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At GOP Summit, 2016 Contenders Work To Impress N.H. Base

The state Republican Party held its First in the Nation Leadership Summit this weekend. Virtually every Republican thought to be considering a presidential run spoke at the event. Scroll down for stories, photos, interviews, and tweets by NHPR News and Morning Edition. Photos by Allegra Boverman unless otherwise noted.

Republican Leadership Summit: Slideshow

Click through the photos to see candidates, speakers, and attendees at the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua.

Related: Visit NHPR's 2016 coverage and candidate story maps right here.

Interviews & Updates

Sunday 8:13 am (via NPR):

NHPR's Josh Rogers spoke to Weekend All Things Consider's Arun Rath about common themes that emerged at the summit.

Listen to the interview:

Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR
Josh Rogers (left) covers Chris Christie at the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua

Sunday 7:55 am (via The Associated Press):

They've been allies for more than a decade. But now, ties between Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush are fraying as the Republican presidential campaign picks up.

In public, mentor Bush — a former Florida governor — and protege Rubio — a U.S. senator and former Florida House speaker — have avoided criticizing each other since Rubio announced his candidacy.

But Bush allies have started quietly spreading negative information about Sen. Rubio's record.

Also, supporters of the two Miami politicians are drawing contrasts between Rubio, a 43-year-old son of Cuban immigrants, and 62-year-old Bush, a member of one of the nation's most powerful political dynasties.

Says one Bush adviser who's close to Rubio: "Sparks are going to fly."  

Friday 5:02 pm:

4:36 pm:

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush speaks at the Republican Leadership Summit at the Crowne Plaza in Nashua. Earlier today, he appeared at a Politics and Eggs event at Saint Anselm College. Read about that event right here. 

Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

3:55 pm:

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks at the summit. This is Christie's second visit to N.H. this week. Click here to read about his town hall event in Londonderry on Wednesday.

Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR


1:28 pm:

Senator Lindsay Graham talks with the media. 

Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

1:17 pm:

Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore. Photo by Allegra Boverman for NHPR.

Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR
Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore speaks at the #FITN Leadership Summit in Nashua


10:50 am:

Former New York Governor George Pataki and his wife, Libby. Pataki is scheduled to speak shortly.

Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR


10:12 am:

Although it's early in the day, the media presence is ramping up at the Crowne Plaza. Here, a few scenes of local and national journalists at work:

Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

9:51 am:

You can follow NHPR's Josh Rogers on Twitter at @JoshRogersNHPR.

9:38 am:

Photographer Allegra Boverman captures some of the displays and merchandise at the summit. Click through the slideshow to see more.

Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR
Rick Perry was the keynote speaker at an event held by the New Hampshire Federation of Republican Women at the Draft Sports Bar & Grill in Concord. New Hampshire Republican State Committee Chairman Jennifer Horn also spoke at the November event.

8:44 am:

Among those said to be considering a run for president is former Texas Governor Rick Perry. He’ll be speaking later today in Nashua, one of nearly 20 confirmed or potential candidates who will take the stage over the next two days.

We caught up with Perry during a stop in Nashua yesterday. 

Listen to the broadcast version of Rick Ganley's conversation with Rick Perry:

Listen to the broadcast version of Rick Ganley's interview with Rick Perry

Listen to the uncut, extended version of Rick's conversation with Rick Perry. Note: This conversation was recorded via tape synch, and you may hear some of the transitions between phone and live tape in the interview.

Listen to the unedited version of Rick Ganley's interview with former Texas Governor Rick Perry. Note: some tape-sync edits are audible in the interview.

8:27 am:

NHPR’s Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers compares the Republican summit to the "Westminster Dog Show," an opportunity for candidates to "strut their stuff." Listen to him talk with Rick Ganley about what political watchers can expect from this weekend's speeches and events.

