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Republican presidential canddiate Bed Carson speaks off the cuff about his youth in Detroit

Oct 2, 2015 5:06 PM

Landrigan: NH Political Report: Ben Carson has no filter and sometimes that gets you in hot water


Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson has no filter.

And because of that, it can make for entertaining and for the candidate, problems of his own doing.

Our latest example comes from his speech at the University of New Hampshire in Durham talking about how he and his friends would elude local cops growing up in Detroit.

"Sometimes the police would come always in unmarked cars, they would be chasing us across the field, so these tall fences, they were 10 feet tall, they didn’t know how adept we were at jumping over those fences," Carson chuckled.

So we would swing our feet over the fence and leap down to the ground all in one motion and laugh at them because they couldn’t do that. That was back in the day before they would shoot you.’’

The student audience laughed at the comments but Carson seemed to know he’d stepped in it.

"I’m just kidding, you would know they wouldn’t do that," Carson declared.


It’s worked before and the Clintons are at it again hoping to take a big negative and turn it into a positive.

Let’s start with the obvious. Many of Hillary Clinton’s wounds are self-inflicted [-] the e-mail scandal, the hopelessly insular structure of her presidential campaign at the national level that has eased up a bit.

But both Bill and Hillary have proved over the years very adept at playing the victim.

That’s because often they have been.

This cycle is no different as the national GOP, the presidential candidates and all the Super PACS have a singular focus [-] torpedo Hillary’s candidacy.

Enter right wing conspiracy, take two.

We saw this played out first last Friday with Bill Clinton on CNN talking about how the GOP attack machine has "blown way out of proportion" all of his wife’s small stumbles regarding the e-mails with the national media has become an unwilling co-conspirator.

Then there’s David Brock, the award-winning author and liberal activist who cut his teeth in journalism as a conservative muckraker (His tell-all book was entitled, "Confessions of a Right Wing Hit Man.")

Brock is embarked on a 28-city tour promoting his latest book, "Killing The Messenger" about how the right-wing establishment has upped its ``A’’ game with new technology, old money and a renewed enthusiasm of Tea Party fervor.

But Brock’s agenda is clearly to further the Clinton narrative that once again Hillary is being pilloried unfairly.

Brock did tell NH1 News that the ``right wing conglomerate’’ as he liked ``The Atlantic’’ magazine name for it is very upset that self-financed, billionaire Donald Trump could become the GOP presidential nominee.

"The Koch Brothers aren’t happy because Donald Trump doesn’t need their money," Brock says.


Brock does not believe the GOP establishment will ever tolerate Trump getting the brass ring but insists his former allies are ready to give up on their first choice, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

"They had such high hopes for him but what a colossal disappointment," Brock said.

Okay, if Bush isn’t going to make it where will they go?

Brock says Florida remains a must state for Republicans which makes the default from Bush an obvious one for the major GOP players.

"If Jeb is stalling the party might turn to Marco Rubio. He is getting a little bit of a lift in the polls and from what I hear the establishment is taking a second look at Marco Rubio,"Brock added.


They come together when it comes to defending the first-in the-nation primary, but we saw again this week that when a threat emerges, leaders in both political parties can often lose the script.

Outgoing Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus stunned politicos in all the early states this week by telling the National Journal that after 2016 there are "no sacred cows" and no state should have a franchise on being first, second or third.

As far back as 2012, Priebus had advocated the idea of a rotating primary to have regions of the country take turns with getting a prime position. But the Wisconsin Republican always prefaced those comments with the caveat that the "carve outs" should keep their place - New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada.

But Priebus isn’t running for re-election after four terms as party chair and a week after his buddy, WI Gov. Scott Walker, flames out in his White House run, Priebus drops his support for the early goers.

Rather than get the band back together, Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley decided to put New Hampshire’s most prominent Republican on the spot.

"This is another example of Senator Kelly Ayotte failing to lead. What is she going to do about this?" Buckley declared.

