WATERVILLE — With the Maine Republican caucuses beginning in a few weeks, the state is getting some attention from the presidential hopeful who vows to cut $1trillion in spending during his first year in office.

Ron Paul is slated to talk at 2 p.m. Friday at Colby College, in Ostrove Auditorium in the Diamond Building.

The Texas congressman’s speech is open to the public, said Ruth Jacobs, Colby’s associate director of communications. Ostrove Auditorium seats 182 people.

The caucuses must be held by March 20. The state’s Republican Party is urging local chapters to hold them between Feb. 4 and 11.

Paul is also appearing at 11 a.m. Saturday at the University of Southern Maine’s Hastings Hall.

Paul, 76, is known for advocating individual liberty, limited constitutional government, low taxes and free markets.

He previously campaigned for president twice; in 1988 he was the nominee of the Libertarian Party, and in 2008 Paul was a candidate for the Republican nomination.

Joseph Reisert, a faculty sponsor for Paul’s appearance at the college, on Mayflower Hill, said Paul’s views distinguish him from other Republican presidential candidates.

“He advocates for a foreign policy that involves much less overseas engagement,” Reisert said. “He’s a vocal defender of Libertarian policies and he’s a much sharper critic of the Federal Reserve than other Republicans.”

Visits by presidential candidates can inspire people to attend caucuses, according to Reisert, who is chairman of the government department at Colby.

“In a caucus state like Maine, you could imagine Ron Paul winning,” he said.

Rick Santorum won the Iowa caucus, Mitt Romney was victorious in the New Hampshire Republican primary and Newt Gingrich finished first in the South Carolina Republican primary. Reisert said if Paul were to capture the Maine caucus “it would really mean something.”

Colby College student Adam Thompson encouraged people to “come hear the man himself and learn about him.”

Thompson helped connect Paul’s campaign staffers with college administrators so the visit could be arranged.

Paul will participate in a question-and-answer session, said Thompson.

Born and reared in Pennsylvania, Paul graduated from Gettysburg College and Duke University School of Medicine then served as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force.

Paul, according to his campaign website, delivered more than 4,000 babies while specializing in obstetrics and gynecology.

He and his wife, Carol, have five children and 18 grandchildren.

An attempt to contact Paul’s campaign Wednesday was not successful.

The talk was initially slated for 3 p.m. but reportedly needed to be altered to accommodate Paul’s schedule.

Beth Staples — 861-9252

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