GOP Gets Back-To-Back Look At 2012 Hopefuls

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — With back-to-back events featuring multiple presidential hopefuls, it’s been something of an instant-replay kind of weekend for New Hampshire Republicans.

Barely 12 hours after five possible candidates spoke Friday at a dinner in Manchester, three of them showed up less than 10 miles away for a second gathering Saturday morning. Though Rep. Michele Bachmann started from scratch with her speech, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Sen. Rick Santorum largely stuck to the highlights they delivered the previous night, when they were joined by former Gov. Mitt Romney and businessman Herman Cain.

That was probably the point, said Wayne Lesperance, a political science professor at New England College who said multi-candidate events are more about helping candidates refine their stump speeches than winning over voters.

“There’s not this crowd of undecideds wandering around these events thinking, ‘Gosh, I just don’t know who to vote for,’ and then these speeches will bring them over,” he said.

So-called “cattle calls” also give candidates who’ve taken concrete steps toward launching a bid a way to further distinguish themselves from those who haven’t, and most importantly, they put candidates in front of key players who can share their Rolodexes and open their checkbooks, he said. Santorum, for example, was sure to mention that he has visited the state 15 times, while one of Pawlenty’s campaign videos played before he spoke.

All three White House hopefuls warned that this is the first generation in danger of not passing along a better America to the next.

“I should probably be at my son’s Little League baseball game,” Santorum said. “But I’m not going to be the generation of Americans who hands off to my son Peter– who’s playing baseball right now– a country that is less than what I got.”

Pawlenty said he senses worry all over the country that the next generation will lack the opportunities he and his peers have had.

“We need to as conservatives, as concerned citizens, as patriots who see this clearly, make sure we rise up and say ‘America’s place is not to follow China or to be second place or have the government suffocate and strangle the American spirit. America’s place is to lead the world in everything,” he said.

Bachmann said the current generation is “consuming the very sustenance of the generation that’s not even born.”

“In my opinion, that’s one of the greatest moral offenses of our day: That we will have to answer to ourselves and that generation, what did we do when we had the chance?” she said.

She described learning about the Holocaust as a child and wondering if her mother did anything to stop it. The next generation will ask similar questions about what their elders did to prevent them from facing a tax burden that could end up amounting to 75 percent of a worker’s income, she said.

Andrew Smith, director of the UNH Survey Center, said such events also are interesting because they show how candidates relate to each other — he wondered ahead of time whether the candidates would all focus their criticism on President Barack Obama or whether any would take a swipe at Romney, considered the front-runner (they chose the former). But at this stage, the gatherings are more valuable to the organizers than the candidates, he said.

“It’s more for the organizers to point out who they are, what their interests are and to get the candidates to talk about things that are interesting to them … so they’re part of the debate going forward,” he said.

Friday’s dinner was sponsored by the Americans for Prosperity Foundation and focused on economic issues and job creation. Saturday’s event was sponsored by We The People, a nonprofit group founded by former congressional candidate Jennifer Horn, who followed up the candidate speeches with a roundtable discussion with South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint and Iowa Rep. Steve King.

In late March, hundreds of conservative activists attended an event King organized in Des Moines featuring Bachmann, Cain, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour. Both were aimed at helping conservatives shape the debate as Republicans begin looking for a candidate to run against Obama.

Though Gingrich was a no-show in New Hampshire, Smith said it was too early in the campaign season for that to matter.

“When you get to the big media events that are televised nationally, then it starts to make more a difference who comes and who doesn’t,” he said, citing 1999, when George W. Bush skipped a debate in New Hampshire.

“The press coverage of that was he wasn’t ready for prime time,” he said. “That hurt him, and I think that may be one of the reasons he did not win the primary here in New Hampshire.”

Horn said the fact that both events were filled to capacity showed that New Hampshire voters want to check out the candidates in multiple venues.

