SUNDAY, NOV. 2:
NASHUA – Hillary Clinton, in her first visit to New Hampshire in six years, praised her old friend Jeanne Shaheen today as a “work horse,” and portrayed Republican Senate challenger Scott Brown as a “show horse.” She also reminded about 700 excited Democrats of her long history in the first-in the-nation primary state, dating back to 1991.
Clinton, winner of the 2008 New Hampshire first-in-the-nation presidential primary, is expected to return to New Hampshire often next year as she gears up for her expected run for President. But for now, her goal is to have Democrats retain control of the U.S. Senate, and New Hampshire is one of a group of key races in play – Clinton is in the process of visiting most of them before the Tuesday election.
Clinton’s appearance was also aimed at bolstering the reelection effort of Gov. Maggie Hassan, who is facing Republican Walt Havenstein. While Shaheen is in a nip-and-tuck race with Brown, Hassan is viewed as being in a slightly more comfortable position.
Prior to the event, state Republican Party Jennifer Horn said Shaheen was bringing in “the next best thing” to President Obama.
“Jeanne Shaheen told us that President Obama couldn’t come here to campaign for her because he was too busy,” Horn said in a statement, “so she brought in the next best thing — a former member of the Obama cabinet. Hillary Clinton and Jeanne Shaheen share one thing in common — they have both supported Obama’s failed leadership, which has left America weaker at home and around the world. To change direction, we need to change senators. Scott Brown is an independent leader who will be a check and balance on Obama, not a blank check like Jeanne Shaheen.”
The Brown campaign released a web ad of 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney .In the 15-second piece, Romney looks into the camera and says, “This election is America’s last chance to pass judgment on President Obama’s record. He’s not on the ballot, but his biggest supporter in the Senate is: Jeanne Shaheen. Scott Brown will lead us in a new direction with more jobs and renewed sense of pride and purpose.”
Clinton, reminiscing a bit, told the crowd at Nashua Community College, “It’s hard for me to express how grateful I am on behalf of my husband and myself to the people of New Hampshire. In the darkest days of my campaign,” in 2008, she said, “you lifted me up, gave me my voice back taught me so much about grit and determination.”
Former President Bill Clinton was in the state slightly more than two weeks ago headlining a New Hampshire Democratic Party fundraiser in Manchester. He reminisced about his campaigns in the Granite State, as well.
Although there have been no big-name Republicans in the state this weekend, the NHGOP is bringing in New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie again tomorrow to campaign with Brown and Havenstein, as well as with 2nd District U.S. House hopeful Marilinda Garcia. They will appear in New London, Mac Kenna’s Restaurant, in late afternoon on the final leg of their statewide bus tour that began Friday.
Tonight, the NHGOP is holding a rally in Manchester with their top four candidates.
Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, said that being a new grandmother “really keeps you focused on the future.” And she said her party is the party of the future while the Republicans want to return to “trickle-down” economics, which, she said, have been proven not to work.
Calling Shaheen “a breath of fresh air,” Clinton said, “There are two kinds of senators – show horses ad work horses. There are too many show horses and we don’t need another show horse. We a work horse who gets things done.” Clinton did not mention Brown by name.
Shaheen, she said “knows the state like the back of her hand. I’m not talking about geography, although that does help,” a reference to a recent debate controversy between Brown and a questioner. “Jeanne doesn’t just know that Berlin is in the North Country,” she has worked for veterans there.
“Jeanne knows Durham is in Strafford County,” said Clinton. “But she also knows students there are graduating with some of the highest rates of debt in the country.
“This is your chance to choose between two very different visions about our country,” Clinton said.
She pushed for equal pay for women, saying it is “astonishing” the the issue is still being debated.” She pushed for a hike in the minimum wage saying, “If you raise the minimum wage, lower-wage workers will not only have more income but will spend more and will help businesses and create more customers.”
Clinton criticized the “Republican theory of trickle-down economics,” adding, “We know it doesn’t work. It’s not like we haven’t seen this movie before.”
She said the GOP agenda “is what it’s been in the past. It’s fear. Fear is the last resort of those who have run out of ideas and run out of hope.”
Again referring to her new granddaughter, Clinton said, “You should not have to be the grandchild of a governor or senator or a former Secretary of State or a former President to believe the American dream is within your grasp.”
Clinton also praised Hassan as a leader who has worked successfully at bringing a 21st Century economy to the state.
Shaheen, also referring to the recent debate flap, said, “It’s wonderful to be in Nashua, in Hillsborough County, and I now my opponent will be interested to know that there is a little bit of Hillsborough County that borders Sullivan County.”
“Scott Brown and I have very different views of the future and how to grow our economy,” Shaheen said. “Scott Brown wants to give more and more to the people at the top while everyone else falls behind. I want a future where middle class families are strong and everyone has a fair shot at success.
“We need to make sure young people can get a college education without drowning in debt. I have a bill to do allow students to refinance their student loans. The government shouldn’t be profiting on the backs of students and graduates. We need to invest in small businesses that are the heart of New Hampshire’s economy — to make sure they have the capital to grow and create jobs. We don’t’ need to import a senator whose going to export our jobs,” Shaheen said.
And she promised, “I don’t care how many ads Karl Rove and the Koch brothers run against me. I will never stop fighting for affordable, quality health care.”
Regarding foreign policy, “New Hampshire needs serious leader. We don’t’ need Scot Brown’s fear-mongering.”
Hassan said, “Our state faces a clear choice. Do we move forward together…or do we go back to the slash and burn, Bill O’Brien – Koch brothers agenda.
She said that during her term the Legislature “passed most bipartisan budget in a decade and froze in-state tuition at our universities, and at Nashua Community College and all community colleges in the state, this fall, tuition is 5 percent less.”
She noted that Havenstein has called the NHGOP platform, with its “personhood” plank, a “guideline” for him.
“Everything we’ve worked on the past two years comes down to these final two days,” said Hassan. “We can’t turn back now.”
Rep. Ann Kuster said she is working for middle-class families, while her opponent, Marilinda Garcia, was “hand-picked by the Koch brothers to advance their agenda here in New Hampshire. She doesn’t show an interest in policies that will change the lives of Granite Staters for the better.”
Garcia, she said, wants to “take us back in time, like a bad episode of ‘Mad Men.’”
State Democratic Party chair Raymond Buckley said Brown “simply believes New Hampshire is his consolation prize.”
“He’s clearly desperate,” Buckley said. “He knows that if we get all of you to the polls on Tuesday he’s going to lose.”