2016 Elections

Updated at 1:00 p.m. ET

Rick Perry, the former governor of Texas and 2012 Republican candidate for president, formally announced a second bid for the White House.

At a rally in Addison, Texas, this afternoon, Perry told a group of supporters: "Today I am announcing that I'm running for the presidency of the United States of America."

He decried that "weakness at home has led to weakness abroad" and that "Our economy is barely growing."

As presidential candidates visit the early caucus and primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire, they're hearing about heroin and meth. Drug overdoses now kill more Americans than traffic accidents. And, in many places, there's a growing acceptance that this isn't just a problem for other people.

New Hampshire is in the throes of a crisis. Last year more than 300 people in the small state died of drug overdoses. Mostly opiods like oxycontin and heroin.

Kate Harper for NHPR

Campaigning in Hampton, Hillary Clinton criticized republicans for not supporting the Export-Import Bank, which Clinton says has helped produce hundreds of millions of dollars of exports from N.H. businesses.

Clinton met with local businesspeople at the Smuttynose Brewery.

Republican Chris Christie says the U.S. needs to boost military spending and not back off on intelligence and surveillance programs. 

Speaking in Portsmouth’s Prescott Park, Chris Christie said the army needs more soldiers, the navy more ships, the air force more planes --and the government more intelligence.

Christie called for an extension to the Patriot act, and said concerns over data collection and privacy are overblown.

NHPR Staff

The state’s highest court has upheld a ruling that struck down a 2012 law linking registering to vote with state motor vehicle laws.

In a unanimous ruling the court called the voter form language  “confusing and inaccurate” and that it unreasonably burdens the fundamental right to vote.”

Out-of-state college students challenged the law, which added language to the form noting that drivers need to register vehicles and apply for a state driver’s license within 60 days of becoming a resident.

josh rogers/nhpr

Chris Christie’s first stop was the Farnum Center drug and alcohol treatment facility in Manchester. He stressed addition can affect anyone, and that recovery is possible.

"I just believe everybody deserves a second chance, that everybody deserves to understand that this is treatable."

 NHPR's 2016 Primary candidate calendar and map are your best sources for details on where and when to catch all of the contenders in this year's race for the White House.

Download our iPhone app, State of Democracy, for a mobile interactive map of candidate events. 

Logan Shannon / NHPR

Disasters in developing nations bring out the better angels of the world’s governments and citizens, but where that aid goes has a lot to do with media coverage. On today’s show, we discover why the world’s worst disasters don’t always get the most aid. Also today, a political scientist argues that fringe candidates have a shot at the presidency – if they can get the support of their party. And, if you think Chris Christie is the first presidential candidate whose weight could make or break him, think again.

josh rogers/nhpr

Hillary Clinton came to Keene to listen to workers at Whitney Brothers children’s furniture plant. But she also offered up a tough assessment of the country’s  small business economy.

“We have stalled out. I was very surprised to see that when I began to dig into it.”

When Rand Paul took the podium at Milford Town Hall, he was quick to indicate his vision of what granite state voters want.

“I come to N.H. to announce that I will fight for your right to be left alone.”

Paul railed against government surveillance of phone records and said he’d keep the federal government out of states when it comes to education. He also cited a balanced budget amendment and term limits for member of congress as a way to “defeat the Washington machine.”

Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., announced today that he will seek the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.

"I have a message — a message that is loud and clear and does not mince words," he told supporters in Louisville, Ky. "We've come to take our country back."

Gage Skidmore via Flickr CC

 New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is taking his signature town hall events on the road.

The potential Republican presidential contender will be kicking off what his team has dubbed a "Tell it like it is" town hall tour in Londonderry, New Hampshire on April 15.

A spokeswoman for his political action committee says a second town hall will he held on April 17.

He'll also hold events in Manchester and Newmarket and speak at a New Hampshire GOP-organized summit in Nashua.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr/cc

It's our monthly check in with Political Junkie Ken Rudin. We're covering some of the top political stories of recent weeks including Indiana's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, federal budget proposals from congress, and the latest from the presidential field of hopefuls.

  Guest:

Gage Skidmore via Flickr CC

 New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is planning a two-day swing through the early-voting state of New Hampshire next month.

The potential Republican presidential contender will be making the trip on April 14-15.

A spokeswoman for his political action committee says Christie is planning to meet with community leaders while he's in town. She says they'll discuss important issues facing the country, including entitlement reform.

Christie is then set to return to the state for the New Hampshire Republican Party's "First-in-the-Nation Leadership Summit" on April 17.

Josh Rogers/nhpr

Easygoing amid a swarm of media, the former Florida Governor chose a Hudson biotech firm for his first  N.H. stop in his likely presidential bid.

"I am joyfully pursuing the possibility of this," Bush said.

Along they way, Bush talked policy with members of the Nashua Chamber of Commerce. He faced questions on education and immigration, areas where his views are at odds with many conservatives in his party.

The  “grown up” approach to immigration policy, Bush told the crowd,  is to provide  undocumented immigrants a path to legal status.

U.S. Department of State

Two prominent staffers in U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s office will be leaving to lead Hillary Clinton’s efforts in New Hampshire as she prepares for her likely 2016 presidential bid.