“People have been looking at them for months. A lot of times what candidates miss is that the primary doesn’t start when they decide they’re ready, it starts as soon as the voters are concerned enough that they start looking and vetting and paying attention,” She said. “Folks are looking for multiple opportunities. They want to see their candidates over and over again, they’re looking for consistency, they’re looking for details.”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Thank GOD!

    Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Looks like the GOP might be starting to figure it out. Thank you Tea Party.

  • To all liberals

    We are still here. We are abundant, and now we are awake. And we are coming.

    “Evil can only succeed, if good men do nothing”

    • Mike

      I don’t think President Obama has anything to worry about with this potential list of worthless, self promoting, radical extremist they are trying to pass as potential candidates.

      • @ Mike

        I didn’t know any democrats were challenging obama, thanks for the info.

  • Tom

    To all liberals

    Yes you are still here but only “body”, but not in the “mind”. And all you current candidates can go out there and huff and puff but right now they don’t seem to eager too blow the house down. Maybe because they see the polls that about 75% of the Republicans in country aren’t happy withe currrent field. Leave your little bubble and join the rest of us in Reality!

    • Citizen

      The polls are also showing that no matter which one of these 12 wingnuts runs, Obama will beat that person! Yes, we liberals are still out here, and we’re mad as H…ll! The best thing that has happened to politics is that the GOP now shows its true colors to the voters. That everything it says it is against–it is FOR!

      • @ Citizen

        Did all freeloading liberals miss the lesson that you don’t sh** where you eat?

        • Citizen

          Freeloading liberals. Interesting accusation when the right wingnut politicians always court the bottom economic 40% to get votes for themselves. Relying, of course, on the lack of education and gullibility of this population which is, by the way, the most likely to be “freeloading.” Hope I offended plenty of posters out there with this comment.

          • @ Citizen

            Are you for real? There is no way someone could be this stup*d. Right wing relies on the bottom 40%? WOW, it’s sh_t like what this guy is saying that is way crazy. And I’m sure he votes, probably twice.

            • Harvey

              Look up the demographics of the party and come back with an apology. Take a look at the states trending Republican and compare that to their ranking in socio-economic status, you will find the trend.

              • @ Harvey

                I’m confused. Are you talking about the bottom 40% of hard working, tax paying people, or the bottom 40% of the population that uses and abuses all the entitlement programs. I’m pretty sure your “acorn” friends pick up with buses and haul that bottom 40% to the polls every year.

    • Proud Liberal

      Tom-Have you been hearing the discontent that is happening across the country at the town hall meetings Republicans and Tea Party Congressional members have been experiencing? They have not been reporting at all on corporate sponsored, commercial based news programs, but I have been hearing it on progressive radio that the members of Congress have been getting escorted into patrol cars after the events and their base is lashing out at their discontent with them proposing elimination of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Health Care reform.
      The people are waking up and starting to understand how these radical agendas are going to affect them personally and it is really starting a ground swell of opposition. This is exciting political times

      • Citizen

        @Proud Liberal. Isn’t it interesting how the discontent is shoved in the background and the media will show one voter telling some right wingnut that this radical agenda is supported. But, then again, who owns our media? None of this disinformation surprises me, any more. I read underground newsletters and blogs for information. If I want entertainment and fantasy I watch TV news. Also, the same with these websites. The comment section provides more information than the biased article. So much for the Fourth Estate.

        • Mike

          Citizen-You are correct! The corporate driven media is not reporting the news as it takes place unless, it is Tea Party extremists or a corporate sponsored agenda. The media is complacent and not reporting the events that are taking place in this country and it is getting scarier by the day. That is why the reactions at these town hall meetings are not being reported. It is Tea Party members who are starting to stand up and ask, “what are going to do with my Medicare”? The poll numbers have greatly changed in the past month and you do not hear mention of it on local or national news. The Republicans are doing a great job of turning our country into a fascist state and our corporate oligarchy is what is making it possible!

