NHDP - Walker Finally Shows Up in NH, but Granite Staters Say it May Be Too Late

CONCORD, N.H. - Walker made his first trip to the Granite State as an announced candidate this week, the first visit since May. Welcoming his arrival, a Politico article pointed out how little he’d been in the state and how the local activists had taken notice.

 

Renee Plummer, a prominent GOP activist said Walker’s visit sounded “a fundraiser in Boston with a couple stops tacked on.” A state GOP official said that “the day of reckoning is going to come” for Walker.

 

According to the same article, Walker “wasn’t interested in taking questions” while in New Hampshire. And while he was in the state, he didn’t take any questions from the audience. One Granite Stater, noted by the Concord Monitor, said he was “weak.”

 

WMUR reported that “Walker dismissed criticisms” that he hasn’t been to the Granite State often enough and chalked it up to campaigns spinning he's downplaying the state.

 

Waiting for Scott Walker: The Wisconsin governor has spent very little time in New Hampshire so far. The locals have noticed.

 

Politico // Eli Stokols

 

When Scott Walker’s campaign was sketching out his post-announcement swing through New Hampshire, talks between his camp and the Strafford County GOP hit a snag. Local organizers suggested something simple and familiar to most candidates: a town hall meeting.

 

But the Wisconsin governor’s camp, according to three people familiar with the conversations, wasn’t interested in taking questions. They simply wanted to deliver a speech and meet people afterwards.
 

The event fell through.

 

That interaction, as much as anything else, provides some insight into why the clear front-runner in Iowa is merely a middle-of-the-pack candidate in New Hampshire. When Walker arrives in the Granite State Thursday, three days after launching his presidential campaign, it will be a rare appearance — his first New Hampshire sighting since May. According to figures compiled by U.S. News and World Report, only one Republican has been to the state less than Walker — Rick Santorum...

 

Walker’s post-announcement tour of the early states — touted by his campaign as “the most aggressive of all the 2016 hopefuls” — includes 16 stops in five states... But in New Hampshire, he’ll be in and out in under 24 hours, shaking hands and making small talk at a diner in Amherst and a Portsmouth Harley Davidson dealership, before heading down Interstate 93 to a fundraiser in Boston Thursday night...

 

“It sounds like the trip really isn’t to New Hampshire,” said Renee Plummer, a prominent GOP activist in Portsmouth. “It sounds like the trip is a fundraiser in Boston with a couple stops tacked on.”...

 

For some in New Hampshire, a moment during Walker’s last trip to the state in May serves as a metaphor for his campaign. Walker spoke to 500 Republicans aboard a 230-foot cruise boat as it sailed around Lake Winnipesaukee, but what some attendees remember is that the captain had to return to shore, mid-trip, to pick him up since he arrived late and, initially at least, missed the boat.

 

“I’ve had a lot of conversations with people here about: ‘Where is Scott Walker?’” said Jamie Burnett, a GOP strategist from Concord who just signed on as a supporter with Bush’s campaign. “I personally was interested in him early on but he just hasn’t been here”...

 

“When you’ve done more than a dozen trips to Iowa and four or five to New Hampshire, people are going to say, ‘Why don’t you just go on to South Carolina?’” said Matt Mayberry, the vice chairman of the state GOP. “People are taking note. The day of reckoning is going to come.”...

 

After a six-week absence, it won’t be easy for Walker to jumpstart his campaign in New Hampshire, where so many other candidates have been busy campaigning as if it’s the only state that matters...

 

Walker says competing campaigns are spinning that he’s downplaying New Hampshire

WMUR // John DiStaso

After addressing an overflow diner crowd Thursday, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker dismissed criticisms that he has not been spending enough time in New Hampshire and said he will give the first-primary state plenty of attention in the coming months.

“That’s a narrative pushed by other campaigns,” the Republican said of suggestions in the media that he is not focusing intently enough on the Granite State...

Critics have said that it appears Walker is focusing his campaign intently on Iowa, at the expense of New Hampshire. But that’s not so, said Walker...

New Hampshire Democratic Party spokeswoman Lizzy Price responded: "Scott Walker is late to the game in New Hampshire and, frankly, so are his policies. Whether it's calling the minimum wage 'lame,' saying he'd repeal health care from thousands in the Granite State, or opposing same-sex marriage, Walker is stuck in the past."

 

Scott Walker "didn't take questions from the audience"

 

Concord Monitor // Allie Morris

 

...Walker, 47, didn’t take questions from the audience, but he laid out a platform focused on reform, growth and safety and touted some of his work in Wisconsin, like winning three elections in four years, passing voter ID laws and defunding Planned Parenthood.

After the event, Walker dodged a reporter’s question about whether Republican candidate Donald Trumps’ rhetoric is hurting the party...

Walker’s take on international issues impressed Cindy Zorn, a Hollis resident who came to the event with her husband.

“I heard he might be a little weak with that as a governor,” Zorn said...

 

###