The Tri-City Herald Reports: About 1,500 people turned out at the Red Lion Hanford House in Richland today to see Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul.

Doors were supposed to open at 11 a.m. for the rally, but the room already was nearly full by 10:30 a.m. Supporters of the Texas congressman filled every chair in the hotel's main ballroom, which has a capacity of about 650 people, lined aisles and walls, and spilled out into the hotel lobby and hallways.

At one point, a fire marshal instructed the campaign to thin out the crowd in the ballroom so people can get through the aisles in case of an emergency.

Supporters waved Ron Paul signs and chanted slogans like "Ron Paul stand tall" and "End the Fed" while waiting for Paul to arrive, and a cheer rippled through the room as campaign staffers announced he had landed at the Pasco airport.

Paul spoke for about 45 minutes on a central theme of returning to the rights and principles in the U.S. Constitution, which he said he believes is the best way to ensure freedom, peace and prosperity for Americans.

He stopped to give a shortened version of his speech to the people outside before leaving for events in Idaho and Spokane later today.