The night before what could be a breakthrough state caucus, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul told Minnesota supporters they were on the verge of changing the nation.
“They call us dangerous,” Paul told 1,800 sometimes raucous and cheering supporters at the Minneapolis Convention Center. “We are dangerous to the status quo and to the people who have been ripping us off.”
Paul, a congressman from Texas who has trailed in the polls, said we need to “change this country and go back to our roots.”
Hours after a similar rally in St. Could that drew roughly 1,000 supporters, he bashed the federal reserve and government bailouts for companies that he said were reckless, knowing they could dip into taxpayer dollars when in need.
“They want bailouts when times are tough and reap all the profits when times are good,” he during his 30-minute speech. “That’s going to change.”
Paul, who has perhaps the most devoted and passionate supporters of any of the presidential candidates, said it was time for a new direction. He said the country has been on a heedless path of increased government spending and borrowing, which has shrunk the middle class. He laid part of the blame on soaring military spending fueled by “endless wars” with no clear mission or plan.
“We need to clean house and … a renewal of the spirit that made this country great,” he said.
Despite trailing GOP field, many Republican operatives say Paul’s passionate supporters could be enough to make Minnesota his first caucus or primary win, potentially reshuffling the race for the Republican nomination.
Republican state Rep. Jim Abeler announced at the rally that he was endorsing Paul.
“What a man, what an inspiration. He inspires me,” Abeler said to cheers and chanting of, "Ron Paul! Ron Paul!"
Jennifer Maki drove from Duluth to attend the rally.
“He’s the only one who will speak the truth about the economy and actually make the changes other politicians are afraid to make,” said Maki, 24.
As Paul left the building, someone in the audience showered the candidate with glitter. A group of gay and lesbian rights activists have initiated these so-called “glitter bombings” on several Republican candidates when they visit the state.
No one claimed responsibility for the glitter shower by 9 p.m.