Sep 24, 2015 5:55 PM
NH1 Political Director - NH1.com
Steinhauser: Ehrlich tells NH1 News his new super PAC ‘the next logical step’
CONCORD – Bob Ehrlich says he can still have an impact on the 2016 race for the White House.
The former Maryland governor and congressman was a frequent visitor to the first-in-the-nation primary state over the past year as he flirted with a bid for the GOP presidential nomination. In August he announced he would not run for the White House. Ehrlich was back in New Hampshire on Thursday, but this time not for himself but for Turning Point America, the new super PAC he chairs.
In a one-on-one interview with NH1 News, Ehrlich said the super PAC was “the next logical step” and is “all about the substance of the issues going forward.”
“Right now the involvement is, and this sounds cliché, it sounds trite, but it’s the truth, it’s talking to real people about the issues,” Ehrlich said.
And those issues are “radical criminal justice reform, radical school choice, fatherlessness, poverty, race, really tough domestic issues for the most part.”
Ehrlich said he’s “trying to talk about what’s broken in this country and how to fix it in the context of a presidential campaign, literally getting, in this case the Republican candidates tuned into this agenda. Everybody talks about the middle class, for example. Well what does that mean. Define it first of all. Does your 26-year old live in your basement? Where’s the disconnect. Why can’t that 26-year old with a college degree get a job?”
Ehrlich added that Turning Point America is “not just talking about, not just reaching out and all this stuff, and having forums, but it’s about moving forward on the issues that can fix what’s broken in America. That turns me on. That’s why I’m doing this.”
Ehrlich said the super PAC will spend much of its holding events in early primary states and presidential battleground states, such as New Hampshire. Wednesday Ehrlich held Turning Point America events at New England College’s Concord location and at the University of New Hampshire in Manchester.
Ehrlich and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton were about the only Republicans actively visiting the early primary and caucus states who eventually ruled out White House bids.
Asked by NH1 News why he ultimately decided against a presidential campaign, Ehrlich said “we were not in a position to be really competitive this cycle to run for that office. That’s the flat out honest answer.”
In his conversation with NH1 News, Ehrlich weighed in on where things stand in the race for the GOP nomination. He said that Donald Trump’s front runner status is interesting because “there seems to be with his supporters no memory of past positions, past statements, past support, which is very unusual for republican grassroots supporters.”
But he added that Trump’s winning support by putting an emphasis on the issue of illegal immigration.
"That has gotten him a lot of fans from people who may not have in another context been Trump supporters,” Ehrlich added.
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