Josh Rogers talks with Rick Ganley about the Republican Leadership Summit, comparing it to the Westminster Dog Show
Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

8:24 am:

Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR
NHPR's Josh Rogers (left) prepares to go live. Also pictured: engineer RJ Perkins, Morning Edition host Rick Ganley, and Morning Edition Producer Michael Brindley

8:21 am:

Activists from NextGenClimate told photographer Allegra Boverman that their group comprises mostly local voters who want to make sure candidates know climate and environment are important to them. 

Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

7:59 am:

Some of the media trucks parked outside the Crowne Plaza in Nashua.

Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

7:57 am:

Republican candidate and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul's booth at the summit. You can find NHPR's candidate profile of Paul, featuring audio clips of his stance on the issue, right here.

Credit Michael Brindley for NHPR

7:44 am:  

Even before Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign launch last weekend, there’s been movement to get Clinton and other Democratic candidates to take more progressive positions on issues such as raising the minimum wage and campaign finance reform.

Former New Hampshire Democratic Congressman Paul Hodes is among those signed on to the so-called “Ready for Boldness” effort. He joins us now to talk about it.

Former Congressman Paul Hodes talks with Morning Edition's Rick Ganley at the #FITN Republican Leadership Summit
Credit Michael Brindley for NHPR
Former N.H. Congressman Paul Hodes talks about pushing for a more progressive platform from within the Democratic Party.

7:27 am:

This weekend is all about Republicans, but let’s turn our attention to the race in the Democratic field.

To do that, we’re joined now by Chris Galdieri, an assistant professor of politics at St. Anselm College who specializes in presidential races.

Chris Galdieri, presidential political scholar from St. Anselm College, talks with Rick Ganley about the potential for a Democratic race in the New Hampshire Primary
Credit Michael Brindley for NHPR
Chris Galdieri talks with Rick Ganley about Hillary Clinton's campaign and the potential race on the Democratic side of the N.H. Primary

Credit Sara Plourde for NHPR

7:24 am:

While Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Former Governor of Maryland Martin O’Malley have made many trips to New Hampshire and several other candidates have said they could run, right now Hillary Clinton is the only sure thing. NHPR's Paige Sutherland spoke to some Democrats to get their take on what they're looking for in 2016. You can listen to their voices right here. 

6:45 am:

Credit Michael Brindley for NHPR
Neil Levesque is director of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics.

The 2016 New Hampshire presidential primary marks the 100-year anniversary of the political tradition.

Neil Levesque is director of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. He’s heading up a state commission charged with planning the celebration of the primary’s centennial anniversary.

He joins us to talk about those efforts.

Listen to Neil Levesque talk about the importance of the N.H. Primary with Morning Edition's Rick Ganley

Josh Rogers in NHPR's Senior Political Reporter

6:29 am:

Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers talks to Rick about what to expect at this event, and how the candidates are faring so far, including Jeb Bush, who spoke at an event in Concord last night. Listen to Josh's interview, and scroll down to read some of his tweets from the Bush event.

Josh Rogers talks about Jeb Bush, the buzz around Marco Rubio, and what summit attendees should expect from Republican speakers this weekend.

Credit Sara Plourde for NHPR

6:23 am:

With almost 20 Republicans committed to or at least considering running for president, it’s a busy time to be a GOP activist or voter in New Hampshire.  NHPR's Paige Sutherland spoke to some Republicans to get their take on what they're looking for in 2016. You can listen to their voices right here. 

6:19 am:  

Rick Ganley prepping to go live on the air from the Crowne Plaza in Nashua

5:31 am:

Credit Coutesy photo

5:00 am: 

What's the summit all about? We asked James Pindell, who covers the New Hampshire Primary for The Boston Globe. He joined Morning Edition on Thursday and explained the event is largely a fundraiser for the N.H. GOP.

You can read or listen to Pindell's interview right here. 

Declared and potential candidates are tweeting about their appearance at the summit. Here's one from Donald Trump, who says his interest in running in 2016 is "no joke." You can read Paige Sutherland's coverage of Trump right here.

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