NPR logo

Christie, Bush And Kasich Fight To Stay Alive After New Hampshire Primary

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/466108294/466108295" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Christie, Bush And Kasich Fight To Stay Alive After New Hampshire Primary

Politics

Christie, Bush And Kasich Fight To Stay Alive After New Hampshire Primary

Christie, Bush And Kasich Fight To Stay Alive After New Hampshire Primary

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/466108294/466108295" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Governors, current and former, running for president are struggling to break through in the GOP contest. Chris Christie, Jeb Bush and John Kasich are each hoping to exceed expectations.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And let's get back to New Hampshire now, where it is primary day, and where front-runner Donald Trump is the center of attention. Will his big lead in the polls translate to actual votes? Well, behind Trump, there's a race for survival going on among three high-profile Republicans with the word governor in their titles. NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea reports on the closing arguments yesterday by Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Chris Christie.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: A snowstorm made highways and local roads slick, but still some 400 people filled the room in Portsmouth for Jeb Bush's final New Hampshire town hall. Bush took aim at the top-tier candidates in the race, Donald Trump and Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JEB BUSH: We have the front-running candidate. It's all about him. There's no servant nature in his heart. And the two other gifted senators have never had a chance to lead. It may be that they could do it. But why would we risk it?

GONYEA: He wrapped with a plea to ignore the polls.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BUSH: If you don't think the pundits are right - the obituaries that have been written about all the candidates, including me - if you disagree with that, then you can reset this race tomorrow. You have that power.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: No one else does.

GONYEA: Mike Thiel of the nearby town of Rye was in the audience.

MIKE THIEL: He's always struck me as a very competent person. And that was reinforced by tonight's meeting.

GONYEA: So put Thiel in the Bush column? Not exactly.

THIEL: I like all the governors.

GONYEA: And he is leaning - leaning - toward Ohio Governor John Kasich, who had just wrapped up his own event in Manchester. Kasich has put all of his chips on New Hampshire and acknowledges he needs a strong finish here. Along the way, he's held more than 100 town halls. They've gotten bigger in recent weeks. He's moved up in polls as well. This was his last. He got a big ovation as it ended.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JOHN KASICH: That's it.

(APPLAUSE)

KASICH: And I'm going to miss everybody. I'm going to miss you here - all of you. It's been so much fun.

GONYEA: Now, the other governor in the race, New Jersey's Chris Christie, visited an Internet company in Manchester, where he chided his audience about how many New Hampshire voters remain undecided. Some polls put it at close to half.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CHRIS CHRISTIE: I used to be happy when I'd come here over the summer and people would say, Governor, I like what you have to say. You're in my top three.

GONYEA: Enough, he said.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CHRISTIE: I mean, I had, like, a whole bunch of people at my first town hall today who said, we're still undecided. I'm like, tick tock, tick tock. Come on now.

GONYEA: He was joking - sort of. For voters, it's a decision. For Christie and Bush and Kasich, it could determine if their trip to the White House ends here. Don Gonyea, NPR News, Manchester.

Copyright © 2016 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.