NEW YORK -- After he predicted his campaign is “on the verge of an explosion of interest” in an appearance on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” Texas Congressman Ron Paul drew chants and cheers from the crowd of 1,862 supporters (according to the campaign) that packed Webster Hall’s Grand Ballroom Monday night.
In both events, the presidential hopeful highlighted the consistency of his message.
“So much has changed in the last four years.” Paul told the predominantly 20- to 40-year-old crowd at the venue that's also hosted events for Madonna and Mick Jagger. “The country has changed, but I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but my message hasn’t changed.”
And in his earlier "Daily Show" appearance, host Jon Stewart also joked with Paul that it may be his steadfast message that is holding him back. “It seems like what gets a lot of attention is saying one thing a few years ago and then changing your position. Have you thought about… flip-flopping?” Stewart asked Paul.
The 2012 cycle marks Rep. Paul’s third run for the White House, but central points of his platform have remained the same including economic and personal liberty. He placed fifth in the recent Florida Straw Poll, and has struggled to gain recognition as a viable option from party establishment and some in the media.
Still, Stewart noted, “Your 15% or 12% or 10% will yell harder than Romney’s 30%” -- and yell they did from the floor and the balcony at Webster Hall. Organizers moved the event to the larger Grand Ballroom less than 24 hours ahead of Paul’s remarks when ticket demand exceeded the capacity of the previously booked venue.
Lisa Favara, 32, who attended the event at Webster Hall, told NBC News the 76-year-old Congressman is her choice because “the other Republican candidates have co-opted his message. In 2008, he was saying the same things, and in 2012 they have come around to his message.”