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The 4th major political event in the GOP candidate selection process is the Florida Primary. All coverage has been collected in this special section. KUNC.org will have coverage of the primary on January 31st.

Two GOP Presidential Hopefuls Leave Florida to Campaign in Colorado

Kirk Siegler
Ron Paul speaks to supporters at the Renaissance Hotel in Denver.

GOP presidential candidates Ron Paul and Rick Santorum campaigned along Colorado’s Front Range today. Both hopefuls are shrugging off expected losses in the Florida primary today.

Paul started out his day in Northern Colorado on the Fort Collins campus of Colorado State University. Speaking to a crowd of more than 1,000, Paul talked about ending the war on drugs, the need for a balanced budget and ending wars overseas. But it was his message of defending personal liberties that drew the greatest response.

“The government’s role should be very minor and that is to protect liberty and not undermine what is naturally ours,” he said to huge applause.

CSU had a diverse crowd in age and experience, from soccer moms to students to veterans. 43-year-old Michelle Des Pres came with her teenage son. She described herself as an independent who hasn’t participated much in the political process.

“I think he’s really hitting the mark with everything he’s saying and I’m not hearing that from any other candidate,” she said.

Des Pres said she left the event fired up, and plans to vote for Paul in the caucuses.

Meantime, Rick Santorum spoke to voters outside of Denver. He said that front-runners Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich would be poor nominees, and that conservatives need to pick one of their own.

Both face an uphill battle leading up to the Feb. 7 caucuses. Mitt Romney won the political event four years ago.

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