GOP presidential candidates former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie both knocked GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s unique campaign-style in New Hampshire.
Bush said he’s confident that voters in New Hampshire wouldn’t support GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, who “helicopters in” for his campaign rallies, according to Bloomberg.
“I have too much faith in the people I’ve met the last six months, who have put me through the ringer, to believe they would support someone who helicopters in and tears down POWs, the disabled, and doesn’t have respect for their vote,” Bush told Bloomberg in an emailed statement.
GOP presidential candidate New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie echoed Bush, saying New Hampshire voters should be concerned about the time Trump spends campaigning in the state.
“New Hampshire folks have to be concerned about that,” Christie also said of Trump’s campaign style in new Hampshire.
“If they reward a candidate who flies in here, does a rally, and signs some hats and leaves—you can do that in any state. It doesn’t have to be here,” Christie said.
Bloomberg reports, “Christie, Ohio Governor John Kasich, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush have spent so much time in New Hampshire, they might be considered honorary residents. Yet none were among the top three two choices in a pair of New Hampshire polls released Sunday by Fox News and CBS.”
Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski – a New Hampshire resident – defended Trump’s campaign style, saying he meets regularly with small groups and influential activists before his campaign rallies.
“Should I go to the Dunkin’ Donuts and see three people, when I have to opportunity to see 6,000?” Lewandowski challenged. “Chris Christie has done, whatever, 152 town halls? He’s seen less people in 152 town halls than Donald Trump sees in one.”
“Trump has had seven events in the state in the past two months, plus another rally during that time in nearby Lowell, Massachusetts. Bush had seven events on Friday and Saturday. Christie, who has spent more than 60 days in the past year, scheduled his wife, Mary Pat, for six campaign events this past weekend when he returned to New Jersey.”
“I would never have won New Hampshire if I hadn’t done 144 town hall meetings,” said former GOP nominee Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
“The people of New Hampshire are the most sophisticated voters I’ve ever encountered,” McCain explained. “They pride themselves on viewing all the candidates before making up their minds. And, frankly, that could only be true of a state with its size and its position in the primary calendar.”
University of New Hampshire political science professor Andy Smith spoke to Bloomberg about New Hampshire’s standing in the GOP primary process.
“None of past three presidents—Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton—won the state’s primary before being elected president, Smith pointed out,” Bloomberg reports. “And candidates who spend the most time New Hampshire regularly lose, including Lindsey Graham and George Pataki, who have dropped out of the current race; Jon Huntsman in 2012; and Joe Lieberman in 2004.”
“One reason candidates spend a lot of time here is because they don’t have broad coalitions in the party, and they really don’t have much money to campaign in other states,” Smith stated. “So it’s not like you campaign here because you want to. You campaign here exclusively because you have to.”