August 05, 2015
Communications and Marketing
On the evening of August 3, 14 Republican presidential candidates participated in the Voters First Forum, held in the Dana Center at Saint Anselm College. The Forum, sponsored by the New Hampshire Union Leader, the Post and Courier (Charleston, S.C.), The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, IA), iHeart Radio, KCRG-TV (Cedar Rapids, IA) and WLTX-TV (Columbia, S.C.), brought numerous candidates to the stage to speak to a packed theater of interested voters.
Candidates included former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Dr. Ben Carson, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Ohio Governor John Kasich, former New York Governor George Pataki, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham. Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio were unable to attend the debate as they had to vote on legislation in Washington; however, they were able to participate via satellite.
Full Video: Voters First Presidential Forum (C-SPAN)
The two-hour forum was moderated by WGIR's Jack Heath. Candidates participated in two rounds of questioning. During the first round each candidate had several minutes to answer questions, which were submitted by New Hampshire voters in advance through an online form. The top two issues among voters were immigration and the economy. Candidates answered questions about each of these topics and others including college tuition, the Affordable Care Act, and climate change.
During the second round, the question and answer periods were shorter, and candidates had 30 seconds to respond.
PHOTOS: View "behind the scenes" images from students, and event photos from our partners at the Union Leader by visiting social.anselm.edu
Nearly two dozen Saint Anselm College students had a unique opportunity at the Forum; they acted as candidate stand-ins during rehearsal, assisted candidates in their hold rooms, and provided help to general audience and staff members. Junior Kelsey Walsh stated, "My favorite part of last night was standing in during rehearsal for our presidential hopefuls. It is crazy to think that I was standing on the same stage as possibly our next president." Junior Robbie Merritt added, "Sitting in the audience at the Forum, I had to just take a moment to realize that I was in the same room as possibly the next President of the United States, and to realize that this upcoming election is going to be unfolding right here on my college campus. And that's something pretty special."
The Forum was broadcast live on C-SPAN; on all Hearst Television Inc. stations, including Manchester affiliate WMUR-TV; NECN; WGIR-AM; NHPR; NH1, and WTPL.
Additional Event Coverage:
- CNN - New Hampshire forum: How did Bush, GOP field do in first major forum?
- New York Times - Uneven Performances in Trump-less Republican Forum
- Portland Press Herald - Republican candidates take on immigration at forum in New Hampshire
- The Post and Courier - Lindsay Graham, GOP rivals at forum take aim at Clinton, Democrats
- The Week - More than a dozen Republican candidates talk foreign policy, immigration at New Hampshire fourm
- Union Leader - Backstage, the atmosphere was upbeat
- POLITICO - GOP rat pack begins to bite
- Boston Globe - 5 take-aways from Monday's GOP presidential forum
- Washington Post - 14 Republican candidates not named Trump did some political speed dating. Here's how they tried to stand out.
- ABC News - Repubican Presidential Candidates Hone Their Messages At New Hampshire Forum
- Bloomberg - The Trump-Less Extravaganza the Other GOP Contenders Had Been Hoping For
- Reuters - Republicans begin pivotal debate week with New Hampshire forum
- NPR - Much Like Speed Dating, Republicans Try Their Best, Short Pitches
- NECN - GOP Hopefuls Meet for Presidential Forum in N.H.
- USA Today - 14's a crowd at the GOP Voters First Forum
- Los Angeles Times - Crowded GOP presidential field races through campaign forum
Story by Katelyn Ellison; Photo courtesy of Mark Bolton, New Hampshire Union Leader.