Saturday I had another great day in NH. I’ll give blow-by-blows below. Sorry for the late post, but it’s been eventful here!
Rally in Derry
We started our day getting up early, grabbing food, and driving to Derry for a rally. I’d guess probably 800-1,000 people were there by the time Mitt came in at 8:30. We happened to catch a glimpse of John Sununu right before the rally began:
Governor Sununu in Derry, NH
Mitt was accompanied on stage by Ann, Tagg and his wife and kids, and then Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Nikki Haley from South Carolina. Both “opening acts” were great. Senator Ayotte was very sincere in her concern for the future of our country, and Governor Haley really rallied the troops.
Mitt of course gave a great speech, covering the themes he has throughout: this is a battle for the American soul. Will we be an entitlement society, or an opportunity society with the right to “pursue happiness.”
After the rally, the media swarmed Mitt. I’m not sure if this level of coverage is normal, but something tells me that coverage is increasing all the time.
Note: See my short debate analysis at the end of this post (below the fold). Hint: One word in the title above says it all for me.
Voters in New Hampshire will make their mark in two and half days. If you have been following the news in the mainstream media (MSM) and in the “new media”, much of it is positive for Governor Romney.
Please don’t allow yourself and others to be lulled by any positive news about Governor Romney.
This site, MittRomneyCentral.com is a grassroots website promoting the candidacy of Mitt Romney for President of the United States. Those of us that write for MRC, and many of our readers, are working very hard behind the scenes to help Governor Romney succeed in every caucus and primary state until he garners at least 1,150 delegates. We cannot let up until that is accomplished.
In recent days, including this morning, and throughout the day, Governor Romney has been asking volunteers and voters who wish to help out, to not let up. He specifically referred to survey results and polls that have emerged showing him leading in NH, SC, or nationally. The one audio clip I actually heard today from Governor Romney was his almost pleading not to let up. He asked his supporters to more or less ignore the polls and do whatever they can to help him get voters to the booths in New Hampshire next Tuesday. He said he has seen polls change dramatically, even the day of the vote. We have all witnessed voting results that disappointed because voters had presumed their candidate had a comfortable lead. We simply cannot let that happen in any primary state, including New Hampshire.
Please do whatever you can to encourage and motivate all volunteers and voters — within your influence — in New Hampshire to get as many people out Tuesday to vote for Governor Romney. I guarantee that Ron Paul supporters will never let up and they are determined to win. We must outperform them and all other candidates’ supporters by a factor of 10! Governor Romney is not taking anything for granted and we must follow his lead with even greater intensity.
Bush Library, College Station, TX
Now, to my second favorite subject at MRC: Mr. Newt Gingrich. How can I say it best? At the risk of sounding entirely cliche, Gingrich is the gift that just keeps on giving! I can honestly say here publicly that I sincerely hope Gingrich never drops out of the race. He is a truly amazing human being. I don’t think he is a short man, but he seems to exhibit the Napoleon Syndrome. He continues to say things that simply defy all logic and he cannot see it. It is fascinating how he so easily allows his intelligence to be completely overridden by his ego. Fascinating!
You may wonder why I keep focus on Mr. Gingrich. The reason is that I think he is dangerous (much like a cornered Doberman Pinscher), though he seems quite determined to marginalize himself at warp speed. Bar none, the very best candidate declaration of the 2011 political year was this one by Mr. Gingrich. Does it get any better than that? In the same breath he says he doesn’t mind if people attack him and then he spends the next several weeks throwing tantrums about the attacks by several candidates, but blaming them all on Governor Romney.
Mitt Romney takes the early lead in the medal count with a gold medal in Iowa. Congrats to Rick Santorum for the silver medal and Ron Paul for the bronze. On to the next event in New Hampshire! But, before we go, Mitt did several morning interviews after his Iowa victory and we’ve posted them below:
When choosing whom to endorse for president, we’re interested in one thing this year: Finding the person best able to help the nation fix the economy.
We’re not looking for ideological purity.
We’re not looking for someone we agree with 100 percent of the time.
We’re simply interested in finding the person who has the best understanding of the issues, who has the best ideas on how to move the nation forward and, most importantly, who has the leadership skills necessary to work with the Congress and the American people to ensure that many of those ideas become reality.
After considering all the Republican candidates vying for the opportunity to take on President Obama in November, we think Mitt Romney is the candidate best suited to address the gridlock of dysfunction that has infected our federal system for the past generation.
We did not endorse Romney for the caucuses four years ago, but we recognized his leadership potential. We were impressed with how, as the CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, he helped turn around some troubled-, scandal-filled preparations and make the 2002 Winter Olympics into a success.
