Deplorable me
Deplorable me
This afternoon I was in Bedford NH to cover the first Donald Trump event in NH since the Debates.

Because I got back to Fitchburg fairly late and have to work tonight for 10:30 the full story and the video will have to wait for tomorrow but here are some quick impressions.

Trump’s stump speech has dramatically improved from his primary speeches, he still hits the various red meat lines but he’s added several that address specific policies.

Having been at the Amplify Choice conference concerning school choice Trump’s words concerning parental choice on schools really stood out.

There was a distinct difference between the way people reacted to interview requests before I got my press credentials vs after. Before I had my credentials I was a guy in the crowd, once I had a badge that said “Press” I became the enemy to anyone who didn’t know me.

There was a real difference in terms of candidate access for the press, during the primary season Trump regularly took questions before events, now we didn’t get close to him, but of course at this point int he campaign most of the media is actively trying to defeat him so it makes sense.

There were a few protestor types who had large signs who wanted to get access to the event, they failed miserably, actually that’s not true, they failed extremely well as they didn’t get anywhere near the actual venue, the layout precluded easy access for them.

The venders had a whole line of deplorable tees available which seemed quite popular.

The general gist I got from the various people I interviewed is they want Trump more on the attack during the next two debates. That question really comes down to a serious question: Is it more important to keep the base energized or to keep playing the “Trump isn’t crazy” card during the debates that remain. I’m not sure which is the right move.

I’ll leave you with Trump’s entrance filmed from the Press area.

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During the last election cycle the GOP won historic victories not only taking the US senate but winning the Governor’s seats in states as Blue as Maryland and Massachusetts.

However in 2014 the big exception to that rule was in New Hampshire where the national GOP imported Scott Brown to run much to the delight of the GOP leadership and the disgust of the base as Granite Grok put it at the time:

Those are two important planks in the NH GOP Platform.  Another is that of “limited government” – and he voted for Dodd-Frank, the biggest intrusion of Government into business and our private lives evah (‘cepting Obamacare, natch) and we will blog about this in the future.  And if they don’t show up to vote for Brown, they also aren’t showing up to vote for the other Republicans down ticket.  But given the absolute “hugathon” for Brown that the Establishment Republicans have been drooling about for months now, I do wonder if it matters much to them about the folks just off stage instead of the one standing in the national Klieg lights.  How many time have I written concerning Republicans with the insinuations that we ought to just leave and run on our own:

We may not win, but you will surely lose

Especially here in NH where win margins in a lot of districts can be very thin indeed, the NH GOP has to struggle get to 50%+1; all I’d have to do is persuade 1.5 to 2 points to not vote.  And there are a lot of people out there that are no longer willing to vote for the lesser of two evils anymore.

Pro-Choice, Pro Gun Control, voted for Dodd-Frank: what’s the MAIN difference between Scott Brown and Jeanne Shaheen, NH GOP chair Jennifer Horn? 

I advised against this move calling the Scott Brown run:  “The Biggest Mistake the NH GOP can make

He lost by 3

Meanwhile in the Governor’s race the Establishment GOP in the state picked Walt Havenstein a candidate who actively insulted Tea Party members and refused to apologize.

He lost by five, and I suspect the reason why both Brown & Havenstein lost is best summed up by what grokster Rick Olsen wrote five months before the election:

I predict…If Havenstein is the nominee, he will not win against Hassan and the Democratic machine. …We’ve seen this trend in so-called Republican landslide years. But either way, I am voting for neither of these “kinged” choices. And I can say with certainty that I am not alone in that sentiment.

So given that sterling record you would think the NH GOP establishment party chair Jennifer Horn would have learned her lesson and stayed out of the GOP Presidential primary.

You’d think wrong:

New Hampshire GOP chairwoman Jennifer Horn seemed to have abandoned efforts to remain neutral in the 2016 GOP presidential primaries on Wednesday, taking the extraordinary step of attacking not just any GOP presidential candidate but the 2016 frontrunner for her own party’s nomination.

Because in a year when your GOP senator is running for re-election in what will be a tough race the last thing you need to do is demonize the current front runner for the party nomination.

Well at least she not attacking Trump voters, since she’ll need them for Kelly Ayotte’s Senate race.

Horn further attacked the voters who attend Trump’s rallies.

Hey it could be worse, they could be doing stupid things like trying to get Trump kicked of the ballot:

Now, along comes ol’ Fungus, so determined to damage the GOP that you’d think he was a Democrat plant, filing a complaint attempting to remove Trump from the NH ballot, due to expressed views inconsistent with the NHGOP platform. Shirley, he must be joking! Inconsistent? Like himself supporting the most liberal faux-Republicans? Like Morse and Bradley expanding Medicaid? Like Steve Duprey supporting Planned Parenthood? Like Juliana Bergeron supporting Gay Marriage? Like Shawn Jasper owned and operated by the Democrats?

