Off to the races: Republican event draws leading 2016 hopefuls
The Republican Leadership Summit, taking place Friday and Saturday in Nashua, New Hampshire, is expected to draw most of the party’s top names — including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and many others. The possible and declared presidential hopefuls flocked to the first-in-the-nation primary state to both test the waters and establish their credentials with voters.
Events in the Granite State kicked off on Friday morning with an event attended by Bush. Speaking to a small crowd at the Snowshoe Club in Concord, New Hampshire, the likely 2016 contender levied a steady drumbeat of attacks on President Obama’s record, accusing him of restraining the economy, weakening national security, and running roughshod over the constitution.
Should he officially join the race, Bush will face a stiff challenge from one of his longtime political allies in Rubio, who announced his official candidacy in Miami on Monday. Bush said he hadn’t seen the speech. “I love Marco, he’s a great guy,” he said at the event.
As for Hillary Clinton — who will also be heading to New Hampshire to start the second leg of her recently declared campaign — Bush’s shots were only indirect. One voter asked him whether he ate at Chipotle, where Clinton was filmed eating the other day on her campaign road trip. “Yeah I go to [Chipotle],” he told a voter. “The one on US 1. Drive my own car. Park my own car.”