MANCHESTER, New Hampshire –Republicans here say they are poised to storm the Democratic castle.
“The Democrats may not believe us,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said to a sold out crowd of more than 350 people Friday morning at the Republican Party’s post-primary “unity” breakfast event. “They may not believe that you’re going to be unified. The Democrats say this all for show, and the Republicans will keep fighting over split hairs and we’ll beat them because they’re going to stay home. What I want to show New Hampshire today, what I want to show the country today is, we’re unified so please stand today if you’re unified in defense of the Constitution. Please stand today if you’re unified in defense of the Bill of Rights. And please stand if you’re unified in defense of individual liberty.”
Every person in the crowded room jumped to their feet, cheering loudly. “I don’t see division,” Paul said as the crowd went wild, with everyone still standing. “I see unity, and I smell victory.”
Paul’s speech echoed much of what he said to the grassroots libertarian-leaning group Generation Opportunity’s New Hampshire chapter on Thursday evening, hammering President Obama and Democrats in Congress for coming after Americans’ civil liberties via executive overreach. Paul said later in his speech that he wants to expand the GOP’s reach.
“We’ve got to be a bigger party,” Paul said. “We’ve got to be bigger, better, bolder–because the debates going on in the national party, everybody’s talking about pulling their hair out saying we lost two presidential elections asking how are we going to win again? Some say we just need to dilute our message, and let’s just be Democrat-light and then we can win. I couldn’t disagree more. We can win on our principles. But it doesn’t mean we can win without reaching out to new audiences. We have to go to new places.”
“Are you ready to win some elections?” Jennifer Horn, the chairwoman of the New Hampshire GOP, said. “Are you ready to win elections across this whole great state of ours? I’m so excited to be here this morning. It is a great time to be a Republican in the state of New Hampshire. We are going to win elections. We are going to send Jeanne Shaheen the tax machine home once and for all.”
New Hampshire GOP spokeswoman Lauren Zelt told Breitbart News as everyone was taking their seats at the Manchester banquet facility that this was the “largest unity breakfast ever” in New Hampshire’s GOP history. Every candidate who ran in national and statewide primaries–winner or loser–was there to support the primary victors, especially GOP U.S. Senate nominee Scott Brown, in their quest to take on Democrat incumbents. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), the state’s lone federally-elected Republican right now, fired away at incumbent Democrat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). And Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) came in from Washington to deliver the keynote address as the GOP marches to election day in November.
“Annie Kuster may not know where Benghazi is, but she’s going to know where New Hampshire is when these elections are over,” Horn joked. “Carol Shea-Porter, she’s coming back. And I’ll tell you, come hell or high water, we’re going to win back the corner office this year.”
With Brown at the top of the ticket in New Hampshire, other Republicans like former Rep. Frank Guinta, who’s running against incumbent Democrat Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH) for his old seat, and newcomer Marilinda Garcia, a 31-year-old millennial state representative who’s challenging incumbent Democrat Rep. Ann Kuster (D-NH), have a shot to sail into House seats. If all three–Brown, Guinta and Garcia–pull it off, New Hampshire’s entire U.S. congressional delegation will turn Republican heading into the 2016 elections, a major advantage given the Granite State’s importance in selecting the nominees of both political parties and in electing the next president of the United States.
“You all know what it takes to win, everybody knows what it takes to win–and Kelly [Ayotte], you were right, a united Republican Party is Sen. Shaheen’s, and President Obama’s and every Democrat’s worst nightmare,” Brown said in his remarks to the gathering. “It is, and they know it. So let’s talk about this race a little bit. You’ve already seen the negative ads–you’re going to see a lot of negativity, a lot of distortions and that’s because they can’t run on their records. She can’t explain what she’s done over the past five years. She can’t explain why she hasn’t held town halls. She can’t explain why she was the deciding vote for Obamacare, why she chose to write a letter to the IRS asking that conservative groups be investigated, why she voted against every single opportunity for you to keep your doctors and your hospitals and your care plans that you knew, loved and trusted. She can’t explain why gas prices have gone up and she’s proposing a new national energy tax. Her 99 percent voting record with President Obama means you’re paying more at the pump, you’re paying more for healthcare, you’re getting fewer services. Your rights and freedoms are being attacked on a daily basis, so you have a choice. Ninety-nine percent of the time is inexcusable: We need true independent leadership in New Hampshire.”
