Off to the races: Republican event draws leading 2016 hopefuls

  • Heidi Cruz, wife of 2016 presidential candidate Ted Cruz, wears an “armed and fabulous” hat at the Londonderry Fish and Game Club in New Hampshire, April 19, 2015. 
  • Scott Walker speaks at a meet and greet in Derry, N.H., April 19, 2015. 
  • Ted Cruz speaks at a meet and greet in Wilton, N.H., April 19, 2015. 
  • Scott Walker shakes hands with a supporter at a meet and greet in Derry, N.H., April 19, 2015. 
  • Scott Walker’s dinner at the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • Scott Walker greets supporters at the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • Scott Walker speaks at the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • Scott Walker signs books at the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • Scott Walker greets supporters at the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • Scott Walker greets supporters at the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • Ted Cruz speaks at the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • A Photographer takes a last shot of Donald Trump as he drives away from the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • Ted Cruz arrives with his wife, Heidi, to the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • Demonstrators from the New Hampshire Rebellion, who are opposed to corporate money in political campaigns, rally outside the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • Hotel guests present for the Republican Leadership Summit walk past demonstrators from the New Hampshire Rebellion, who are opposed to corporate money in political campaigns, Nashua, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • Demonstrators from the New Hampshire Rebellion, who are opposed to corporate money in political campaigns, rally outside the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • Donald Trump looks at Rand Paul Buttons as he drives away from the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • Audience members clap as Donald Trump speaks at the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • Donald Trump speaks at the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • Donald Trump waves at the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • Carly Fiorina speaks at the #FITN Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • Reporters cast their shadows over the logo for the #FITN Republican Leadership Summit, in Nashua, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • The audience listens as Carly Fiorina speaks at the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • Reporter does a live take outside the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • A message, as seen at the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 18, 2015.
  • A woman at the #FITN Republican Leadership Summit with her hand on the Obamacare bill, Nashua, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • Mike Huckabee does a TV interview outside of the #FITN Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • Joe Scarborough speaks with an attendee at the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • A TV cameraman photographs a cardboard cutout of Rand Paul at the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • Rand Paul buttons on display at the D.W. Diner in Merrimack, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • Pollster Frant Lutz at the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • Rand Paul receives a hug from a supporter at the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • The elephant bowtie of an attendee at the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • Rand Paul greets supporters at the D.W. Diner in Merrimack, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • Rand Paul supporters at the D.W. Diner in Merrimack, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • Rand Paul greets supporters at the D.W. Diner in Merrimack, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • Rand Paul signs an autograph for a young supporter at the D.W. Diner in Merrimack, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • Rand Paul arrives to the D.W. Diner in Merrimack, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • Dr. Ben Carson supporter sits for a meal, Nashua, N.H., April 18, 2015. 
  • Dr. Ben Carson fans at the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 17, 2015. 
  • Abigail Hackett, 9 years old, sings God Bless America at the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 17, 2015. 
  • Peter King on his mobile phone at the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 17, 2015. 
  • Photographers photograph Marco Rubio as he speaks at the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 17, 2015. 
  • Marco Rubio speaks as the headliner at the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 17, 2015. 
  • Marco Rubio at the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 17, 2015. 
  • Jeb Bush at the Republican Leadership Summit, April 17, 2015, in Nashua, N.H.
  • Jeb Bush poses for a selfie with a fan at the Republican Leadership Summit, April 17, 2015, in Nashua, N.H.
  • Jeb Bush speaks at the Republican Leadership Summit, April 17, 2015, in Nashua, N.H.
  • Jeb Bush at the Republican Leadership Summit, April 17, 2015, in Nashua, N.H.
  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J. speaks with a gentleman on Elm Street in Manchester, NH on April 17, 2015, in Nashua, NH.
  • A “Perry Vision” sticker supporting Rick Perry at the Republican Leadership Summit, April 17, 2015, in Nashua, N.H.
  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J. doing some retail politicking at at shop on Elm Street in Manchester, NH on April 17, 2015, in Nashua, NH.
  • Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry casts a shadow over an American flag at the Republican Leadership Summit on April 17, 2015, in Nashua, NH.
  • Attendees at the “First-in-the-Nation” or #FITN Republican Leadership Conference in New Hampshire on April 17, 2015.
  • Lunch is served at the Republican Leadership Summit on April 17, 2015, in Nashua, N.H.
  • Campaign memorabilia displayed at the Politics and Eggs breakfast (founded in 1996 to provide New Hampshire and New England business leaders with a chance to meet with presidential candidates) at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., on April 17, 2015.
  • Jeb Bush walks past a wall of pictures of past presidential candidates at the Politics and Eggs breakfast (founded in 1996 to provide New Hampshire and New England business leaders with a chance to meet with presidential candidates) at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., on April 17, 2015.
  • Jeb Bush autographs wooden eggs at the Politics and Eggs breakfast (founded in 1996 to provide New Hampshire and New England business leaders with a chance to meet with presidential candidates) at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., on April 17, 2015.
  • Jeb Bush arrives for the Politics and Eggs breakfast (founded in 1996 to provide New Hampshire and New England business leaders with a chance to meet with presidential candidates) at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., on April 17, 2015.
  • Reporters interview a man after he asked former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush a question in Concord, NH at a Politics and Pie at the Snow Shoe Club on April 16, 2015.
  • Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks to reporters after the Politics and Pie at the Snow Shoe Club on April 16, 2015, in Concord, NH.

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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.”

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