Romney gets a thousand cheers and one heckler in Derry

posted at 12:15 pm on January 7, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

I’m in Manchester, New Hampshire for the next few days, covering the next stop in the Republican primary process. After arriving late last night, I got up early this morning to travel to Derry, where Mitt Romney had a rally scheduled at Pinkerton Academy at 8:20 this morning. Pinkerton is in Derry, a picturesque town that doesn’t quite resemble a suburb, but isn’t really that rural, either. It’s best described as quaint in the most complimentary meaning of the term.  It mainly features small, stand-alone shops, but at the moment, I’m writing this post from a café called The Coffee House in one of the few strip malls I’ve seen, which has live music from a harpist and cellist.

The event itself was well-attended, especially for the quiet area in which it was held and the time of day.  I guessed that Romney had attracted about 300 people, but I was pretty far off; the campaign later said that the estimate from the Derry PD was 1,020, and the fire marshal told the local media that the hard count at the front door was 930.  On the way in, though, the attendees got to hear from Ron Paul supporters, who have made a habit of demonstrating outside of Romney events in New Hampshire.  There weren’t too many of them, though, only about a dozen.  The one here in the foreground has a sign that says, “The doctor will free you now,” and they called out to people to “Say yes to Dr. No!”

Not everyone who attended was committed to Romney.  I didn’t mix much with the crowd, but I spoke to a couple of reporters later who were having trouble finding solid Romney backers to interview.  I saw a lot of stickers and buttons, however, and the crowd seemed very enthusiastic for Romney and his surrogates, Senator Kelly Ayotte and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, both of whom spoke at the rally.  One man in particular was not at all a fan of Romney — an Occupy heckler who tried to disrupt the event.  Fortunately, I was in perfect position to capture the exchange, such as it was:

Hey, if he’s the only protester, doesn’t that make him the 0.1% in a crowd of a thousand?

Romney wasn’t thrown by this at all.  He waited for the crowd to drown out the protester, and then reminded people how fortunate we are to live in a country where dissent is not stifled, although he wished it had been presented with “respect and civility.”  I was a little surprised that there was only one outburst; I expected another, but it never came.  The Derry police showed a great deal of restraint in this case, standing by the man to let him have his say, and then escorting him out when the moment was over … even if the Occupier hadn’t quite figured that out.

Otherwise, the speeches were standard campaign fare, but clearly Romney wants to stick to the economy and encroaching federal regulation as the basis of his campaign against Obama.  Haley and Ayotte never strayed far from those themes, either, and Haley emphasized them when she told the crowd that her biggest headache as Governor doesn’t come from the state itself, but interference from Washington DC.  Both were effective, but Haley showed that she can charm a crowd.  Eventually, we might see Haley headlining presidential primary events.  Romney stuck with economic arguments almost completely, in the last few minutes changed to more of an inspirational call to patriotism and duty by quoting from “America the Beautiful.”  He then stuck around for about a half hour to shake hands and talk with people before going into another room to do a couple of media interviews.

I’m posting the Haley and Ayotte speeches in their entirety, and Romney’s conclusion to his speech below, but this post would not be complete without mentioning that another candidate dropped by the auditorium after Romney left.  I think I’ve found Jazz Shaw’s dream presidential candidate:

This is what makes covering American politics fun.  A local police officer told me the boot is on his head because Mr. Supreme wants to give politicians the boot.  He had no idea what the half-dozen ties meant, and Mr. Supreme didn’t explain it during his brief but memorable appearance.

Here are the three videos.  Enjoy. I’ll be at a Santorum event later and will have video and more observations later today.


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The numbers of anti-Palin, indifferent, and pro-Palin commenters has always been pretty equal. I don’t recall any thread ever that had an overwhelming majority of worshipful comments that would mislead the unwary web surfer that this site is strictly pro-Palin and that therefore all Republicans love Sarah Palin. What you were upset about is that the Mittbot contingent was either paltry, too ashamed, or else they were so obnoxious in spamming Palin threads that they’d get banned.

ddrintn on January 7, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Again, no it wasn’t. I wasn’t a Mitt supporter until Pawlenty, Perry, and Newt crashed and after I had a really good look at comparing what MassCare and ObamaCare are in comparison to a single payer system in order to understand Romney’s thought process on that issue.