Then there’s Republican State Chair Jennifer Horn who tried to minimize what Priebus said after having spoken to him while out of state at a party meeting.

"This is nothing more than the normal process we go through every four years," Horn said.

And she maintained the 2016 campaign will end up proving to GOP party elders how important it is to keep New Hampshire first.

"Consider the fact that someone like Carly Fiorina doesn’t come out of nowhere like she has without New Hampshire," Horn said.

Then the GOP leader offered her own partisan shot.

"I contrast the wide open, no holds barred primary we are having with the Democrats where the Governor Hassan, Senator Shaheen and every major figure in that party is trying to create a coronation for Hillary Clinton," Horn said.


The horrific, tragic killings in Oregon do present a political opportunity for Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH.

Her critics likely remember in 2013 her vote against closing the loophole in federal criminal background checks attracted plenty of attacks including $2 million in ads from the Super PAC controlled by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

But what Ayotte reminds and got to repeat Friday was that her alternative the Mental Health First Aid Act got more than 90 votes in the Senate. This would have given officials more tools to identify people who are liable to engage in mass killings.

NH1 News was the first to report Ayotte making her renewed call for this reform.

"I am deeply saddened by the horrific tragedy at Umpqua Community College. While details surrounding this terrible incident are still forthcoming, we must do more to prevent violence before it occurs," Ayotte said.

"Earlier this year, I reintroduced the Mental Health First Aid Act, bipartisan legislation to expand mental health first aid training and help the public identify, understand, and address crisis situations safely."


She had to wait a while but Gov. Maggie Hassan finally has her own "gotcha" when it comes to the state budget.

Yes, she’ll endure plenty of brickbats for her veto of the Republican-written state budget and have to fend off claims that at the end of the day she blinked in the compromise coming together.

But when it came to the budget year that just ended June 30, Hassan gets to say "I told you so."

We speak of the news that the state budget surplus for the previous year was $73.2 million or $25 million more than what Republican budget writers had thought it was going to be when they last opined on the topic in June.

After the budget veto, Senate and House Republican leaders claimed Hassan made the move because she had botched the previous spending year and was in danger of finishing that cycle in deficit.

This came after the Hassan administration acknowledged that there was a late Medicaid expense that was going to cost state books nearly $40 million than first thought.

Hassan told NH1 News at the time that despite skepticism her agency heads were going to for the most part meet their targets for returning unspent or lapse money to the treasury.

Now count on Senate President Chuck Morse, R-Salem, and others to emphasize some of this black ink was built not by prudent management but by not spending money they should have such as the $20 million left in a Department of Health and Human Services account meant to go for programs serving the developmentally disabled.


The governor and legislative leaders have a decision to make.

Do they decide for relatively cheap money to make the essence of a state lawsuit go away or stand firm in part so not to send the signal that it’s okay to go to court against New Hampshire to try and get what you want?

The topic is the education funding lawsuit and case in point with $25 million more in likely surplus do you devote 60 percent of it [-] about $15 million - to give school districts what they would otherwise be entitled to over the next two years.

Dover started the suit over a cap on increases in state grants that has been in place for roughly four years. The $15 million would not resolve "lost" money by these districts that didn’t get the full benefit of increases in school enrollments under the education aid formula.

Hassan said lawmakers should consider using some of the surplus for the purpose but made no commitment.

For lawmakers advocating for these school districts, that’s a start.


Quote of the Week:

"To see the look on his face, hey we got you a bed. That’s like a unicorn in the state of New Hampshire, I’ll tell you that.’’ [-] Former drug addict Corey Currivan telling a Catholic Medical Center roundtable what he sees as the biggest problem in dealing with the heroin epidemic - not enough treatment.

Exchange of the Week:

Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas: "The insight you gave me about drug courts and how successful they were in Florida."

2016 Republican candidate and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush: "I just want to be your favorite, mayor."

Bush then turns to a Manchester hospital executive he’s sitting next too and makes a gesture like Gatsas is a big fish that he’s trying to reel in.

Gatsas: "Yeah, I know I heard it."


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