From The Archives: Sen. Phil Gramm And The 1996 N.H. Primary
Republican hopefuls with their eyes on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave are flooding New Hampshire this month. Decrying the state of the nation and the Democrat in the Oval Office is part of today's rhetoric, but history shows us, is nothing new.
It’s 1995, the Democrat in question is Bill Clinton, and one of the Republican hopefuls is Texas Senator Phil Gramm. He was an early person of interest in the 1996 Republican primary, having amassed a large war chest as early as 1994.
NHPR captured one of Gramm's first visits to NH as a candidate on February 22, 1995. Among the many notable Republicans at the event were Sen. John McCain (AZ), Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX – then a freshman Senator), Rep. Charlie Bass (NH), and Steve Duprey (then Chair of the State Republican party). Sen. Bob Smith of N.H., who would launch his own presidential run four years later, introduces Gramm.
After a poor showing in the Iowa caucus, Gramm pulled out of the race, so he wasn't a candidate by the time the New Hampshire Primary came around.
On February 18, 1996, two days before the NH Primary, Gramm lent his support to Sen. Bob Dole, making it effectively a three-man race between Dole, Pat Buchanan and Steve Forbes.
We'll have more on those candidates' New Hampshire campaigns and the campaigns of many other candidates over the years, in the coming weeks.