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GOP political gathering was a party for many
Rep Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) speaks during Freedom Summit held at the Executive Court Banquet Facility in Manchester on Saturday. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
Newt Gingrich presented the Conservative of the Year Award to state Rep. Bill O'Brien, "from one speaker to another."
It may have been the warmest day of the year so far, but it almost felt like it should have been winter, given the number of potential presidential candidates at Saturday's Freedom Summit.
But some of the best moments may have come in between the big speeches.
Borrowing a page from his late father, former Gov. Mel Thomson, Tom Thomson hoisted an oversized ax with the words: "Ax Obamacare." Thomson is honorary chairman of Americans for Prosperity in New Hampshire.
Thomson also put in a plug for the state's lack of a sales or income tax and urged visitors in town for the event to "spend some extra time and do some shopping before you leave the state."
Knesbach, 19, is from Houston and recalled campaigning for Sen. Ted Cruz there before he became a national figure. "It's really cool to see him up here in New Hampshire," she said.
"It's never too early," he said with a big grin.
Eric Zulaski of Manchester had a message for those inside: "I don't believe our government should be run by moneyed interests. ... It should represent the people's interests."
And Kathryn Talbert of Manchester said, "We're here to tell people that with Citizens United having passed, democracy's for sale. And if people don't have enough money, if they're not one of the big players, then their concerns aren't important."
Brooks noted that the stock market has gone up 105 percent since Barack Obama became President in 2009, and he said 81 percent of those gains have gone to those in the top 10 percent of income. "Here's what I resent: the bottom half is being left behind at the same time," he said.
But Brooks said if they want to win elections, conservatives need to change how they talk about such issues. "Until we stop fighting against things and start fighting for people, Americans are going to think we don't care."
"The Constitution/Read it for the Articles," was on a Mazda CX-9, and "Don't Tread on Me" was on a Subaru Impreza.
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