nr sot jones new hampshire gop 2016 hopefuls_00014826.jpg
GOP presidential hopefuls flood New Hampshire
electioneering explainer danny cevallos orig_00001425.jpg
States can actually limit free speech on Election Day
2016 campaigns in memoriam origwx bw_00000127.jpg
2016 presidential campaigns in memoriam
They made it to the White House despite scandals
history of the october surprise foreman ac pkg_00005811.jpg
The history of the October surprise
36 years of election nights on CNN
Watch 9 elections get called on CNN in under one minute
hillary clinton rally daytona beach fbi investigation sot_00002801.jpg
Clinton calls FBI director's actions unprecedented
trump voter id podesta fact check origwx bw_00004624.jpg
Fact check: Trump on undocumented immigrants and voting
hillary clinton rally time lapse origwx bw_00004417.jpg
Hillary Clinton's historic night in time-lapse
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 23: Anthony Weiner, a leading candidate for New York City mayor, stands with his wife Huma Abedin during a press conference on July 23, 2013 in New York City. Weiner addressed news of new allegations that he engaged in lewd online conversations with a woman after he resigned from Congress for similar previous incidents. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
John Moore/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Clinton's history with Anthony Weiner
Many North Carolina voters remain undecided in upcoming presidential election_00001405.jpg
Some North Carolina voters hesitant to pick a candidate
joe biden hillary clinton election intv sot smerconish _00000000.jpg
Biden: I thought I could beat Hillary Clinton
cnnee pkg rodriguez clinton global iniciative hillary emails_00002301.jpg
Hillary Clinton's explanations of her email saga
Gary Johnson snaps at reporter
Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and US Vice President Joe Biden acknowledge the crowd at Riverfront Sports athletic facility on August 15, 2016 in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Mark Makela/Getty Images North America
Biden on Clinton's Secretary of State list?
Nashua, New HampshireCNN
They mocked her black “Scooby Van” and chided her tipless trip to Chipotle. They ripped her use of a personal email server, her family foundation’s acceptance of foreign gifts and her tenure as secretary of state.
Hillary Clinton won’t be in New Hampshire for two more days, but she was the star of the show on Saturday as Republican presidential aspirants capped the state GOP’s two-day summit that attracted nearly the entire field to Nashua.
“When Hillary Clinton travels, there’s going to need to be two planes: One for her and her entourage, and one for her baggage,” Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said.
He delivered the strongest assault on Clinton, hitting her over her handling of the deteriorating situation in Libya—and particularly the 2012 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi.
“I think her dereliction of duty, her not doing her job, should forever preclude her from holding high office,” Paul said.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said he suspects Clinton’s shopping habits have left her out of touch. “I doubt the presumptive nominee for the other party has ever been to Kohl’s before,” he said.
Clinton arrives in New Hampshire on Monday for a stop at a business in Keene. She’ll then visit a community college in Concord on Tuesday. But for the weekend, the political world’s eyes were on the Republicans in Nashua.
Here are eight of the two-day summit’s highlights:
The Clinton designated hitter: Former Hewlett-Packard executive Carly Fiorina’s speech was entirely devoid of substance, but she managed to catch attention with her allusion to former President Bill Clinton and the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Rebuking a Dallas businesswoman’s Facebook comment that women’s hormones mean only men should be elected President, Fiorina sarcastically quipped: “Not that we have seen a man’s judgment clouded by hormones, including in the Oval Office.”
Biggest policy difference: Paul took on his own party, too, over Libya. He said the United States should never have waded into the conflict there in the first place and that his rival Republican White House hopefuls “would have done the same thing, just 10 times over.”
Others largely backed up Paul’s claim—with South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, in particular, advocating a more muscular role in the Middle East.
Strongest tug at the heartstrings: Most candidates stuck with a tried-and-true mix of attacks on Obama and Clinton, and calls for a freer economy and stronger foreign policy. But Florida Sen. Marco Rubio managed to weave it all into a compelling narrative: His Cuban immigrant parents pursued the American dream, and he’s trying to save it for his daughters.
Rubio, playing the role of change agent, posited 2016 as a “referendum on our national identity,” saying that his children and their generation would be “the first to inherit a diminished country from their parents.”
A moment of self-awareness: Trying to assuage primary voters who worry about a dynastic Clinton vs. Bush general election, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush noted the massive field of primary contenders and said, “I don’t see any coronation coming my way, trust me.”
“I mean, come on,” he told the crowd. “What are you seeing that I’m not seeing?”
