A number of Republican presidential candidates have taken sides with New Hampshire and are making an attempt to force Nevada into rescheduling its mid-January caucus date.
New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner announced that he is willing to schedule the first in the nation primary in early December if it will avoid squeezing the Granite Stat’es primary between Iowa’s tentative January 3rd caucus date and and Nevada’s Jan. 14th caucus date.
On Thursday, the campaigns of Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Jon Huntsman, all agreed to boycott Nevada and not do any campaigning in the state unless its caucus date moved to a later date. The campaigns of Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Ron Paul said while they respect New Hampshire’s role, they will compete everywhere.
Herman Cain’s campaign had not as of yet released its position on the issue.
In truth, Nevada’s date would do nothing to prevent New Hamshire from being the first in the nation primary. The problem is that few people want to mix politics with the holidays. A front loaded schedule threatens to do just that. But in the case of Paul, Santorum, Huntsman, Bachmann and others who are far behind Romney in New Hampshire, they are mores interested in scoring points with New Hampsire voters and knocking Romney down a few spots.
This problem of front loading should not be dealt with by the candidates. It is a job for the Republican National Committee an is between them and the states. The candidates just have to contend with the playing field they are forced to play on.
The boycottt of Nevada was initiated by Jon Huntsman whose campaihm issued the following statement;
Huntsman Campaign To Boycott NV Caucus If It Continues To Threaten NH Primary
Manchester, NH – Statement from Matt David, Huntsman Campaign Manager:
“In an effort to preserve New Hampshire’s historic first-in-the-nation primary status, the Huntsman campaign will boycott the Nevada caucus as long as the state continues to jeopardize New Hampshire’s primary date. We call on the other campaigns to join us, especially Governor Romney’s campaign given their involvement in moving Nevada’s date forward.”
Remarks from other campaigns were as follows;
Santorum Statement on NV Boycott
“I will gladly make the pledge initiated by New Hampshire activists, Speaker O’Brien and SenatePresident Bragdon for the Presidential candidates to boycott the Nevada caucus. Nevada’s move has potentially forced the other early states to have primary’s near Christmas – and that destroys the primary process. I firmly believe that we must protect New Hampshire, the other early primary states and the proven presidential primary process.”
To be clear, I will not campaign in Nevada nor participate in the Nevada caucus if it doesn’t move its primary date.
New Hampshire has a rich tradition of rewarding the messenger with the right message – the candidate who shows a real commitment by listening to voters and outlining their positions in town halls and living rooms. Conversely, forcing New Hampshire and perhaps Iowa into having their elections in December will reward those like Mitt Romney who prefer to rely on slick TV ads to hide there less than conservative records.
If New Hampshire voters are forced to vote during their Christmas shopping – they need to remember who’s the culprit of the compressed calendar. Last week, news reports showed Nevada’s former governor admitted that Mitt Romney was pushing the move. We all want to win the election, but I’m not willing to push a state to break the rules to favor my campaign.”
Newt Gingrich Statemnet on NV Boycott
Statement from Bachmann Spokesperson;
Bachmann spokesman Alice Stewart said “we’ll support New Hampshire in their effort to be the first primary state,” but would not directly commit to shunning Nevada.
Statement from Romney Campaign;
Romney Spokeserson Ryan Williams said “Gov. Romney is firmly committed to preserving New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary and the critical role it plays in selecting our Republican nominee,” . “Gov. Romney will compete in every nominating contest across the country, regardless of when they may be scheduled, so long as New Hampshire retains its first in the nation primary status.”
Romney New Hampshire Campaign Aide, Jim Merrill said “Gov. Romney will compete in every nominating contest across the country, regardless of when they may be scheduled, so long as New Hampshire retains its first in the nation primary status.”
Statement from Perry Campaign ;
Statement from Ron Paul;
“This talk of boycotts doesn’t serve the electoral process any more than the states’ jockeying for position and primacy,” Paul said in a statement. “New Hampshire deserves its rightful place as the first primary in the nation, but we will fight to preserve that place without depriving Nevada or Iowa voters of their say in the 2012 nomination process.”
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