The only thing consistent about this site months ago is that both the Pro-Palin supporters and the Anti-Palin folks were daily going at eachother’s throats with increasing juvenille crap.

Bluray on January 7, 2012 at 6:09 PM

Exactly.

kingsjester on January 7, 2012 at 6:07 PM

Wrong.

Bluray on January 7, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Everybody at The Five on FOX is a Romney apologist… get outta here

apocalypse on January 7, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Well, I’m may be going out on a limb here, but this is my take on this election.
1. Romney is being selected by the Dems & the Repubs. Reason: So Obama will beat him and be re-elected.
2. Gingrich is the only one that can contend with Obama & beat him.
That’s why the Repubs and the Dems are against him.

You don’t see the Repubs or Dems attacking Romney, do you? Why attack the Candidate that you can beat in the General?

I am a supporter of Perry and I wish he would be the nominee, but due to #1 & #2 above, he can’t. He will spoil the Dems plan & the Repubs.

The Iowa Romney/Paul/Santorum results. Iowa didn’t want Paul to win, so Dems/Repubs voted for Santorum to shut Paul out. They couldn’t keep Santorum from the votes he got, but due to the “errors” Romney “won” after all.

bluefox on January 7, 2012 at 6:18 PM

The only thing consistent about this site months ago is that both the Pro-Palin supporters and the Anti-Palin folks were daily going at eachother’s throats with increasing juvenille crap.

Bluray on January 7, 2012 at 6:09 PM

I don’t know how to tell you this, but it’s not “your” site. Palin threads got hits. Romney threads didn’t. You contradict yourself. You said you didn’t like the impression given that everyone is a Palin supporter, while admitting that there were plenty of anti-Palins commenting here all the time, as well as not being able to refute the simple fact that most of the Palin posts here have been fairly negative. Again, your gripe is that there hasn’t been an artifical Romney Love reflected here. That’s because most conservatives aren’t Mittbots, and most people who comment here are conservatives.

ddrintn on January 7, 2012 at 6:18 PM

I don’t know how to tell you this, but it’s not “your” site. Palin threads got hits. Romney threads didn’t. You contradict yourself. You said you didn’t like the impression given that everyone is a Palin supporter, while admitting that there were plenty of anti-Palins commenting here all the time, as well as not being able to refute the simple fact that most of the Palin posts here have been fairly negative. Again, your gripe is that there hasn’t been an artifical Romney Love reflected here. That’s because most conservatives aren’t Mittbots, and most people who comment here are conservatives.

ddrintn on January 7, 2012 at 6:18 PM

LOL. Good we agree on something that this is neither site of ours, so then don’t act like there aren’t legitimate Romney supporters that are Republicans and conservatives, and that this latest open reg was just some sort of campaign stunt by them.

Bluray on January 7, 2012 at 6:29 PM

You don’t see the Repubs or Dems attacking Romney, do you? Why attack the Candidate that you can beat in the General?

bluefox on January 7, 2012 at 6:18 PM

Please. Romney is the only candidate Obama has attacked so far. Nice bubble you live in.

almosthandsome on January 7, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Romney is now at 29% in the Gallup tracking poll. We need a new meme. Out with “Romney can’t break 25%!!1 He’s doomed!”, in “Romney can’t break 30%!!1 He’s doomed!”

joana on January 7, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Please. Romney is the only candidate Obama has attacked so far. Nice bubble you live in.

almosthandsome on January 7, 2012 at 6:34 PM

That’s just for show, in my opinion. As I said, what I posted is my take. Not what I would prefer, but that’s the way I see it.

bluefox on January 7, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Romney is now at 29% in the Gallup tracking poll. We need a new meme. Out with “Romney can’t break 25%!!1 He’s doomed!”, in “Romney can’t break 30%!!1 He’s doomed!”

joana on January 7, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Great! “Percentage of GOP voters wanting someone other than Romney drops from 76% to 71%”, as per AP a few days ago.

so then don’t act like there aren’t legitimate Romney supporters that are Republicans and conservatives, and that this latest open reg was just some sort of campaign stunt by them.

