By Michael Farnworth

    IDAHO FALLS — Shortly after the Secret Service and the Idaho Falls Bomb Squad finished their security sweep Thursday, the atmosphere in the Skyline High School Gymnasium became explosive.

    “The future is bright, we will be prosperous, we will be free, we will remain the greatest nation on the face of the earth,” presidential hopeful and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said as he took the stage.

    More than 2,700 voters showed up to the Mitt Romney Rally, forcing the Romney Idaho team to open the second gymnasium to the more than 1,000 that were still standing outside when the first gymnasium became full.

    “I am extraordinarily moved and humbled by your support,” Romney told the more than 1,500 screaming fans. “You seem to be more than slightly inclined to support my candidacy,” Romney added while inside Gym 1, “I don’t need a lot, I just need you guys to go out and vote.”

    Romney was introduced at Thursday’s rally by Idaho State Board of Education Superintendent Tom Luna, who called Romney the only candidate who can beat President Barrack Obama.

    “If Massachusetts was its own country,” Luna said, “It would be number 17 in the world where it comes to how their students perform in school.”

    Luna added that the students of Massachusetts were performing number one in the nation when Romney left the state governorship and still they perform at that standard today according to Luna.

    Romney did not touch on education during his rally speech but focused more on unemployment.

    “Our current president asked us to allow him to borrow $700 billion and promised that he would get unemployment below 8 percent,” Romney said. “We let him borrow the money and unemployment hasn’t been below 8 percent since.”

    Romney added that as the president, he would cut spending, cap spending and finally get America back on track to a balanced budget.

    John Hansen of Idaho Falls said that he believes that Romney is the only candidate who can get the country back on track.

    “I came out here because I want to show my support for the only real president this country has and that is Mitt,” Hansen said. “I went to see Ron Paul two weeks ago, just to see what he is about and I don’t feel that what he said is realistic. What Mitt says is.”

     For more of this story, see Friday's Idaho State Journal.