        • Mike

          CItizen- If you looking for a great progressive radio station, ( that you can listen to online, it is a CBS affiliation in Seattle who carry Tom Hartmann, Ed Shultz, Stephanie Miller and a host of other great progressives who really know their stuff and take on right wing cranks all the time. They are very informative and entertaining at the same time.

          • Citizen

            Thanks for the info, Mike. Keep posting good information. Keep up the dialog. Combatting the conservative disinformation is a full-time job these days! Right now I read Jim Hightower’s newsletter “The Lowdown.” He is a progressive, too.

            • @Mike and Citizen

              Oh. look these two have found love. That’s nice. I’m sure it’s very comforting for each of you two, to know that there is someother fruitcake just like you out there. Keep up the great dialog and misinformation your listening to on your left wing almost out of business talk show. Why don’t you two theives trade emails and stay off this website. We are sick of your lies and self-pitty.

              • Citizen

                To the above poster with the @Mike and Citizen moniker. There are plenty of liberals out there and they are mad as H..ll! And by the way, you misspelled “thieves” and the word should be “you are” not “your.” Name calling is nothing but a right wingnut tactic that you and your ilk use as a smokescreen because there is no way the right wingnuts like you can refute the statistics that tell the truth. We do not lie and, believe me, there is no self pity. Right now, it looks like there is activism. Be careful! The liberals are coming….

                • @ citizen

                  Look around, pick up a paper. The liberals have already came. 1.4 trillion debt and rising. Not to be the one to rain on your parade, but this free ride will soon be over.
                  No government can sustain this debt load, no matter how much you tax the rich. The discussion over different opinions of how to spend tax money is now irrelevant, there is no money. Good luck with your agenda.

      • Tom

        Proud Liberal

        Yes I have been hearing about it online. But you know what the surprising thing is that back when the Health Care debate started and Dems were doing Townhall meetings people were not happy about it all because of the cuts too Medicare. And that is what the Repubs ran that Obama wanted too cut their Meidicare by about $500 billion. Well now the Repubs want too eliminate all together and offer the seniors a $15,000 voucher too get insurance threw private insurance companies. And it makes you wonder where people like Ryan from Wisc who came up with that idea and the Repubs who voted for it how far $15,000 would get seniors. It would not get them very far.

        And you know this just goes and shows you how delusional conservtives are when it comes to things. They realize it is much easier too please a crows of people of don’t make decisions based on common sense because they are afraid that if they do that their heads might explode. Then when they go in front of a group of people who acually are not afraid too think for themselves and are not afraid to use their mind brain, they realize it is not so easy.

        • @ Tom

          How can you be proud of taking money from other people and hiding behind the word “tax” to get away with it. It is stealing. You would make your mother sick. You are shamefull, in fact the whole democratic party is shamefull for doing it. So, you may think you are proud but the rest of us know you are pathetic.

          • Tom


            Who is this stupid comment directed towards? Me? If it is me what are you talking about?

  • helper

    Any GOP person would be better than Obama. Thank God for Michele Bachmann.

    • Citizen of Minnesota

      @helper. Did someone open the doors to the “insane asylum” and let you out? Oh, wait, I bet you are a Bachmann staffer–bought and paid to support that “crazy lady.”

    • Mike

      Michele Bachmann is like wax fruit, she looks great, but has absolutely no substance.

    • Tom


      You are NUTS! Bachmann is better than Obama LMAO. You just proved my point about conservatives!

  • 2012 GOP Hopefuls Bash Obama, But Who Will Run? « CBS Minnesota | Internet blog

    […] posted here: 2012 GOP Hopefuls Bash Obama, But Who Will Run? « CBS Minnesota Bookmark to: This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged criticism, […]

  • Jon

    Mike and citizen,Keep the information highway going, misinformation is running rampant by the likes of Bachmann,T-Paw Trump and every other possible GOP candidate. They will say anything to get elected,just look at Wisconsin.

