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April 11: Cruz announces – then Paul – with visits to NH

Saturday, April 11, 2015 3:51
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(Before It's News)

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul became the second Republican after Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to announce a candidacy for president then hightail it to the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire.

Cruz announced March 23 and was in New Hampshire a couple of days later on an official charm offensive. His agenda, according to coverage on Seacoast Online, includes abolish the Internal Revenue Service, repeal Obamacare, and repeal “every word of Common Core” in education.

Paul announced on Tuesday; by that evening he was at Murphy’s Tap Room in Manchester greeting supporters. During his first official stump speech the following day in Milford he struck his libertarian themes, saying: “I will fight for your right to be left alone. I will fight to keep the federal government out of New Hampshire, out of your home, out of your business and out of your church.” See Union Leader coverage here.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson came to visit on Monday, another of the possible GOP contenders. See a Union Leader interview here.

And then there was Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator from South Carolina. He has not announced yet, but he was in the area this week, being shepherded around by N.H. Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte.  See an NHPR story here.

Ayotte is likely to figure heavily in 2016 – on a few levels.

She is someone the Republican presidential hopefuls want to court for support, given her current popularity among Granite State voters. Then there’s the question of whether she’ll figure into the presidential campaign mix as someone’s vice presidential running mate. And, of course, there’s the question of her own re-election in 2016, with all eyes on Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan as a potential opponent. See an LFDA posting on the matter here.

More first-in-the-nation primary news is in the offing in the coming days.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has scheduled a town hall meeting in Londonderry on April 15. See a Concord Monitor story here.

Former Republican Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will appear at a “politics and pie” event on April 16 in Concord. See a WMUR story here.

And Democrat Hillary Clinton is set to announce her candidacy on Sunday. A trip to New Hampshire will likely soon follow. WMUR reports that will happen the week of April 20.

One interesting footnote to Kelly Ayotte this week was the arrest — and public disgrace — of her state director, David Wihby, on a prostitution charge.

Former House Speaker Bill O’Brien took to Facebook to take a couple of shots at Ayotte, first on backing a human trafficking bill while failing to condemn Wihby, the second goading “Ayotte and her pals” to write a character reference for Wihby.

It was clearly political payback from O’Brien for Ayotte’s support of Rep. Gene Chandler of Bartlett over O’Brien as the new speaker of the Republican-majority New Hampshire House (a job that ultimately went to Rep. Shawn Jasper).

That prompted N.H. Republican Party chair Jennifer Horn to issue a statement criticizing O’Brien for his online behavior. “Representative O’Brien’s comments are extremely disappointing and beneath the dignity of his public office. It is wrong to exploit a serious issue in a petty attempt to settle an old political score,” she said. See a WMUR story here.

Also …

The N.H. Supreme Court declined to issue an opinion on a proposed state law linking a person's voting domicile and the state's motor vehicle laws. See a Union Leader story here.

The state’s government web site was inaccessible for a time this week during a denial of service attack. See a Foster’s Daily Democrat story here.

And the state Senate considered a bill that would give persons immunity for calling 911 in the event of an overdose. See an NH1 story here.

Among the topics on our Facebook page this week were a Democratic contender for Hillary Clinton, prostitution and Keno. Come and join the conversation.

See you next week.

Live Free or Die Alliance


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