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Rand Paul aims to shore up liberty support

By DAN TUOHY
New Hampshire Union Leader

September 25. 2015 4:12PM
Rand Paul greets customers eating breakfast at Chez Vachon in Manchester on Sept. 25. (Dan Tuohy /Union Leader)



U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, while making the breakfast rounds at Chez Vachon, was asked about gun rights.

“I tell people,” he replied with a smile, “If you don’t believe I support the Second Amendment, come to my house unannounced.”

The customer nodded an approval.

Paul delivered the same line when he visited Granite State Indoor Range and Gun Shop in Hudson later Friday morning.

“Anybody here own a gun?” he asked a crowd. Hands went up around the room. “Looks like I’m in the right place.”

As he works to build support here amid a crowded Republican presidential field, in a state where his poll numbers have tapered off since spring, Paul welcomes any question about constitutional rights.

It is one reason that state Rep. J.R. Hoell, R-Dunbarton, officially endorsed Paul. It is not just about supporting the Second Amendment, but the Fourth, the Sixth, the Tenth – all of them, Hoell said Friday.

Paul held three town hall meetings Friday: at the Tuscan Kitchen in Salem, at New England College in Henniker, and at the Brookline Event Center.

At Chez Vachon, the Manchester restaurant that’s a popular campaign stop, Paul fielded questions and offered comment on health care, taxes,Planned Parenthood, terrorism, Syrian refugees, Pope Francis, and Donald Trump, the billionaire who is giving his GOP rivals a run for their money.

Brian Grodman, an independent from Manchester, said he is leaning toward someone who is strong on national security and foreign policy.

“I’m concerned with the senator’s feeling of not going to foreign lands to attack or intervene with terrorists,” Grodman said after chatting with Paul. “I’m concerned that if the United States doesn’t put boots on the ground in foreign lands where there are terrorist activities, then the terrorist activities will come here, to the United States.”

At this point, Steve Brophy, a Republican from Manchester, he’s leaning toward U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), but he is impressed with Paul.

“I was very pleased at the last debate,” he said. “Just about anybody on stage I’d be happy with. First time I’ve met one of the candidates and I like his candor.”

Brophy asked Paul about how, if elected President, he would get things done in a gridlocked Washington.

As Paul finished making the rounds at the restaurant, he nodded to a woman seated alone.

“How are you?”

“Full mouth,” the woman, Linda Haverman, politely responded.

She later made her way through the crowd to greet Paul. She described her difficulty dealing with Lyme disease and she later told a reporter that she was glad Paul, who’s an eye doctor, took time to listen.

dtuohy@unionleader.com


Politics Rand Paul Abortion Gun Control


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