I’m shocked that Scott brown & Walt Havenstein weren’t mentioned in that bit.

Meanwhile the Trump campaign shot back

Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, in a statement to the Union Leader, suggested that Cullen works for Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican rival far behind Trump in the polls.

“Number one, Mr. Trump’s views do comport with the Republican Party and number two, from a constitutional stand point, there is such a thing as freedom of speech,” Lewandowski said. “To file such a document against the person who is not only the frontrunner, but leading by tremendous margins is outrageous. If anything like this would ever happen Mr. Trump’s supporters would probably riot in the streets of New Hampshire. This is yet another attempt by the failed GOP establishment to keep Mr. Trump off the ballot because they know he is the only one who can Make America Great Again.”

In response to Lewandowski’s claim, Cullen said he is not working for Kasich, and that he so far remains uncommitted. He and his wife Jenny held a house party for Kasich last weekend. He has also held events for Jeb Bush and Lindsey Graham.

Mike Rogers nails it:

Methinks it is Trump who should be demanding a pledge of loyalty from the GOP! If this idiocy goes further up the food chain than Cullen, Trump will be liberated to run 3rd party, and will CRUSH the GOP’s chances – might even win without them. Sure, go ahead chumps, make his day!

I’m a Ted Cruz man I encourage all my NH friends to vote for him but I’ll tell you this, I’d enjoy watching the NH GOP Establishment collapse like the old man of the Mountain after A Trump win.

Senator Ted Cruz was kind enough to give me 10 minutes after his return to the 603 Alliance Caucus site to speak to and congratulate his campaign volunteers

There are several points to make concerning this result and what Senator Cruz said.

It would have taken the cost of renting a bus for any other candidate to get 25 NH voters to the caucus to get past the first round and to steer the result in a direction they would have liked.

There are a lot of expenses in a campaign but renting a few busses for a day isn’t a big one, if you can’t find 25 registered republican voters willing give up a few hours to show up for you at this caucus what does it say about your actual strength in a state? Jeb Bush has been running ads calling himself “the conservative candidate”, how much stronger would such an argument be if he managed to draw 25 voters. He could have claimed to have out one Donald Trump in an actual vote. (By the same token I don’t understand how the Donald Trump campaign doesn’t manage to get 25 folks to show up. Rep Al made a strong speech but this feeds right into the MSM template on the Donald.

As Mark Steyn has said the future belongs to those who show up, if you can’t get voters to show up for you to a no cost event out of an entire state when you’ve had six months to get ready, that’s bad.

Furthermore if you are a candidate in single digits how do you not take advantage of such an event to make a showing? Even if your candidate couldn’t draw enough to win your people could have steered the result away from a candidate you DIDN’T want to win.

Now let’s talk about WHY Cruz won.

Ted Cruz talked about his country chairmen in every county of all four early states and his donors his “sustainers” funding all on the ground game in 20 primary states, rent staff etc…

I don’t think any other candidate can say this, why? Because CRUZ FIGHTS! His willingness to stand up, make the fight and take the barbs of the media for years is the reason why so many people are willing to give monthly, it’s the reason why he leads in hard money and it’s the reason why his people were willing to show up to caucus for him yesterday. It’s also the reason why I endorsed him Sept 30th

Every single other candidate currently serving in congress could have chosen to do this. Every single other sitting governor could have supported Cruz’s fights in congress when he was making them, every single outsider could have stood up and stood with Senator Cruz as he fought for the causes that conservatives sent him and other republicans to fight.

They did not and that’s one of the reasons why they were not the subject of that victory interview.

Update: Between Senator Cruz’s opening speech at the 603 alliance and the interview above, Ted Cruz did this interview linked by Legal insurrection for Meet the Press


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The 2nd of three posts on Donald Trump in Derry NH. Part 1 (The Pros & semi Pros) is here. Part 3 is here.

Once the people started arriving I went toward the main entrance. There were solid metal barriers separating the two sides of the entrance with a table to process people with tickets. The only way to get to one side vs the other was through the entranceway of the building.

Since I was on the ticked side I asked the people there first, however none of the 25 or so people there were interested. Perhaps is was the hat and scarf in 90 degree weather, or perhaps it was a reasonable distrust of the media but they all declined. So I went through the double doors to the other side. That side was for the handicapped and volunteers. There was a man named Ken happy to share his views.