Bluray on January 7, 2012 at 6:29 PM

Who said anything about campaign stunts?

ddrintn on January 7, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Please. Romney is the only candidate Obama has attacked so far. Nice bubble you live in.

almosthandsome on January 7, 2012 at 6:34 PM

That’s just for show, in my opinion. As I said, what I posted is my take. Not what I would prefer, but that’s the way I see it.

bluefox on January 7, 2012 at 6:52 PM

The ability to reason like bluefox is the only criterion for being a successful citizen of North Korea.

thuja on January 7, 2012 at 7:06 PM

The ability to reason like bluefox is the only criterion for being a successful citizen of North Korea.

thuja on January 7, 2012 at 7:06 PM

LOL Citizens of N.K., wouldn’t have access to information in order to reason for one thing, but I get your implication:-)

bluefox on January 7, 2012 at 7:11 PM

You don’t see the Repubs or Dems attacking Romney, do you? Why attack the Candidate that you can beat in the General?

bluefox on January 7, 2012 at 6:18 PM

Please. Romney is the only candidate Obama has attacked so far. Nice bubble you live in.

almosthandsome on January 7, 2012 at 6:34 PM

That’s just for show, in my opinion. As I said, what I posted is my take. Not what I would prefer, but that’s the way I see it.

bluefox on January 7, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Goal posts. Moving. Can’t keep up.

Rational Thought on January 7, 2012 at 7:12 PM

bluefox on January 7, 2012 at 7:11 PM

You seem pretty polite and non-confrontational, bluefox. Is that a reasonable assessment? Are you going to start cutting people up in a minute?

Strange looking: politeness, non-confrontation.

Axe on January 7, 2012 at 7:14 PM

ddrintn on January 7, 2012 at 5:38 PM

It’s pretty hilarious….

Even on a Romney thread it always comes back to Palin..:)

idesign on January 7, 2012 at 5:38 PM

I should be surprised, but not really:-) Just scanning the comments. Watching the Cincy/Houston game:-)

bluefox on January 7, 2012 at 7:19 PM

I should be surprised, but not really:-) Just scanning the comments. Watching the Cincy/Houston game:-)

bluefox on January 7, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Same here…

It’s turned into a blowout.

idesign on January 7, 2012 at 7:23 PM

I’ve never had PDS, I actually just see her record as more populist than conservative (Romney’s MA record isn’t really conservative either). There are many people in the party who see it that way.

Bluray on January 7, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Just exercising my right to an opinion, if that’s ok with you/

Anyone that doesn’t think that Sarah Palin is the ULTIMATE Conservative, either can’t read and comprehend or don’t understand the meaning of Conservative. And oh yes, I was/am a supporter of Sarah Palin and always will be. Since she is not running, I’m supporting the next best Conservative in the race, Gov. Perry.

Oh, what might your definition of Conservative be?

bluefox on January 7, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Goal posts. Moving. Can’t keep up.

Rational Thought on January 7, 2012 at 7:12 PM

LOL, speaking of goal posts. Cincy 10/Houston 31 4th quarter 2:33 left

bluefox on January 7, 2012 at 7:32 PM

The ability to reason like bluefox is the only criterion for being a successful citizen of North Korea.

thuja on January 7, 2012 at 7:06 PM

We’re not the ones falling in line.

ddrintn on January 7, 2012 at 7:35 PM

LOL. Good we agree on something that this is neither site of ours

Bluray on January 7, 2012 at 6:29 PM

Confused. So, who’s site is it, then? :)

I hope it’s not “the peoples” or something.

