On Monday evening, presidential hopeful Ron Paul spoke to a large crowd of Southeast Idaho residents in the Idaho Falls Civic Auditorium. Before Paul arrived, the enthusiastic crowd filled the auditorium with chants of "Ron Paul, the solution! Bring us back the Constitution!" and "End the Fed!" Former military man George Marriott led the pledge and Paige VanderSloot began the meeting with a prayer. When Paul and his wife Carol arrived, the crowd cheered emphatically. Paul said it was one of the best welcomes he ever experienced.
Paul spoke about the benefits of less interference from the federal government. "What we need is less government and more liberty and we will solve our problems," Paul said. He said he believes cutting spending overseas, privatizing schooling, decentralizing the banking system and getting out the the United Nations will solve some of America's problems.
Paul emphasized the need for people to work together to solve the nation's problems, especially the debt crisis. "We have to come together with how we cut," said Paul.
Blackfoot resident Krista Paterson said she thought Paul's speech was "interesting," but she has mixed opinions about his views. "He has way different ideas," said Paterson. She believes Paul is popular in Southeast Idaho because he focuses on the middle class. "In the status quo, the middle class is mainly affected," said Paterson. "Paul is trying to help."