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Jim Gilmore greets veterans at a VFW post in Pelham

Jan 29, 2015 3:30 PM

Gilmore tells NH1 he wouldn't run in 2016 'just to be a showboat'

NH1 Political Director - NH1.com

PELHAM - Jim Gilmore says he's here in New Hampshire to "address the same issues that I addressed in Iowa."

The visit to the first-in-the-nation primary state by the former Virginia governor and potential 2016 Republican presidential contender, comes just a few days after he addressed conservative activists at the "Iowa Freedom Summit."

Gilmore kicked off his two day swing at the John H. Hargreaves Memorial VFW Post 10722, where the former Army intelligence officer chatted with a handful of veterans. Gilmore, who was stationed in Germany during the Cold War, spoke fluent German to one of the vets, who was of German descent.

In an interview with NH1, Gilmore listed what he said are the two critical issues facing the United States today.

"Number one we have to restore the economy," said Gilmore. "We've got to make sure that people have good jobs, good opportunities, and that young people have a career path, that people who are unemployed can get employed, people working part can be full time employees, and that brings wages up."

Gilmore said his remedy for boosting the economy is tax cuts.

"We believe in cutting taxes across the board. Because that's what's going to help people get more money back in their pockets, drive the economy much more stronger."

"And then the second issue is national security. We're in a worldwide crisis and we have to have some experienced people that are really dealing with these issues and know the direction that we want to take America in the 21st Century," Gilmore added.

Wouldn't run to ‘be a showboat'

The visit to Pelham was one of two retail stops on Gilmore's two-day itinerary in the Granite State. Friday Gilmore's scheduled to visit Riley's Gun Shop in Hooksett.

Gilmore says he's in New Hampshire to talk to voters, as he tests the presidential waters.

"I think it's worth getting out and speaking to people and listening to people a bit and finding out what their thinking is, what kind of candidacy they're looking for in 2016, what kind of person they're looking for, what kind of issues are on their minds, and we're still in that process," Gilmore said.

Gilmore came close to running for the White House in the 2008 cycle. He launched a presidential exploratory committee in December 2006, but he called it quits in the summer of 2007, citing fundraising difficulties. (He also lost the 2008 Senate election in Virginia by double digits to another former governor, Democrat Mark Warner.)

If he does launch a presidential campaign this time around, Gilmore would once again be considered a very longshot. But he says if he runs, it's not just for show.

"You have to look and see whether you have the wherewithal, whether or not you have the power and really get out there and compete legitimately. I'm not interested in running just to be a showboat. If I choose to run it's because I want to drive forward these main issues on behalf of the United States and the question is can I successfully do that or not."

In his speech last weekend in Iowa, Gilmore took some not so veiled shots at 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. All four men are taking concrete steps towards launching presidential campaigns.

Asked about the speech, Gilmore told NH1 that "it was fun. We had a good time pointing out, just poking a couple of people. I'm sure I'll be poked myself a few times."


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