The only statewide candidate who can’t point to polls showing himself in position to wipe out the Democrat incumbent is gubernatorial nominee Walt Havenstein, who’s trailing incumbent Democrat Gov. Maggie Hassan by almost 20 points according to the Real Clear Politics average. But Horn and the others in their speeches here this morning vowed to get him into striking range since Hassan’s only achievement as governor, Horn said, is a tax increase with the goal of instituting a state income tax. New Hampshire doesn’t currently impose an income tax on its citizens.
“We are ready to go,” Horn said. “We have the best candidates. We have the right solutions. We are the right Party to lead our state. I’ve said it so many times, many of you have heard me say it before: When Republicans lead, when we lead on our Republican principles that our vice chairman just spoke on so eloquently, the entire community benefits–no matter who you are, where you come from or what you look like, and no matter how you vote, when Republicans lead, the entire community is lifted up. Families do better, businesses grow, we have more jobs, we’re better able to educate our children and plan for our future.”
Horn added that “it is critical” that the GOP succeed in New Hampshire in 2014. “We are not perfect,” she said. “We are not a perfect party. We are not a perfect nation. But the Republican Party remains the clearest, strongest voice for individual liberty, for freedom, for limited government, for responsible, effective government that this nation has ever had, and it is imperative that the United States remain the greatest, freest nation on Earth.”
That Horn was able to organize the Party so quickly after Tuesday’s primaries, and ensure every challenger was there to support the candidates who won the nomination in their respective races, is impressive–especially given the divide that’s existed nationally among conservatives and establishment Republicans this year. A series of brutal primaries saw House Majority Leader Eric Cantor defeated, and it also saw a slew of Tea Party candidates who were crushed at the polls by incumbent establishment Republicans.
“I got to tell you, it’s been pretty lonely in the delegation over the last couple years,” said Ayotte in her remarks to the breakfast. “So I’m really hoping that you will send me some great teammates in November because if we don’t win this election in November then unfortunately it’s not just what can happen to our great state of New Hampshire but it’s also what can happen throughout the country. This race, up and down this ticket, this race for the United States Senate, this race for our congressional seats are going to make a difference in terms of whether or not we have to continue to listen to Harry Reid in Washington and that Harry Reid continues to run the United States Senate how he has warped it from the most deliberative body in the world as intended by our founding fathers to the his way or the highway body to the detriment of this nation. And we need to make sure that Nancy Pelosi never, ever comes forward as the leader in the House again.”
Part of the reason why the Party seems to be uniting here is because Brown, the candidate at the top of the ticket, has hit immigration, and Shaheen’s support of amnesty–a key issue for the conservative base–hard.
“You know what’s happening with our foreign policy right now: our allies don’t trust us, our foes don’t fear or respect us,” Brown said in his speech. “You see what’s happening, we’re not fighting the jayvee. We have some serious challenges and the gates of hell, as Vice President Biden and Sen. Shaheen said the other day, are here. We’ve seen what those gates of hell look like. We know what a broken immigration policy looks like. If we don’t fix it, we are going to be in trouble.”
“New Hampshire is a purple state and it [hitting Shaheen hard on immigration] has definitely helped him in the Republican primary,” Paul added in a brief interview with Breitbart News after the event. “I think it’s yet to be seen how that plays out in the fall election, but I do think people are offended and upset about chaos–and the border seems to be chaotic right now. When you have 50,000 people coming across the border and many of them being brought inland, I think that upsets people because it appears to be a lawlessness and the president is responsible for that. Scott Brown bringing that issue up really helps point people to the president and what the president has created.”