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In Idaho and North Dakota, Paul pushes limited government in face of a winless primary day
WASHINGTON (AP) ' Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul remained defiant Tuesday night in the face of no primary wins, rallying his fervent supporters to his pet causes of civil liberties and an overhaul of the country's monetary system.
Paul gave no definitive statement of how long he'd continue his struggling campaign. But he told supporters in Fargo, N.D., that his campaign has sent a clear warning message to voters that government grows endlessly, ignores personal privacy and spends too much money.
"If we set a standard of individual liberty, the rest of the world will notice," Paul said amid loud cheers. "It's much easier to promote our cause through peaceful deeds than through war."
Earlier Tuesday, Paul campaigned in Idaho, another caucus state, promising a smaller federal government, $1 trillion in federal spending cuts and an administration dedicated to liberty.
Paul said he chose to spend Super Tuesday in Idaho because it's one of the states where poll numbers show his campaign is strongest.
"We're going to do well and that will excite us going forward," Paul told reporters after addressing about 500 people during a noon event in this southwestern Idaho town. "I think it's a super-good opportunity for us to get votes and a chance to win the states."
About 1,200 people showed up to see Paul in northern Idaho's Sandpoint on Monday and roughly 2,000 attended an Idaho Falls event at which he appeared Monday evening.
The Texas congressman hoped for victory in at least one of the Super Tuesday caucus states: Idaho, Alaska and North Dakota. He apologized for being unable to take questions in Nampa and said he had to get on a plane for a campaign stop in Fargo.
The Nampa crowd applauded Paul when he panned the nation's "entitlement system," which he said bailed out big corporations better than it did average Americans.
"The difficulty and the real challenge is people don't want to cut any type of funding. This idea of the entitlement system ' anybody who wants something or needs something or demands something has a right to it ' that's not true," he said. "You don't have a right to other people's income. You have a right to keep your own."
Paul also drew cheers for his plan to balance the nation's budget. He said he could achieve the feat within three years by cutting the federal government and taking $1 trillion out of its budget.
Associated Press writer Rebecca Boone in Nampa, Idaho, contributed to this report.