Presidential candidate Ron Paul returned to the campaign trail today, explaining that he spent Wednesday voting against a debt-ceiling increase that "nobody seems to care about."
"If they did, they would take my advice and cut the budget by $1 trillion in one year," Paul said, adding, "That's what we need."
The Texas congressman returned to Washington, D.C., Wednesday to vote down President Obama's request to increase the debt ceiling by $1.2 trillion.
It's a vote Paul calls a "gimmick." The congressman said that even if his fellow legislators voted down the increase, the president can still veto the rejection. "It's a foregone conclusion," Paul said to the more than 800 mostly college students who packed a small courtyard and yelped and cheered as the congressman delivered his anti-government, anti-Washington view for America.
"I always say that when I'm in Washington, I never get applause," Paul said, smiling, "So I'm always glad to get out of Washington. "
Paul later said that it's young people's support that gives him encouragement to continue delivering his message.
Paul also took time today to credit his supporters with slowing an anti-online piracy bill winding through Congress. He said that after pressure, many congressional members who supported the bill started removing their names. "So when the people decide they are going to speak out, Washington will really listen," Paul said.
"Sometimes you need a two-by-four to get them to listen."
Paul will participate tonight in the Southern Republican Presidential Debate sponsored by the Southern Republican Leadership Conference and CNN at the North Charleston Coliseum in South Carolina.
Paul predicted that tonight's debate will be "feisty."
When asked what he thought of Gov. Rick Perry's dropping out of the race, Paul paused, smiled and said, "I'm glad I'll have all his votes."