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Walker welcomed warmly in Derry

By DOUG ALDEN
New Hampshire Union Leader

April 19. 2015 8:25PM

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks to potential supporters during a meet-and-greet Sunday at the Marion Gerrish Community Center in Derry. Walker was one of 19 GOP presidential hopefuls visiting the state over the weekend for the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Summit. (DOUG ALDEN/UNION LEADER)
DERRY - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker had one more stop to make before wrapping up his latest visit to New Hampshire.

Walker spoke to potential supporters during a brief meet-and-greet Sunday at the Marion Gerrish Community Center. It was his second trip to the Granite State in the last few weeks.'We'll be back here many more times,' said Walker, one of 19 politicians courting New Hampshire presidential primary voters at the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua.

Walker was the last of the GOP hopefuls to speak during the two-day event at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, which concluded Saturday night.Walker had an audience of about 50 during the follow-up event Sunday in Derry. He repeated some of his messages from the night before and touted his record and fiscal accomplishments as Wisconsin's governor.
'People create jobs, not the government. It's about time we get the government out of the way,' he said.

He said that he's still considering his options, but offered some potential campaign thoughts - 'should I be a candidate.'Walker said government is too big and even the areas where it is needed are dysfunctional.

'We're much better off if we take the power out of Washington and send it back to the states,' he said. 'It's much more effective. It's much more efficient. It's certainly more economical. If we want to reform government at the federal level, the best way to do it is to take power out of the hands of the federal bureaucrats and send it back to the states, where you can hold your lawmakers and governors accountable.'Walker spoke for about 15 minutes before taking a few questions from the audience. He focused his remarks on government reform, national security and the economy.

'We understand that true freedom and prosperity doesn't come from the mighty hand of the government, it comes from the power of people that live their own lives, control their own destinies - that dig in and work,' he said. 'That's the American dream.'Walker also dropped at least four references to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who last weekend announced that she was running for the Democratic nomination.

Walker received a warm welcome from the audience.'He's accomplished some things - and some things that maybe aren't so popular,' said Scott Nelson, who sat throughout the event with his 4-year-old son, Luke, on his lap.

Nelson, 49, said Sunday was his first up-close look at one of the GOP hopefuls for 2016. He described himself as a lifelong Republican more concerned with fiscal issues than social matters that have bogged down the party.'Past election cycles we have gotten out to see most of them and try to stay on top of who we want to support,' Nelson said. 'It's far too soon, far too early. I don't know enough about all the candidates to throw my support behind any one. So I guess I'll support them all until I can figure out who's the best.'
dalden@unionleader.com


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