11 a.m. (EDT)
Just down the street from the big gathering of Republican presidential hopefuls in Nashua, N.H., a leading Democratic voice is saying that all those Republican voices are the same.
“With all of their shared extreme views they might as well just be one,” said Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.
Wasserman Schultz says she’s in New Hampshire to draw a contrast between Republican and Democratic candidates.
She says each Republican would take the country backward.
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10:20 a.m. (EDT)
Conservatives may not like it, but former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush isn’t shying away from his support for creating a way for immigrants who are living in the country illegally to gain legal status. He also responded Friday to critics in his party who often suggest such immigrants come to the United States simply for the government benefits.
“The people who want to come here are driving for success,” Bush said in a morning appearance at Saint Anselm College.
Bush has yet to say whether he’s running for president, but he looks and acts very much like a candidate. If elected, he said, he would deal with the millions of immigrants in the country illegally “in a rational, thoughtful way.”
“My suggestion is earn legal status, not earn citizenship, but earn legal status,” Bush said, adding such immigrants would have to pay taxes, pay a fine, learn English, and not “commit crimes.”
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9:45 a.m. (EDT)
Hillary Rodham Clinton is on the minds of New Hampshire Republicans.
Opening a two-day conference for presidential hopefuls at a hotel in Nashua, New Hampshire state GOP party Chairwoman Jennifer Horn said it’s sexist to think people will “blindly and stupidly” vote for the former secretary of state and New York senator because she is a woman.
Clinton launched her campaign this past weekend and spent two days this week in Iowa. She’ll be in New Hampshire to campaign on Monday and Tuesday. Horn slammed it as a “coronation tour.”
Horn told the crowd gathered to hear from close to 20 prospective presidential candidates to ask them tough questions, but to save their attacks for Democrats.
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9:30 a.m. (EDT)
There aren’t many presidential contenders flanked by family photos when they campaign in New Hampshire.
That’s the case, though, for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, where massive photos of his brother and father are among the presidential portraits hanging on the walls at Saint Anselm College.
Bush joked to the crowd at the school’s “Politics and Eggs” event that the pictures brought back “really fond memories.” And he used the opportunity to address what may be at the same time his greatest political asset and liability — his own last name.
“I’m going to have to show my heart, show who I am, tell my story,” Bush said. “It’s a little different than the story of my brother and my dad. This may come as a shock to you, but you have brothers and sisters so you may appreciate this: We’re not all alike. We make our own mistakes in life. We are on our own life’s journey.”
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8:50 a.m. (EDT)
A big weekend in 2016 presidential politics is underway in New Hampshire, where nearly 20 Republican White House prospects will court voters this weekend at a state GOP meeting in Nashua.
It’s the first gathering of its kind in the first-in-the-nation primary state this year, and around the formal speeches and Q&As, the candidates will be out and about all weekend for “retail” campaign stops at diners, shooting ranges, sports bars and house parties.
The day’s first event is underway down the road in Manchester, where former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is speaking at “Politics and Eggs” — a breakfast fixture for 2016 prospects at Saint Anselm College. Last night, at an event called “Politics and Pies,” Bush told a crowd the Senate should confirm attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch despite objections from many of his fellow Republicans.
“If someone is supportive of the president’s policies, whether you agree with them or not, there should be some deference to the executive,” Bush said. “It should not always be partisan.”
Republished with permission of The Associated Press.