That Time Rand Paul Forced Liberty U. Students to Listen to His Convocation Speech

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul had some snippy comments about Sen. Ted Cruz choosing a Liberty University Convocation to announce that he’s running for president.


Asked by Fox News’ Megyn Kelly if he had organized the handful of students in the audience who were wearing bright red t-shirts with his name emblazoned across the front, Paul said, “I’m not sure who did orchestrate it, but I kind of remember those days because I went to Baylor University and we were all required to go to convocation.”

In case anyone missed it the first time, Paul repeated, “So all these kids are required and some of those who are required wanted to make sure that just by having to be there they weren’t expressing their support.” (In case you lost count, Paul repeated the word required three times in two sentences.)

Unlike Donald Trump, who had nothing but gracious comments about Cruz’s announcement when he appeared on a later segment of Megyn Kelly’s show, Rand Paul was the turd in the punchbowl on Cruz’s big day, grousing about the required attendance at the event (he didn’t mention that the applause and multiple standing ovations were not mandatory) and complaining that Cruz was reaching out to young people at a Christian university.

“I’ve spent the last couple years trying to go places Republicans haven’t gone,” Paul bragged, contrasting himself to Cruz. “And maybe not just throwing out red meat but throwing out something intellectually enticing to people who haven’t been listening to our message before.”

You know, like that time in late 2013 when Rand Paul spoke at a required Convocation at one of those places Republicans haven’t gone Liberty University and threw out red meat “intellectually enticing” lines warning students about drones hovering outside their bedroom windows. Paul spent most of his speech painting a depressing picture of a bleak dystopian future awaiting the fresh-faced young people at Liberty.


The Kentucky senator seemed to have trouble connecting with the young people at Liberty that day. When students didn’t laugh at his joke about only having three TV channels growing up, a frustrated-looking Paul threw up his hands and said, “You don’t even know what I’m talking about!”

And you could hear a pin drop in the auditorium of the Baptist university when he said, “Laws don’t really restrain people.” He went on to explain that virtue was more important than laws and said the country needs a “revival” — one of the few lines that drew enthusiastic applause from the audience.

Though there were one or two smatterings of polite applause during the speech, it was no where near the enthusiastic response Ted Cruz received on Monday. Is that lack of enthusiasm the reason Rand Paul has his knickers all in a twist about this?


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