Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) - With national polls show a lot of Republicans not enthusiastic with the current make-up of presidential candidates and contenders, you wouldn't know it talking to some activists at the Hillsborough County Flag Day and picnic.
As they listened to candidates and party leaders and munched on hot dogs and hamburgers several voters called the field "very strong" and were happy with the potential choices they will have when they go to the polls next February.
"Personally I am very happy with the current field," Paul Bugholzer said but added "there is room for more."
"I think it is great. I think it is wide open. We have a lot of very interesting candidates to choose from," Joann Devine Donovan said.
Leading New Hampshire activist Ovide Lamontagne, who has hosted a number of the presidential hopefuls for house parties, told CNN National Political Correspondent Jessica Yellin he is seeing Republicans in New Hampshire getting more excited.
"They are becoming more and more encouraged," he said. "We have had a lot of exploring going on. But when you are exploring you are not running. You are not telling people why you are there. Why they should support you. You are not asking them to support you. Now people are. And now you are starting to crystallize the debate. But it has taken a long time to develop…and I am just pleased we are here. I think we have had sort of a malaise in the Republican party."
While most of the nation is hardly paying attention to primary politics, here in New Hampshire the candidates are already busy introducing themselves, meeting voters at house parties and events like the county picnic and wooing the key local activists who can make or break a campaign here in the first in the nation primary state.
Besides tonight's CNN/WMUR/New Hampshire Union Leader debate several of the candidates have made appearances here in the last week knowing retail politics-answering a wide variety of issue questions, making sure voters can get to know you– is key here.
Bob DeMaura was one of the picnic attendees was impressed with businessman and radio talk show host Herman Cain because of his plain spokeness.
Both he and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty spoke at the picnic and criticized President Obama over his handling of the economy. Several of the voters cited Pawlenty, who has one of the better organizations in the state, as one of the stronger candidates in the race.
"I think we can put together a very strong ticket a combination of a couple of these candidates," DeMaura said.
As polls nationally show Republicans' most important quality they are looking for in a candidate is someone who can beat the president next year, several of the activists at the picnic agreed.
"Perhaps our current president is well meaning, but I believe his agenda is going to ruin us – stopping his agenda and replacing it with someone who has a better grasp of how money actually works and letting the private sector run the economy rather than unelected bureaucrats- I would rate that as my highest priority," Burgholzer said.
When asked if there were any other candidates he was interested in possibly entering the race, John Caprio suggested Texas Governor Rick Perry who has recently said he is weighing whether to run for the nomination. Perry has a strong conservative following. "Mr. Perry has a lot of name recognition," he said. "He has dealt with the deficit and done well."
But Caprio had this warning for anyone still mulling a decision.
"Time is getting short. We need to start the winnowing process."
–Follow Kevin Bohn on Twitter: @KevinBohnCNN
....stopping his agenda and replacing it with someone who has a better grasp of how money actually works and letting the private sector run the economy rather than unelected bureaucrats."
Huh? Isn't the private sector, by definition, full of unelected bureaucrats? I hope they don't mean that the way it came out. Not only does it not make sense, it sends like a nightmare scenario where a bad bureaucrat could have free reign to do whatever he wanted. Such a bureaucrat would be not be elected, but self-appointed and would answer to no one but himself. Such an official would only care about himself. There is not check and balance.
You should have asked those average Republican voters what types of jobs they hold, or what do they do for a living.
Let's be honest with ourselves. Elections and politics have always been about money and always will apparently. So, we must decide how to cast our votes based upon who can make the most money for ourselves, for us: not for themselves, not for the politicians, not for their sponsors.
I'm glad that they're happy with the field they have. Because few, if any, show the strength to beat Obama in a general election. About the only ones who can are Romney (maybe) and Huntsman (better chance). But I have faith that the Republicans will not nominate either one because neither is right-wing enough. Oddly enough, the very thing that would make them attractive in a general election disqualifies them in the nominating race. Let the far-right continue to dominate the Republican party and it wiil assure Obama's re-election.