And we thought highly of his achievements as governor …
[…] We now commend Romney for being able to focus so intently on the job at hand: to outline a national vision that can appeal to Republican primary/caucus voters as well as to independents and dissatisfied Democrats in the general election. While so many other Republican candidates have been burned by the limelight that comes with temporary frontrunner status, Romney has remained disciplined and largely above the fray. And while other candidates lob rhetorical bombs about the dangers of Washington and the horrors of Democratic public policy, Romney follows his criticism with thoughtful, well-considered, well-vetted solutions.
(emphasis, image added) Read the entire endorsement here.
Wolf Blitzer (CNN) climbed aboard the Romney campaign bus yesterday in Iowa to talk with Mitt and Ann. Here’s the first portion of the interview (will post more when/if available):
Former North Carolina Senator Elizabeth Dole joined her husband in endorsing Governor Romney:
“I am humbled to have Senator Elizabeth Dole’s support,” said Mitt Romney. “Throughout her life, she has demonstrated the loyalty and service to her country that should be an example for all public servants. Senator Dole’s support will be integral as I take my pro-growth message to voters across the country.”
In a letter supporting Romney, Senator Dole praised The Gov and called upon Iowans to support him:
“America is facing some of the greatest challenges in our nation’s history, in particular with regard to our economic future. It is vitally important that we nominate an individual with both a steady hand for these difficult times and the experience and capabilities to get our country back on track.”
“In a phone call Monday afternoon, I advised Governor Romney that I’m supporting him and will do whatever I can to be of assistance between now and the November election. I’ve been in all of Iowa’s 99 counties twice and have met hundreds and hundreds of dedicated voters. Endorsements may not matter, but hopefully my friends in Iowa will also offer their support to the Governor, a man of experience, leadership and unassailable character.”
Senator Doles’ background::
Elizabeth Dole Represented North Carolina In The U.S. Senate From 2003 To 2009. Prior to her election, Senator Dole served in various public roles including Secretary of Transportation under President Reagan and as Secretary of Labor under President George H.W. Bush. Senator Dole is also a past President of the American Red Cross. She is the wife of former Kansas Senator Bob Dole.
Yesterday, Senator John Thune was a guest on ‘Open Line with Randy Renshaw’ talk radio KSJC in Sioux City, Iowa. A few excerpts:
What an interview! Chris Wallace just presented what could be used by schools as the example of how to interview presidential candidates. This interview had quite a few “tough questions”, but none of them were presented in the irresponsible way Bret Baier asked them a few weeks ago. Chris made sure his audience knew why he was asking the questions he asked, and he didn’t presume to know the answer. The contrast between the two interviews could not be more stark, but now let’s focus on today’s interview.
The interview started with Chris Wallace reminding his audience that Mitt hasn’t been on a Sunday morning show in almost two years which Mitt just laughed off (it’s been a strategy in order to peak at the right time, not because Mitt is afraid of tough questions). This interview was very educational and Mitt was able to answer the questions a lot of voters likely have in a way that I think will satisfy quite a few of them. I was especially touched by personal questions Chris Wallace had Mitt answer at the end of the interview. The follow-up questions caused Mitt to go into more detail about how he felt after Ann was diagnosed with MS and how much Ann means to Mitt. I hope this interview is seen by millions of voters because it was powerful and the end was emotional.
Newt Gingrich announced this morning that he would be taking the weekend off in order to “pace” himself. So what will Newt be doing this weekend? He has a book signing scheduled in Virginia and then he will be attending his wife’s French horn concert. The only event Newt has scheduled is a tele-townhall Sunday evening.
With voting in Iowa being a mere 17 days away, it seems an odd time to take a weekend off. One would think that Newt, given his falling poll numbers, would be working feverishly (like the other candidates) to solidify his support and build a strong organization as we head into voting season. Apparently that’s not Newt’s top priority.
The question has been hinted at before by large media outlets but none have just come out and said it, “Does Gingrich even want to be president?” Or perhaps more appropriately, “Does Gingrich have the ‘fire in the belly’ to run for president and take on Obama in the fall?” Remember, Obama is going to have almost one billion dollars of campaign funds at his disposal to defeat the Republican challenger. Conservatives will need a highly motivated, energized and passionate candidate to challenge Obama.
Last summer Newt’s entire staff resigned in protest because, according to them, “Newt wasn’t taking running for president seriously.” Newt had disappeared for a week prior to the resignations and no one in his staff knew where Gingrich had gone. Only when Gingrich returned did they learn that Newt had been gone for a week on a luxury cruise through the Greek Isles with his wife. Understandably, Newt’s staff was furious at the candidate’s disregard for his own campaign. The staff later claimed that Newt seemed more concerned about selling books and DVD’s than running for president.