    • @ Jon

      Maybe you should take a good long look in the mirror, if you are wondering who is misinforming people.

  • Citizen

    Jon. Read the latest Michele Bachmann statements and don’t get too far from the bathroom!

    • @ citizen

      Come on citizen, that’s a lot to ask of Jon. You know his reading skills aren’t that great. We both know that if he could read good and understand words, he probably would be a republican.

      • Citizen

        Like you? Correct grammar would be “if he could read well.” You need an adverb to modify the verb read, and “well” is an adverb. “Good” is an adjective which needs to modify a noun, such as “person.” E.g. “good person.” Jon is just fine.

        • @ Citizen

          As long as you are teaching, my horse riding skills and long division are in need of help too. Oh, nevermind I almost forgot we have cars and caculators now. Why do libs always resort to grammer? I am a resposible person with pride, you are a bottom feeding freeloader. Why can’t we just have a civil discussion? I’m just trying to show you that magic shows aren’t real.

          • Citizen

            Uh, that would be “grammar” spelled with an “a.” And that would be “responsible” spelled with an “n” after the “po.” Yes, I will admit I am retired, so if that makes me a bottom feeding freeloader, so be it. Please be sure you do not apply for social security or Medicare when you get old. More for me!!!! Shouldn’t you be in church somewhere instead of arguing with this pagan? LOL

            • @ Citizen

              Sorry about the grammar, but it does give me kicks. Now let’s talk. You are retired collecting benefits that I am paying for. Those programs won’t be there when I retire, do you understand why I am angry? I understand this is not your personal doing, but the big government you support. They have robbed social security dry, now it is MY problem. Our big government has corrupted everything it touches, and it is time to face that fact.

              • Citizen

                You are NOT paying for my social security benefits. I paid for my benefits from the time I started working at 16. If you keep voting Republican, you can BET social security won’t be there when you retire because the GOP is dead set on eliminating social security and Medicare both. The GOP was livid when FDR got those social programs enacted, and the GOP has not stopped trying to get rid of them since. Right now, with their insane financial rhetoric they are trying to bankrupt the social security and Medicare systems. You have to agree that almost all the presidents in the last 30 years have been Republican so that is the party that has been getting legislation through to transfer so much of our tax money to the wealthy 2 or so percent of the population and has been robbing the rest of us for those tax cuts and using social security funds to balance the budget. And quit believing that the U.S. has a big government. For a country the size of ours, in comparison to the rest of the world’s governments, we actually have a small government. If you are so concerned, please read some good books whose titles I have mentioned in some previous posts on this page. Read them for your own sake and edification.

                • @ citizen

                  Correction, I AM paying for your benefits, the money you put in was spent by your beloved government a long time ago, as you later point out in your response. Why is it “tax cuts” and never the “spending” an issue. Where is it understood that everyone in the world needs to live with in their means, except for the government? Why is that accepted? 1 in 6 people are employed by some level of our government. How is that small? I have nothing against reading a good book, but I do not need a book to tell me what I can see for myself. I realize you have some years on me, but at some point you have to step back, look at the situation, and let common sense prevail.

                • Citizen

                  Just to clear up some facts about the post below @Citizen. Social security is a trust fund and the money contributed by everyone was supposed to be held in a trust to keep the fund solvent. Instead, several administrations since Reagan raided this social security trust fund to pay bills (remember, these have been GOP administrations). Because it is a trust fund held in trust for the workers who paid into it, the government has to make good on the promises. So, everyone right now who is paying in should get their retirement. Don’t listen to the fear mongers out there.

                • @ citizen

                  I hear what you are saying, but the fact remains that if the current taxpayers stopped funded S.S. today, you would not get a check. Also, to clear up a few things. I do not approve of where the Republican party is at today or for the last 20 years. Both parties have slid way to the left. Example, JFK said “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”. If he was alive today and said that, he would be considered a “right wing nut job”. I simply believe in personal responsibilty.