Hey I thought newhamsheir unemployment was down below 5 percent, I wonder if they are giving the credit to the Obama policies. Or Obama o ly get the credit when things are bad. I would hope they voice their opinion to say that the Obama policies are doing well in their states. And tell the repugs controlled congress to write a jobs bill and present it to the president to sign, and stop holding the country hostage to win back their seats
Rudy, good point. And may I add that we've just saw what lettting the privet sector could do unchecked and unleased w/out proper oversite. It amazes me how the Regressives still keep beating the old "Let the market decide" drum. Anyone here still remember what we're suffereing from economically and why? I'll give you a hint, a recession short of being a Depression if the presidents so called failed policies hadn't kept us from that even nastier fall. Thanks, but you can take your "Let the markets decide and let the private sector run the economy and shove it where the sun don't shine. I trust them as much as BP telling everyone that they've got everything under control and there's nothing to worry about. Jeez! Talk about short termed memories. No taxes and let the markets decide may have managed to help get us ruled by Germany if FDR said he agreed w/ that ideology. ...better grasp of how money works....for their own fleece lined pockets that is. We're suffereing from another guilded age like that of the late 19th century. Robber barons in the private sector allowed to run the economy carte blanch until someone stomped on them b/c the masses were hungry, overworked, underpaid, and stepped on. Teddy Roosevelt should be rolling in his grave to see what greedy, corporate schills, the members of his party have become. More like the Democratic party of the old south (good old boy's running the show for profit). Let the market decide, they know what's best for all of us as long as we're agreeable to eat the crumbs and scraps they let trickle down from their overburdened tables of gluttony.
Well, is New Hampshire afterall and it was a long, long winter.
Here's how it works:
Moderator: "[Insert softball question designed to provide lift-off for sounds-nice-but-means-nothing rhetoric that criticizes Obama or an opopnent but provides no substantive information or specifics about the questioned candidates' actual policies, plans or positions.]"
Candidate: "[Insert sounds-nice-but-means-nothing rhetoric that criticizes Obama or an opopnent but provides no substantive information or specifics about the questioned candidates' actual policies, plans or positions.]"
Bobblehead: "[Inserts kindergarten level "analysis" of sounds-nice-but-means-nothing rhetoric that criticizes Obama or an opopnent but provides no substantive information or specifics about the questioned candidates' actual policies, plans or positions.]"
Mix and match, rinse and repeat the above and poof...you've got yourself a "debate" brought to you by your good friends in CNN's rating and advertising departments.
I expect nothing more and nothing less than a whole lot of nothing from this charade. People who are looking to simply hear a lot of anti-Obama, anti-Dem rhetorical garbage and vitriol and a whole slew of ideological regurgitation and buzz words will probably walk away thinking it was the most meaningful thing they've seen in months. The rest of us who don't wear tinfoil hats will walk away figuring Cartoon Network would've been a better place to spend a few hours.
How can anyone be excited about the same old "SNOW JOB" Republicans offer when they haven't created one job in the past 10 years but they sure know how to create more wealth for the rich.
" When asked if there were any other candidates he was interested in possibly entering the race, John Caprio suggested Texas Governor Rick Perry who has recently said he is weighing whether to run for the nomination. Perry has a strong conservative following. "Mr. Perry has a lot of name recognition," he said. "He has dealt with the deficit and done well."
Has anyone mentioned how much Texas is in the red due to Perry?
SO?? There are idiots in all 50 states. Move on. Not watching, now matter how much CNN hypes their lop-sided crap.
Of course, who's really going to watch a bunch of stuffed shirt ne'er-do-wells vie for the title of Champion NonSpecific Answer Guy and World's Best Subject Changer by rediverting every question to criticism of Obama and the Dems instead of talking about his/her actual plans, policies, etc., when you could be watching the Stanley Cup insetgad? Seriously. And it's NH...they're Bruins fans there.
The Bush Tax Cuts were supposed to stimulate our economy out of a recession. A recession caused by high interest rates at the Federal Reserve. A manipulation of rates by Alan Greenspan to slow down the economy during a period of what he had called "irrational exuberance." The more he raised rates, seemingly the more the economy grew. Greenspan didn't understand why the economy would not slow down, so he raised rates again and again, a record number of times 6 months. (7 times?) The economy completely stalled and a recession ensured.
They lowered the rates to more sensible numbers and the economy instantly began to rebound. Enter the "temporary" Bush Tax Cuts to "help" the jobs growth numbers. Almost 10 years later I am still waiting to see the results of those tax cuts.
How ironic that a newspaper named the "UNION Leader" sponsors a republican debate. I thought the republicans hated ALL union leaders.
These people are just trying to convince themselves that they have a worthy candidate. Everyone else knows they don't. Obama/Biden 2012
sorry Romney doesnt stand a chance a hell...he shipped great paying American jobs overseas...i understand that Capitalism isnt Patriotism but i rather my president not be someone who has helped the chinese economy almost surpass mine.
Just because someone has a business background doesn't mean they understand and can do things better. George W. Bush had an MBA and yet he didn't understand that he could have been cutting our debt a larger amount if he hadn't cut taxes (or could have paid for the military actions with the money that the taxes brought in).
People claiming that they're "very happy" with the current field or thinking it's "great" is pretty funny. Talk about lipstick on a pig. There is NO ONE interesting in tonight's debate, and those who haven't announced their candidacy yet are unelectable. So good luck, Republicans, in your choice between wet dog food and vomit.
Not much to do in NH? This fiekd and the stragglers are worse than watching grass grow!