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Thread: Presidential Candidates supporters flock to Greenville Rally....including Mark Hopp

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    Presidential Candidates supporters flock to Greenville Rally....including Mark Hopp

    Farmville resident Todd Bennett shouted his reasons for supporting Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul outside the Greenville Convention Center as the sun set Oct. 7. The Texas congressman was scheduled to speak in just under and hour and Bennett was thrilled. A white flag with the words “Ron Paul Revolution” – the letters ‘LOVE’ colored red and boxed — was propped against his shoulder.

    “It’s a revolution,” he said. “It’s a peaceful revolution.”

    Bennett was one of 500 people to attend Paul’s speech in Greenville that Friday, with guests traveling from as far as the Piedmont and the Outer Banks.

    First exposed to Paul’s message during the 2008 debates, Bennett identifies most with the candidate’s opposition to what he terms “world policing.” The term refers to the idea that the U.S. sends troops overseas to fight conflicts isolated within nations.

    “When I heard Ron Paul answer a question about 9/11 and why those people hate us so bad,” he said, “that was it. We’re forcing ourselves on others. You don’t have to occupy an entire nation to get a cell of four or five” terrorists.
    Paul speaks to supporters

    Paul was featured at a barbecue dinner intended as a fundraiser for U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, whose 3rd District includes the city. But on Friday, Jones spoke for five minutes before yielding the floor to his friend and ally – a decision the audience embraced with a standing ovation.

    “I’m going to make a couple of remarks and then introduce, I hope, the next president of the United States,” Jones declared. “America is hurting so badly. No one seems to be very optimistic about the future. And that’s why we need someone different in the White House.”

    Paul took to the podium and spoke with a quiet vigor. He seemed excited about the speech he delivered, but was reserved in gesture and volume.

    Lines about soldiers supporting his campaign because “they know what’s going on” and abolishing the Federal Reserve got big applause. So did complaints about the invasion of privacy at airports and getting rid of the income tax.
    Steadfast followers

    The reasons people support Paul are numerous, and usually shared with fervor. Several individuals attending the Greenville event said he upholds the U.S. Constitution, believes in personal rights and responsibilities and offers a consistent message. In terms of policy, Paul speaks in favor of lower taxes and less government. He pledges to decentralize power and leave decisions to the states.

    James Rife, a Paul supporter, worries about the future of his children, and their ongoing education. The retired U.S. Navy officer has nine and another “on the way.” A half-dozen accompanied him from Emerald Isle to the attend the fundraiser Friday — all in matching, navy Ron Paul 2012 t-shirts.

    He and his wife home school, and they don’t see why that decision, or the decision to incorporate Bible studies in the curriculum, hurts anyone else. And his views on war have changed since he enlisted 20 years ago.

    “I want my son to pick up arms if someone comes to our soil, but not otherwise,” Rife said.

    The event was short, lasting less than an hour and a half before the politicians moved to a private event. But his supporters were energized. Many think this year, Paul’s got a real shot.

    Kill Devil Hills resident Trevor Benson will support Ron Paul in the Republican presidential primary in May. He attended a rally Paul spoke at in Greenville on Friday, Oct. 7, 2011. (Kathryn Kennedy)

    “I think that Ron Paul stands alone,” Rife said. “He’s the only true Republican. His party doesn’t like him because he exposes what’s really going on. They have no answer.”

    “The rest of them all sound the same,” Bennett said of the other candidates.

    And given a choice between Obama and Paul, Bennett feels sure Paul “would bury him.”

    Trevor Benson is helping organize door-to-door campaigns at his home in Kill Devil Hills. The 19-year-old was another flag carrier at Friday’s event. His yellow banner bore a snake and the familiar “Don’t Tread On Me” message.

    “The political climate’s in his favor,” Benson said, but added he’ll have to overcome neglect by the media.

    He also thinks the success of the Tea Party has been good for Paul, and made his methods appear more mainstream.

    “I think he’ll surprise people,” Benson said.

    “Like he did in Ames,” he added, referencing Paul’s second-place finish in the Iowa straw poll.

    “The difference is, he’s telling the truth,” said Burlington resident Mark Hopp. “A lot of the candidates, they’re bashing each other. This guy’s talking about the issues.”

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    *RIP Todd Bennett*
    * Enforce Border Security – America should be guarding her own borders and enforcing her own laws instead of policing the world and implementing UN mandates.

    * No Amnesty - The Obama Administration’s endorsement of so-called “Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, will only encourage more law-breaking.

    * Abolish the Welfare State – Taxpayers cannot continue to pay the high costs to sustain this powerful incentive for illegal immigration. As Milton Friedman famously said, you can’t have open borders and a welfare state.

    * End Birthright Citizenship – As long as illegal immigrants know their children born here will be granted U.S. citizenship, we’ll never be able to control our immigration problem.

    Reprinted from [Nov. 29, 2011]

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