Jeb Speaks at Dartmouth

  • Print

jebHANOVER, NH – Following a disappointing performance in the Iowa caucuses, republican hopeful Jeb Bush quickly turned his sights to New Hampshire. Jeb’s fourth and final stop of the day yesterday was at the historic Hanover Inn, located on the Dartmouth College campus.

Bush staffers estimated that over 200 people packed the Grand Ballroom, hoping to get a glimpse of a Bush.

The audience was an eclectic mix of old and young, each with their own reason for attending. “He’s the first candidate that I’ve been able to see, and the first I was hoping to see months ago”, said undecided voter Beau Marshall. “I’m waiting to hear from him what his top priorities are.”

 

Others were there with specific interests, like small business owner Sonya Campbell. “In small business, especially in New Hampshire, we’re getting killed with the rates of insurance. My husband and I ensure ourselves and our teenage son. We’re paying the equivalent of $9.30 an hour for that healthcare.”

 

“Someone told me this is behind enemy lines. I don’t believe that. Why would I be behind enemy lines?” said Bush during his introduction.

 

Right off the bat, Bush was dismissive of his performance in Iowa.  Having recorded only 2.8% of the vote (just over 5,000 total across the state), he said he is focusing on New Hampshire all the way through the primary next week.  “I thought, ‘I’m coming to New Hampshire. The place where they make presidents. The place where they challenge candidates. Where they actually care if someone has leadership skills, where they challenge people, where they ask the right questions.”

 

Traveling to Darthmouth, holding an event located in a historically blue part of the state had some people talking before the event.  “Someone told me this is behind enemy lines. I don’t believe that. Why would I be behind enemy lines?” said Bush during his introduction, shaking off the comment.

 

Bush had the signature family charm, which got quite a few laughs out of the audience throughout the evening. According to Campbell, this is what made her attracted to Jeb as a candidate.  ““He caught my attention because he was a more calm, quiet, purposeful candidate. It just felt like there were a lot of candidates that sounded like big clanging cymbals this year, without naming any names.”

 

After Bush wrapped up his speech, he fielded a number of questions from those in the audience. He got tested on foreign policy, healthcare, and the environment, among others. The latter led to an interesting exchange when a Dartmouth student trapped Bush and got him to say that climate change is man-made.

 

 

Student: “I’ve yet to hear a single republican candidate who says climate change is caused by humans.”

 

Bush: “I am—wait, whoa! You found the first one!”

 

Student: “Caused by humans?”

Bush: “Yeah.  Well, partially caused by humans.”

 

Student: “At least we have that acknowledged.”

 

Bush: “Well, now let’s have a conversation about what that means.”

 

The discussion divulged into Bush’s time as Florida governor and his unwavering pledge of cleaning up the Everglades, and more of the environmental policies that he supports, noting that “Republicans need to get back in the game [environmentalism]. It’s a bi-partisan issue in Florida. I want to maintain that stance.”

 

The days leading up to next Tuesday will help define Bush’s candidacy. Current New Hampshire polls indicate that support for Bush is hovering around 10 percent, bunched up with other candidates like Cruz, Kasich and Rubio. Trump has over a 20 point lead in the Granite State, however Iowa polls served as a perfect example this week about how inaccurate they can be. In fact, for some candidates they were off significantly.

 

The New Hampshire primary is a major hurdle for all presidential hopefuls. Bush's campaign said the work throughout the next week - endless events and appearances - will hopefully push Jeb over the top and lead him to success. In New Hampshire, anything can happen, and it usually does.