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OREM — Though he is no longer in the race, thousands turned out for Ron Paul's appearance at Utah Valley University Thursday.
The Texas congressman and former Republican presidential candidate's "revolution" continues for droves who turned out to hear him give his 45 minute speech at the school. The speech, which he delivered without notes, ranged in issues from free markers, the deficit, welfare, poverty and limited government.
"Once you endorse the principle of welfarism, guess what? The poor get poorer, and the rich get richer," he said. "It's a totally failed system. And we can't be intimidated by those that argue, 'If you don't support the welfare system, you're not a humanitarian.'"
Some of the loudest applause from the audience came from the portion of Paul's remarks focused on foreign policy, particularly comments that he was opposed to pre-emptive war and that U.S. forces should be immediately removed from Afghanistan.
Audience members also cheered during Paul's more traditionally liberal arguments. He talked at length about individual liberty as it pertains to intellectual and religious freedom, adding that the same concepts should be applied to what people eat and drink or how they choose to live their lives.
The event, which was organized by the Young Presidents Organization, was held Thursday afternoon at the UCCU Center.
According to a non-binding poll on Paul's website, when asked who he should endorse for president, 43 percent said he should back third-party candidate Gary Johnson, 25 percent answered "nobody," 19 percent picked Mitt Romney, and 8 percent chose President Barack Obama.
"There truly is a revolution happening in the country, and people's attitudes are changing," Paul said. "There is reason to be optimistic about what is happening today."
Some who attended, however, said they were supporting him for president.
"I would write in Ron Paul because, like I said, I have to stick with principles, and he is the only one that I believe defends our constitution and preserves our liberty," said Jennifer Orten.
The visit was Paul's first to Utah since 2007, when he visited the state as part of his campaign for the 2008 presidential election.
Paul is a three-time presidential candidate — running as a Libertarian in 1988 and a Republican in 2008 and 2012 — and longtime member of the Texas federal delegation. He is also the author of several books, including "Liberty Defined," "End the Fed" and "A Foreign Policy of Freedom."