If Ken’s voice sounds familiar to you that might be because he was shouting out a lot during Mr. Trump’s speech later that day.

Once the people saw from my interview with Ken that my interviews were straightforward and I wasn’t out to trap or spin anyone people were happy to talk. Shirley was next

That she changed her registration to vote for Trump was significant to me.

Trina, a Trump volunteer (and a big fan of my pal Pam Geller) was supposed to be next

But she was delayed briefly by a phone call so I talked to Jim and Lana before her

It’s worth noting that of that first four only Jim & Lana weren’t ready to pull the lever for Trump.

At this point I went back to the other side and in the twenty minutes or so that those interviews took the crowd had more than tripled and with the influx of people came many people willing to talk to me, one of the most interesting was a 13-year-old boy who had, for his birthday asked his mother to take him to see Donald Trump

Another surprise was Luke. He has come up from Maryland to scope out colleges and decided to detour after checking out Dartmouth to see Trump. He even had a copy of his book (which he would end up getting signed during the speech).

However more typical were people like Bruce


and George:

What was interesting was as soon as I would talk to someone near the end of the line, the line would get longer and I would continue down the line doing interviews. EVentually I took a count of the line and Elena was #307

To be sure there were some interviews that were different. David had come with his brother and I didn’t realize at the time he apparently had a handicap. There was another fellow a young guy who called himself Ryan R Ryan who seemed to me to be trolling but since I made an open request for interviews I uploaded rather than erased them.

At the end of the line was a 2nd line for people who didn’t have tickets. Based on what Fred had told me their odds of getting in were pretty slim but that didn’t stop me.

The first person I talked to was Cheri, who believe it or not was a Hillary person but was considering Trump

I asked her about the email scandal but she thought it was much ado about nothing (proving Neo Neocon right)

I then talked to Nancy who was all in for Trump

and Richard

who was going to wait till he heard all the candidates before making a final decision.

By this time I headed back toward the press area it was getting closer the time of the Trump press availability. On my way back I did my last and in one sense most interesting interview

But the most interesting interview which was Carl

Who said he was interested in Trump but as a 3rd party rather than a GOP candidate, but it remains to be seen if the Donald can change his mind.

If you watch the interviews above you’ll notice several consistent thoughts

  1. People consider Trump a truth teller.
  2. People like that he’s politically incorrect

  3. People really like his immigration stance

All these things were in my mind as I checked the time and headed back to the press room to get ready for Mr. Trump’s arrival…

Update: Matt Lewis not withstanding Those people didn’t seem dangerous to me

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On Friday Night Marco Rubio spoke to a full house at the Rockingham Republican Committee dinner.

The Room was packed with tables reserved for groups from the Seacoast Republican women (who despite Democrat claims to the contrary exist in great numbers.) the various Senate candidates (Scott Brown and Karen Testerman both had tables) and a vast swath of GOP members anxious to hear what the senator had to say.

Senator Rubio’s  speech ran about 40 minutes and touched on the themes of the American Dream and what Republicans were doing to preserve it.  He focused on education noting that it was only after the sales from his book that his own student loans were paid off.

Obamacare and foreign affairs were touched on but his most stirring words concerned his family coming and making it in America and his father’s efforts to secure the American dream for his children.  He argued for school choice as an issue illustrating the GOP way of doing things stating the only people in the country who do not have a choice in schools are the poor.and further stressed that it was the breakdown of the family that is the chief cause of poverty in the United States.  That’s a message that social conservatives like myself have argued for a while.

While he touched on one of the elephants in the room (that one being the statue of one next to his podium) he didn’t have a word to say about the other, his support for the Senate Amnesty bill that has been the chief cause of his freefall in NH presidential polls.

Nevertheless his speech was well received and it remains to be seen if with such a large field of excellent GOP candidates to choose from,  he will be able to recover his former standing.  That pretty much depends on what happens with amnesty in the house.

If the House fails to pass the Amnesty bill then I suspect he will be given a mulligan and be able to make his case.

If however the house passes a bill, and such a bill gets to the president’s desk then Republicans in NH and elsewhere are unlikely to forget, or forgive.

Interesting note, the break in the audio came during the standing ovation for a 97 year old Marine pilot who served in both WW 2 and Korea. It was so long I had time to stop the video as my space filled up, extract my memory card, put in a new video card, power up and restart the video…and the applause was still going on.



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I spoke to Jim Rubens candidate for the GOP nomination for US Senate in NH at the NLRC event in Nashua:

I suspect that he and Senator Brown will be competing for the same moderate votes in the state. Mr. Rubins web site is here.