  • Citizen

    It is nice to see the GOP and right wingnuts have come out on Sunday morning to refute any liberal comments made on Saturday. Interesting. I thought all those well-meaning, sanctimonious, Bible-thumping Christian conservatives would be in church rather than arguing with us pagan liberals! LOL.

    • @ citizen

      It’s me again. I would like to respond to this post as well. I am not a bible thumper, but what is wrong with someone trying to live life by following the ten commandments? What damage can that possibly do?

      • Citizen

        Guess you don’t get constructive sarcasm, do you.

  • Citizen

    I am SO TIRED of scare tactics by the right wingnuts about social security. If the taxpayers stopped paying for social security right now, there would be armed insurrection in this country. Think not? The U.S. Government has pledged to honor this CONTRACT with workers. That better happen, or the rule of law in the U.S. is toast. For almost everyone in this country, the biggest retirement check they will get will be their social security check. They may have investments, they may have private pensions, they may have government pensions, but almost everyone I know (I don’t know any wealthy people) is counting on that social security check to enable them to retire. So, all of you right wingnuts that think taking away anyone’s social security check is any kind of option, better think again.

    • @ citizen

      No one is proposing changes for the people who have paid in. The problem is that S S was set up at a time when the average life expectancy of a white male was 65 years. The purpose of the program was to keep those few survivors from living in poverty. Now look at the current life expectancy. It was NEVER meant to be a retirement plan. Most people now collect way more than they put in, and that is really no more than a welfare program that NO realistic dividend rate could ever keep up with.

      • Citizen

        @@ditizen. Excuse me? SOCIAL SECURITY WAS VERY MUCH intended to be a retirement plan. What do you think it was? It was not meant to be the ONLY retirement plan, but It was the first safety net for workers who built the wealth of the United States and did not deserve to starve to death when they could no longer toil for their livelihood. Most workers try very hard to save and have a couple of sources of retirement income, but it isn’t working very well these days because of the perversion of the U.S. Tax Code to benefit the wealthy at the expense of 97% of the U.S. population. As the rest of the civilized world moves to try to help its working people, you want workers who build wealth to become beggars. Because that is what will happen because not everyone has YOUR GREAT INTELLECT and knows how to provide a proper retirement for themselves. We’re done here. You are an ignorant, myopic reactionary right wingnut who wants to turn the clock back a hundred years for the people of this country. Sad and pathetic and dangerous…..

        • @ low life citizen

          I tried to have a civilized conversation with you, what a waste of my time. You have not answered any of my questions. You become defensive when we talk about the facts of S S. It is apparent that you are a drag on society. You need to take a long look in the mirror and quit blaming everyone else for your failures in life. I feel sorry for your family, especially your grandkids. For they will see you for who you really are, a disgrace to their family. So, keep cashing your S S checks on the wieght of their shoulders. To think you actually walk around thinking you have pride. Who really is the scary person?

  • Patriot

    To the above poster: Having read yours and Citizen’s posts I am at a loss as to what questions you asked Citizen. All I saw were rants about someone who worked his entire life and is now retired and whom you call a low life, freeloader and a disgrace to his family. For working and supporting them for a lifetime? You are the one who is a disgrace and an insult to all retired workers everywhere.

    • @ Patroit

      First of all, you have no idea if he worked his whole life and supported his family. Second, the low life comments stem from trying to have a civil conversation with a old school democrat, which in the end turned back into name calling to respond at his level. Third, If you actually read my posts, how can you be at a loss as to what questions I asked him? Unless you to are a bottom feeding freeloader. By that I mean you take more from uncle sam than you give him, which in return makes you also a drag on society. Fourth, the way you read in between the lines is a dead giveaway that you are a screaming liberal. With that said you need to choose a more apropriate screen name, because thus far you are far away from sounding like a patriot

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