Mike Vlacich was Shaheen’s 2014 campaign manager and Kari Thurman served as the campaign’s political director.

Vlacich received national attention last fall after defending Shaheen’s seat against well-funded Republican challenger Scott Brown.  

Shaheen, who was in the Granite State this week, tells NHPR she wishes her fellow employees all the best.

josh rogers/nhpr

Rick Perry gave a morning speech at St. Anselm college. By lunch he was at a Concord law firm, stressing the executive experience he gained as Texas’s longest serving governor.

Perry described the national mood as "pessimistic," but said would take just a few good decisions -- particularly on energy policy -- to change that. He also called for for cooperation across the asile.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Is Gov. Maggie Hassan preparing to take on U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte in 2016? Hassan hasn’t said yet, but two national political groups that back Republicans seem convinced she is.

Crossroads GPS, a conservative non-profit founded by GOP operative and former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove, released a radio ad Thursday attacking Hassan’s proposed budget. The 60-second spot comes a day after the National Republican Senatorial Committee launched a web ad that ridicules Hassan’s proposal to hire a chief operating officer.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Vice President Joe Biden paid a visit to Wednesday. He collected an award at UNH law school, visited a community college and promoted the Obama administration’s economic record.

Speaking at the Warren Rudman center at UNH law, Biden told a crowd that included Rudman’s children that the former NH senator embodied public service and the ethos of his state.

"He served forthright, frugal and fair, everything about him, everything about him."

Democratic Party Dynamics Heading Into 2016

Feb 25, 2015
DonkeyHotey / Flickr/CC

Although attention has been focused on the GOP field of presidential hopefuls, there are also interesting developments among Democrats, including unflagging efforts among progressives to convince the seemingly unmoved Senator Elizabeth Warren to run.  We’ll look at these dynamics in the context of policy debates within the party.

GUESTS:

Gage Skidmore via Flickr CC

  Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is returning to New Hampshire today. He’s scheduled to speak at a dinner in Concord at 6pm.

Christie was a frequent visitor to the Granite State last year. He made a number of trips to stump for Republican gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein.

Christie is being eyed as a potential GOP candidate for president in twenty-sixteen. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry was talking about the weather when he told New Hampshire voters he's "just warming up," but he also says he's carefully preparing for a possible presidential campaign.

In Bedford on Wednesday, Perry joked about the 80-degree difference in temperature between New Hampshire and Texas this week. But his main message to business leaders was that the federal government has failed them by not providing predictability and stability in taxes and regulation.

Josh Rogers for NHPR

On The Political Front is our weekly conversation with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers. This week, what Mitt Romney's exit means for 2016, and a look at the issues up for debate this week at the N.H. Statehouse.

Let’s start with Presidential politics – Mitt Romney won't make said a third run for president. What was more surprising, that he said no, or that he was thinking of running again in the first place?

Josh Rogers for NHPR

Mitt Romney’s decision to skip a third run for president leaves the New Hampshire's GOP presidential primary without a clear early front-runner.  

Mitt Romney had been publicly flirting with a 2016 run for the past three weeks. On Wednesday he made a campaign-style trip to Mississippi, but little more than a day later he used conference calls to tell his staunchest backers that he’s decided it is best to clear the way for others leaders in his party.

Jim Merrill ran both of Romney’s N.H. campaigns. He said he didn’t see this coming.

Updated at 11:58 a.m.

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney isn't running for president in 2016, he told supporters in a statement.

"After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I've decided it is best to give other leaders in the Party the opportunity to become our next nominee," he said in the statement and in a conference call with supporters.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul began his day by breakfasting with state lawmakers. He then paid a quick visit to Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas.

By noon he was with gun right activists at a Litchfield shooting club.

He then hit a Manchester charter school, where a called for a rollback of common core, the repeal of no child left behind, and the elimination of the department of education.

Pity the poor guys who are trying to run for president while still serving as governors.

All the media attention this week went to former Govs. Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush, because Romney suddenly decided to call in his chits and get back in the presidential conversation for 2016. Virtually every news organization in North America instantly got wide-eyed about it.

FutUndBeidl

A lawsuit pitting the Libertarian Party against the State of New Hampshire passed a crucial test this week. 

The lawsuit seeks to overturn a law passed in 2014 that gives third party candidates less time to collect the necessary signatures to run for Senate or Governor. 

That time limit makes it nearly impossible for third party candidates to run for those offices, alleges the Libertarian Party, which is being represented in this case by the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Texas Governor Rick Perry’s itinerary  -- meetings with core Republican activists, stops at colleges, and a speech at an event celebrating the anniversary of the founding of the U.S. Marine Corps – was very much that of a candidate. 

In his remarks at the Marine event, Perry cited Russia, Iran, and ISIS, as reasons why the U.S. cannot afford a foreign policy, that is, as he put it, “lacking in clarity.” 

NHPR / Emily Corwin

  

Vice President Joe Biden visited the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Wednesday. His stated reason was to celebrate shipyard workers – but it was clear he was also there to boost Democrats heading into election season.

  

Both of those ends were put on hold at the start of Biden’s remarks.  Instead, the Vice President began with fiery rhetoric from Biden for ISIS terrorists, who have now murdered two US journalists.

Pages