Ron Paul gave an arena full of about 3,000 supporters exactly what they came to hear.
The crowd chanted, “Ron Paul! Ron Paul” and “End the Fed” before and during Paul’s address at Lindenwood University’s Robert Hyland Arena in St. Charles.
Paul’s said the U.S. government has ignored the Constitution to the country’s peril.
“It’s liberty that we need and it can be restored, but only if we send individuals to Washington who know the Constitution and obey the Constitution,” Paul told the cheering crowd.
He said the national debt went up a record $200 billion in February, “and that was a short month."
He added, "You can’t solve the problem of national debt by spending more money.”
Paul pledged that if he’s elected president, he would cut the federal budget by $1 trillion.
He said the national debt weakens the dollar and has disastrous effects on the economy, with a true unemployment rate of 20 percent, a rising cost of living and a shrinking middle class.
“The Federal Reserve system is totally unconstitutional,” he said, and added there is no authorization for the body in the Constitution. After the Fed was established, it did away with the gold standard. As president, he would abolish the Federal Reserve.
“The Founding Fathers said only gold and silver can be legal tender,” Paul said. “That would limit the growth of government.”
One woman asked who Paul feels should pay for birth control pills.
“That’s the big issue of the moment, isn’t it? The world is about to blow up, the economy is about to blow up, and the biggest discussion we have is on birth control,” he said.
“The people whom use birth control pills should pay for birth control pills,” Paul said. “If you mandate to an insurance company what they have to cover, it’s not insurance anymore. It’s an autocracy.”
Paul also responded to a question about Syria and Iran by saying he doesn’t believe in interfering in other countries.
“There is absolutely no rationalization for going to war against Iran at this time,” he said.
He said ending all foreign aid would not hurt Israel.
“Israel is worse off for our intervention,” he said. "We give seven times the foreign aid to Israel’s enemies than we do to Israel.”
An interfering foreign policy makes the United States less safe, not safer.
“People tend to get a little annoyed when we go in and bomb them,” he said.
“He gets it”
Those in the crowd were sold on Ron Paul.
“I’ve been a voter since Richard Nixon, and I’ve never had a candidate that has such a firm grasp on the Constitution,” said Phil R. Bales, from South St. Louis County. “This is the first time in my life I chose to give money to a candidate.”
Bales said he believes a groundswell of Democrats voting for Paul could lift him into office.
Chris Cassani, a Fontbonne University student from Manchester, said he likes that Paul’s voting record is consistent with his message.
“I like that the budget he submitted would cut $1 trillion in year one,” Cassani said. “That’s the direction I want to see America move in.”