Axe on January 7, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Months back I said without doubt that Mitt would be the next POTUS. Iowa sealed the deal. If he wins SC he could very well run the table. SC will simply decide how soon he wraps up on the nomination. I’m hoping he wins it early. Today’s polling numbers are heartening. That will give the party more time to rally around him and the sooner he and we can concentrate all of our fire on PBHO the better.

MJBrutus on January 7, 2012 at 4:49 PM

yeah yeah yeah….hurry up…hurry dammit!!!! nO one gets a choice…no no no…it WILL be Romney….

great.

Stray Cat on January 7, 2012 at 7:41 PM

You seem pretty polite and non-confrontational, bluefox. Is that a reasonable assessment? Are you going to start cutting people up in a minute?

Strange looking: politeness, non-confrontation.

Axe on January 7, 2012 at 7:14 PM

You’re probably correct for the most part. I’m not on the site to confront others, nor push my opinion. Most know I support Perry and prior, supported Palin.

If I read something that is really nasty, I normally just shake my head and keep reading:-)

bluefox on January 7, 2012 at 7:42 PM

Confused. So, who’s site is it, then? :)

I hope it’s not “the peoples” or something.

Axe on January 7, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Nope, it’s definetely Salem’s.

Bluray on January 7, 2012 at 7:45 PM

O/T

Greece to ‘sell bonds backed by state property’

Heh.

Axe on January 7, 2012 at 8:07 PM

That is scary. More so is who is buying? Hope it’s not us.

bluefox on January 7, 2012 at 8:10 PM

Horace on January 7, 2012 at 5:58 PM

I see. I hope he campaigns hard for Gov. Romney once he has secured the nomination. I would hope he would not endorse anyone before the vote in Florida, since the NRSC came out for Charlie Crist before the senatorial primary when he ran. I would hope he would rather let his constituents vote first.

Cindy Munford on January 7, 2012 at 11:05 PM

Axe on January 7, 2012 at 5:55 PM

You are probably correct, but we seem to spend a lot of time courting the “independents” and not securing those who normally would vote Republican. It’s like family, they get taken for granted.

Cindy Munford on January 7, 2012 at 11:15 PM

I was moved to tears hearing Nikki Haley speak. She’d make a great VP for Romney.

thuja on January 8, 2012 at 12:46 AM

I hope with all my being that Romney makes a great president and then I can come back here and give you all a great big pssssst!

AReadyRepub on January 8, 2012 at 1:22 AM

we seem to spend a lot of time courting the “independents” and not securing those who normally would vote Republican. It’s like family, they get taken for granted.

Cindy Munford on January 7, 2012 at 11:15 PM

You are probably over on the new “war” thread, but on the off chance you check back — I really, really feel your pain there.

Axe on January 8, 2012 at 1:32 AM

Axe on January 8, 2012 at 1:32 AM

Thanks, there is not much worse that a food fight at the table on a holiday. Although looking at an election as a holiday is a bit surreal.

Cindy Munford on January 8, 2012 at 9:53 AM

It’s nice to know where Ayotte and Haley are coming from because, well, they’re now off my list of “conservatives” with potential.
Just your average pandering pols.
Say goodnight, ladies.

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on January 8, 2012 at 11:13 AM

If Ayotte and Haley are supporting Romney, they are NOT real conservatives.

Pragmatic on January 9, 2012 at 7:58 AM

Ah Nikki Haley endorsing Mitt…

Crouching Conservative, Hidden RINO.

CorporatePiggy on January 9, 2012 at 9:54 AM

I’m always amazed at how many on this site and in the conservative camp in general don’t seem to appreciate the concept of incrementalism. Romney may not be the poster boy of conservatism but how can anyone doubt that he is a huge improvement over Obama or anyone else the Democrats would put forward? The thing about a democracy is that you can’t just have everything your way because you know you are right. You have to persuade people and this can take time. But if you are moving in the right direction then that is what really matters. It seems clear to me that of the candidates, Romney has the best chance of beating Obama and that is what matters at the moment.

whoishe on January 9, 2012 at 1:02 PM

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