Paulís speech at Howard University was met with some protests, even as he tried to outline how the GOP has ben on the side of racial equality.
The auditorium, which campus police said seats around 250 people, was full for Paulís speech, and some listeners stood against the wall.
Though not everyone was as outspoken as Menifee, others in the audience expressed skepticism about Paulís olive branch.
Before the speech, Vanessa A. Knox, a political science and biology double major at Howard weighed in on Paulís visit. ďMy expectations really arenít that high, but I believe in hearing out the other side,Ē she said.
ďIt wasnít the best speech. It was pretty much what I expect from any politician in general,Ē television and production major Michael Lindsey said. Lindsey wasnít swayed by Paulís appeals, but he acknowledged that he is a Democrat.
Beyond civil rights issues, Paul had more success. During the question-and-answer session, the audience offered full applause when Paul said he would do everything he could to keep nonviolent drug offenders out of jail.
Paulís public acknowledgements that he is mulling a 2016 bid for the presidency also brought out other local activists.
Four activists from Young Americans for Liberty, a national student-focused libertarian group, wore stickers that read ďI Stand with RandĒ and carried an email sign-up sheet for the organizationís newsletter.
Five protesters from the local DC Vote organization held signs outside the building that portrayed a Gadsden flag with Paulís head spliced over that of the flagís iconic snake.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.