“I've always had support here,” he said. “We've have always had enthusiastic crowds.”
Supporters, both republican and democrat, nearly filled the center to hear him speak about why he should become the next president.
“I'm here to support Dr. Ron Paul,” said Alex Capriana, co-pastor of Pilgrim Slavic Baptist Church.
He offered an invocation before Paul addressed the crowd.
“We're here to talk about our future. We're here to support Ron Paul…You are sending people to lead this country…We have to do lots to keep this country as God's country…We want to be your people,” he prayed.
That prayer was about as religious as Paul's rally got, unlike Rick Santorum's rally on Thursday, which was held at an evangelical church. Paul touched on religion briefly when he said citizen's private lives, including their religious beliefs and practices, aren't the government's business.
“Be what religion you want to be or don't want to be, the government's not supposed to interfere. But when it comes to personal liberty all of a sudden these busybodies want to tell us exactly how to live our lives,” he said. “This is difficult for some, but you have to be tolerant of others.”
He said the government should only step in when a private citizen commits fraud, abuses someone, steals or harms another person. Paul also discussed his plans to repeal the 16thAmendment (income tax) and the Federal Reserve. He also spoke about his goal to bring all military troops home, noting America has no right to tell other countries how their citizens should live. Foreign policy, he said, needs to be changed. He plans to campaign in Idaho and Alaska before voters take to the polls on Super Tuesday. Spokane GOPprecinctcaucuseswill be held Saturday at 10 a.m.
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Tracy Simmons is an award winning journalist specializing in religion reporting, digital entrepreneurship and social journalism. In her 15 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti.
Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut. Currently she serves as the executive director of SpokaneFAVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Wash. She is also a Scholarly Assistant Professor at Washington State University.