Darrell Issa in New Hampshire, Prompting Speculation

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, is spending part of the congressional recess wooing fellow Republicans in New Hampshire this week, prompting some to wonder if Issa is laying out the foundations of a presidential run in 2016.

The Republican National Committee kept New Hampshire as the second state in the union to hold its primary after the Iowa caucus, so any high profile GOP’ers traveling through the brisk New England state are still carefully eyed as possible presidential contenders.

“NH is unique in that we are a small state that receives an incredible amount of attention from politicians from both parties. In addition, the NH electorate also tends to be more politically aware than most - simply because of the attention we received from folks from all over the country,” said Manchester GOP Committee Chairwoman Tammy Simmons to Breitbart News on Monday.

“Rep. Issa's visit to Concord this weekend might indicate he is testing the waters for a presidential bid or that he is simply helping raise funds for one of our local GOP committees. The GOP in NH encompasses a wide spectrum of views - one could say we really do believe in the big tent concept.” She added, “Some Republican folks might really like Issa while at the same time others will not. That is part of the charm of NH - we welcome everyone to visit us and let us get to know them.”

Juliana Bergeron, New Hampshire Republican Party National Committee Woman, told Breitbart News, “Obviously Congressman Issa knows NH is a very important state with our First in the Nation primary, explaining, “We appreciate the fact that he wants to talk to Grassroots activists that make up our party here. I think people are interested in meeting him and hearing what he has to say.”

Planning to run for an eighth term in the House, Issa has already filed for his re-election bid in his current seat and has $2.6 million in his war chest, the San Diego Union Tribune reported in January. However, Issa’s personal minimum net worth of over $200 million, as well as talk around Capitol Hill that the lawmaker wants a higher office, appear to make him reasonably formidable in a 2016 environment. 

“He’s not looking at the presidency. What he’s doing in New Hampshire and really what he’s been doing throughout the country is trying to play a key role in shaping the message and working to grow the majority of the Republican Party in Congress and grow the Republican Party overall,” says Issa campaign spokesman Kurt Bardella.

Issa was invited by Concord GOP chairman Kerry Marsh to deliver the keynote address at the Merrimack County GOP Committee Lincoln-Reagan Dinner as a result of the great interest in the California Republican’s ongoing investigations related to  the Justice Department’s Fast & Furious controversy, the IRS targeting scandal, and the shoddy implementation of the president’s health care plan.

New Hampshire Republican Committee Chairman Jennifer Horn describes Issa as “a strong leader who has worked to hold the Obama Administration accountable for the IRS Scandal, Fast and Furious and the deadly attacks in Benghazi. Republicans are excited to hear about his ideas to move our country forward and help Republicans win in 2014.”

Derry City GOP Committee Chairman Jim Foley agrees, saying he thinks Issa “will be well received” and explaining, “He has been vigilant in his oversight of issues from the lack of security that lead to the death of an Ambassador in Bengazi. ...the carelessness that was ‘Operation Fast and Furious’ and most of all the IRS targeting of conservative groups.”

On Tuesday, following a breakfast reception for the Committee to elect House Republicans, Issa will be the featured speaker at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Anselm College. 


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