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Ron Paul speaks at NDSU

Ron Paul didn't have to work too hard Monday to create last-minute enthusiasm among North Dakota and Minnesota voters. Nearly 1,200 supporters chanting and waving campaign signs packed a room in the North Dakota State University student union to ...

A crowd packs the Memorial Union ballroom Monday at North Dakota State University

Ron Paul didn't have to work too hard Monday to create last-minute enthusiasm among North Dakota and Minnesota voters.

Nearly 1,200 supporters chanting and waving campaign signs packed a room in the North Dakota State University student union to show their support for the Republican presidential candidate.

The day before Super Tuesday, the Texas congressman brought his campaign to Fargo and Bismarck.

He received a standing ovation and roars of approval from the Fargo crowd, which was filled with students and parents who brought their children. Several hundred attended his Bismarck rally to show their support.

During his speech, Paul emphasized the need to bring troops home, to address the nation's financial crisis and to return to the principles of the Constitution.

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The country faces a greater threat of terrorism by keeping troops in foreign countries rather than at home, Paul said. The financial impact of keeping troops overseas also could be put to better use at home, he said.

As the country's infrastructure crumbles, the government is using tax dollars to repair infrastructure in other countries, Paul said.

The government is also growing "more tyrannical" and stealing personal liberties from citizens that it should be protecting, Paul said.

Paul spoke about why he thinks so many young people support him.

"I say they're interested in freedom and the Constitution and, of course, almost all the young people I meet would love to see our troops come home," he said.

North Dakota campaign coordinator Charlene Nelson said she's had people tell her that they like Ron Paul, but don't think he's electable.

"A lot of people said the New York Giants weren't going to win the Super Bowl," she said, prompting cheers.

Paul supporter Donna Baer of Glyndon, Minn., attended the Fargo campaign rally with her four youngest children.

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"I really like some of the things (Paul) has to say," she said, pointing to his pro-life stance and his support of home schooling.

University of North Dakota student Brady Randall, 20, likes Paul's views on small government and upholding the Constitution.

"We need real change, not more old-school politics," Randall said. "(Paul) is truly our only hope for this country, I believe."

At the Bismarck rally, Mandan, N.D., construction worker Dan Tokach predicted Paul "is going to win the caucus in North Dakota."

North Dakota Capitol Bureau reporter

Janell Cole contributed to this report.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Teri Finneman at (701) 241-5560

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A crowd packs the Memorial Union ballroom Monday at North Dakota State University

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