On Saturday, March 10, Republican 2012 presidential candidate Ron Paul will visit Lindenwood. The long-time Texas Congressman will speak at the Hyland Performance Arena at 3 p.m.
“Part of the University’s goal is to acquaint students with presidential candidates, and Ron Paul was the first to accept the invitation,” said Paul Huffman, LU’s library archivist. “We want to acquaint students with politics and the election process.”
Students and visitors will become familiar with Congressman Paul’s political views, as well as his presidential ambitions. Paul has consistently been an advocate of small government and individual rights.
“He wants to reduce the size of the government,” said Kenny Newhouse, the leader of the Lindenwood Youth for Ron Paul group. “He also wants to reduce the size of the country’s debt.”
St. Charles has traditionally been a hot spot for Ron Paul’s campaign in Missouri, making Lindenwood a prime location for an appearance.
“St. Charles County is key in getting votes in Missouri, and he has always done well in St. Charles,” Huffman said. “In 2008, he had enough delegates to win St. Charles County, but the Republican party threw it out.”
The formation of a Youth for Ron Paul chapter at LU also could have encouraged the Congressman to choose to speak at the university.
“He usually doesn’t come to a campus unless they have one,” Newhouse said. “I didn’t influence his decision, but my group helped him come here.”
Congressman Paul’s views have grown in support with young people. “He typically visits a lot of universities,” Huffman said. “He has been very popular with college students, due to his views on limited government and possibly his stance on drug legalization.”
LU is expecting a high turnout for the Congressman’s speech. “We are expecting 2,000-3,000 people in the Hyland Arena,” Huffman said.
Even though Lindenwood has invited Paul to speak, Huffman wants to make it clear Ron Paul’s visit is not an indication that the University agrees with his views.
“We are not endorsing any candidate. We just want to acquaint students to politics,” Huffman said. “We will also be inviting President Obama here.”
Before the main event, there will also be an overview by Paul’s aids on how the caucus system works at 1 p.m. Then, a press conference will occur after the event wrap-up.