NEW YORK--Texas Rep. Ron Paul was the second of four presidential candidates answering questions at the MTV-MySpace "Closing Arguments" event on Saturday evening, and there was probably a whole lot of people tuning in online to the live-streamed event.
Paul and his libertarian leanings have proven hugely popular on the Web; the long-shot Republican candidate actually won MySpace's mock Republican primary. Unfortunately for tech enthusiasts, technology policy wasn't brought up at all; subjects like Net neutrality and online copyright law didn't seem to be hot-button issues among the Gen-Y crowds in the audience.
One question from a Fordham University student asked Paul why he thought young voters were turning out in droves for the Democratic rather than Republican party, and Paul suggested that it's because the other Republican candidates just don't get what's important to the youth voting bloc. He raised as examples the Iraq war, which he does not support, and a shaky economy that has left many students wondering how they'll pay tuition or get a job after graduation.
A live poll conducted through MySpace revealed that 67 percent of respondents indeed thought that Paul had done an adequate job reaching out to young voters.
"Young people on campuses, they're cheering loudly," Paul said as he described the response on campuses to his controversial economic views and opposition to the war in Iraq. "Believe me, they respond very favorably."
But at the end of the "dialogue," Paul committed a bit of a faux-pas when he talked about why his monetary policy has caught on among many members of Generation Y. "Young people understand it because it's not complex," he said. Bad move, congressman.