work his way through college to afford the $320 per semester fees he paid at Gettysburg College.

"You borrow the money from the government, you're deeply in debt and you don't have a job — so it doesn't work," he added.

Paul trails far behind the other three GOP presidential candidates in the delegate count. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney leads at 658 with former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum in second place at 281. Paul is in a distant fourth at 51, trailing former House speaker Newt Gingrich's 135.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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