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National

Idahoans React To President Trump's Address To Congress

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's listen to some of the voters who were listening to the president last night, including some in Idaho who spoke with Frankie Barnhill of Boise State Public Radio.

FRANKIE BARNHILL, BYLINE: Like many people, Tyler Ricks watched President Trump's speech in his living room. He's 19 and already very engaged in politics.

TYLER RICKS: I am the secretary of Young Republicans for the state of Idaho.

BARNHILL: Ricks actually voted for Libertarian Gary Johnson last November. But Ricks says he was happy to hear the president sound more, well, presidential.

RICKS: It was more calm. And I think that came across, you know, that he does really, truly care about Americans.

BARNHILL: Democrat Melanie Folwell agrees the president struck a different tone during the speech.

MELANIE FOLWELL: I will admit I had low expectations going in.

BARNHILL: But the self-employed mother of two says tone is not enough. She's disappointed by the Trump administration's decision to temporarily halt the refugee program.

FOLWELL: Here in Idaho, and specifically here in Boise, we have a lot of refugees. My kids go to school with kids from over 20 countries around the world. They know kids from the Middle East. They know kids from Africa. And a lot of the kids they know are refugees of war.

BARNHILL: But for Tyler Ricks, Trump's speech spoke to him directly.

RICKS: A line that I did like in the president's address was that education is like the next human right, basically. I mean, that's the issue that affects young Americans the most.

BARNHILL: Although Ricks didn't vote for Trump, after watching this speech, he feels reassured that the president is actually bringing change to Washington. For NPR News, I'm Frankie Barnhill in Boise. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.