By MICHAEL FALCONE and AMY WALTER
MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Leave it to Donald Trump to steal the show.
He swooped into New Hampshire, the first-in-the-nation primary state on Wednesday, and immediately declared victory for, as he put it, accomplishing “something that nobody else has been able to accomplish” -- getting President Obama to release his long-form birth certificate.
Trump spent the rest of a 7-hour trip to the Granite State shaking hands with voters, meeting activists signing autographs and, well, just being The Donald. http://abcn.ws/j5hZFm
"Who else gets this crowd? Does anybody else get this crowd?" Trump boasted as he emerged from a high-dollar fundraiser in Portsmouth organized by the New Hampshire Republican Party. "I don't think so," he said, answering his own question.
New Hampshire voters The Note spoke with yesterday appeared divided on Trump, who continues to say he will announce his presidential intentions before June. Some welcome his trademark brand of straight talk, while others see him mainly as a celebrity but have a harder time imagining him as a presidential candidate.
“Donald Trump is a serious contender in New Hampshire because he is a well-known brand, he will have no money trouble, and he is somewhat like a circus sideshow in that he is very good at drawing a crowd,” said Patrick Griffin, a senior fellow at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College in Manchester. “But he needs to be very, very careful here,” noting that more talk of the birth certificate and, recently, President Obama’s grades in high school and college could quickly turn off potential supporters.
But as the Trump road show rolled through New Hampshire yesterday, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., the chairman of the House Budget Committee, was shaping the contours of the 2012 race in other ways, sparking intense debate about Medicare reform.
During the Congressional recess, Ryan has been clicking through his “Path to Prosperity” PowerPoint presentation at a series of town hall meetings in his Wisconsin district. According to a dispatch from the Associated Press, Ryan has drawn standing-room-only crowds at four meetings this week and two events “drew so many people that police turned away dozens of supporters and reporters, citing capacity issues.”
Even as town halls have been raucous, they haven't been one sided.
There were plenty of detractors at Ryan’s events in Wisconsin as well as similar meetings held by Republican Reps. Dan Webster and Allen West in Florida, but there were also vocal defenders of the GOP plan. That's very different from the 2009 health care town hall situation when almost all the shouting came from opponents of the Democrats’ health reform plan.
And the discussion comes as a New Kaiser Family Foundation poll finds Americans divided on Medicare reform. The Foundation's April Health Tracking Poll, finds that 46 percent of Americans favor moving Medicare to a “premium support” model, while 50 percent don’t want to see any changes to the program. Overall, 40 percent said they wanted to cap how much the federal government spends on Medicare while 55 percent do not.
BOTTOM LINE: To be sure, says one GOP House insider, this recess has been rough on their incumbents. Even so, said this strategist, many members are getting more questions on sky-rocketing gas prices than on Medicare.
Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, R-Nev., is hoping to put moderate Republicans on the hot seat with a vote in the Senate on the Ryan plan. “Let’s bring it over here and see how people feel about it,” Reid told reporters on a conference call yesterday. For Republicans facing -- or likely to face -- serious primary opposition next year, this is going to be a tough balancing act. (We're looking at you Senators Olympia Snowe and Dick Lugar.)
While Washington may be knee deep in the budget battle, the rest of America has not even checked into the conversation. Instead, day-to-day worries about gas prices and a still struggling economy occupy their time and energy.
http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2011/0 … -note.html
Vocal defenders of Ryan's plan? What town halls did this reporter attend?
According to a Marist Poll:
Republicans oppose it 73% to 25%
Even Tea Partiers oppose it 70% to 28%
We won't even go there with Dems and Inds, but suffice to say that among national adults, the ratio is 80% opposed, 18% in favor.
Basically 3/4 of the party that's supposed to be behind this plan are against it.
And Ryan is shaping the 2012 landscape exactly HOW???
http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2011/ … publicans/
Swing and it's a pop fly to center field......
Sorry coach. The sun was in my eyes. Couldn't see it!
Geez I wish I knew what that meant!
Trump is the original ugly rich American with no real self worth and an ego the size of a small country.
Why does he pull crowds?
Because far too many Americans get confused between morals and money.
Money does not make people anything other than rich, being a famous TV host does not make one a presidential leader either.
Trump is one of the biggest fools in America as he has proved yet again.
I agree with Earnest, and what Plan is Paul proposing, why is it not out in the open in "DETAIL"
one is as bad as the other
I hope we all wake up soon, forget party line and get into who is going to be in the Senate and Congress, because there is where we really make a vote count, and there is where we can overide the white house when it is necessary, and right now...both houses and parties are for sale folks. Rep. and Dem..."BOTH"
Donald Trump can't provide documentary evidence he's not a festering pile of sxxt.
http://www.theonion.com/articles/trump- … -no,20250/
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