The field’s egghead: Bush was the most comfortable riffing on policy issues—even those where he’s at cross currents with conservative primary voters. On education, he distanced himself from Common Core standards by saying what students learn should be left to the states, and same-sex marriage, where he underscored his support for “traditional marriage” but said he holds no animosity for those who disagree.
He also managed to turn his eight years as a conservative Florida governor into an advantage over Cruz, Paul and Rubio, three first-term senators.
“Accomplishment matters. Leadership matters,” Bush said. “Who sits behind the big desk as it relates to the presidency is different than perhaps United States senator or another job.”
Best stage presence: It was a charm offensive from Graham, whose South Carolina drawl and quick wit—which don’t quite match his intense focus on more forcefully tackling threats in the Middle East—were on full display when an audience member asked him a question about why the sorts of bargains that Republican President Ronald Reagan and Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill struck are no longer possible.
“You know what’s missing in Washington? Drinking,” Graham answered. “They had a drink. All we do is throw things at each other.”
If you prefer fire and brimstone, though, there’s no competing with Cruz, who unleashed an assault on Obama over immigration, national security and his attorney general nominee, Loretta Lynch.
“If only the terrorists attacked a golf course,” Cruz said, taking a long pause, “that might actually get the White House’s attention.”
Most forgettable speaker: It’s not that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was bad. His personal story of lessons from his working-class father is compelling. He brought red meat and he showed some policy chops, especially on education. But nothing about Jindal stood out—he wasn’t the best at anything in particular, and fit into a sleepy portion of a Saturday afternoon schedule.
Antagonizing the audience: Real estate mogul Donald Trump managed to both insult the audience and win their applause when he said he’s considering running for president because, basically, politicians are dumb and businessmen are not, so he feels like he needs to do it—even though he’s not particularly interested.
“I’m not having a great time,” he said. “I can think of other things, many other things, where I can have a good time.”
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has said his decision to run for the Republican nomination will be based on two things: his family and whether he can lift America's spirit. His father and brother are former Presidents.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has created a political committee that will help him travel and raise money while he considers a 2016 bid. Additionally, billionaire businessman David Koch said in a private gathering in Manhattan this month that he wants Walker to be the next president, but he doesn't plan to back anyone in the primaries.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is establishing a committee to formally explore a White House bid. "If I run, my candidacy will be based on the idea that the American people are ready to try a dramatically different direction," he said in a news release provided to CNN on Monday, May 18.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont who caucuses with Democrats, has said the United States needs a "political revolution" of working-class Americans looking to take back control of the government from billionaires. He first announced the run in an email to supporters early on the morning of Thursday, April 30.
On March 2, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson announced the launch of an exploratory committee. The move will allow him to raise money that could eventually be transferred to an official presidential campaign and indicates he is on track with stated plans to formally announce a bid in May.
Hillary Clinton launched her presidential bid Sunday, April 12, through a video message on social media. She continues to be considered the overwhelming front-runner among possible 2016 Democratic presidential candidates.
Sen. Marco Rubio announced his bid for the 2016 presidency on Monday, April 13, a day after Hillary Clinton, with a rally in Florida. He's a Republican rising star from Florida who swept into office in 2010 on the back of tea party fervor. But his support of comprehensive immigration reform, which passed the Senate but has stalled in the House, has led some in his party to sour on his prospects.
Lincoln Chafee, a Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat former governor and senator of Rhode Island, said he's running for president on Thursday, April 16, as a Democrat, but his spokeswoman said the campaign is still in the presidential exploratory committee stages.
Vice President Joe Biden has twice before made unsuccessful bids for the Oval Office -- in 1988 and 2008. A former senator known for his foreign policy and national security expertise, Biden made the rounds on the morning shows recently and said he thinks he'd "make a good President."
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has started a series of town halls in New Hampshire to test the presidential waters, becoming more comfortable talking about national issues and staking out positions on hot topic debates.
Sen. Rand Paul officially announced his presidential bid on Tuesday, April 7, at a rally in Louisville, Kentucky. The tea party favorite probably will have to address previous controversies that include comments on civil rights, a plagiarism allegation and his assertion that the top NSA official lied to Congress about surveillance.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz announced his 2016 presidential bid on Monday, March 23, in a speech at Liberty University. The first-term Republican and tea party darling is considered a gifted orator and smart politician. He is best known in the Senate for his marathon filibuster over defunding Obamacare.
Democrat Martin O'Malley, the former Maryland governor, released a "buzzy" political video in November 2013 in tandem with visits to New Hampshire. He also headlined a Democratic Party event in South Carolina, which holds the first Southern primary.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, a social conservative, gave Mitt Romney his toughest challenge in the nomination fight last time out and has made trips recently to early voting states, including Iowa and South Carolina.