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Entries in Cattle Call (1)

Saturday
Apr302011

Potential GOP Presidential Candidates Criticize Obama

Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images (File)(MANCHESTER, N.H.) -- Five potential Republican presidential candidates were in New Hampshire Friday vowing to take an immediate U-turn on the policies of the Obama administration if elected.

Though none of the possible Republican contenders who addressed a group of several hundred conservative activists have officially said they will vie for the Republican nomination, each tried to appeal to Granite State voters who could help make or break their chances next year.

Possible repeat candidate Mitt Romney said the fact that many Americans find themselves in dire economic straights is "simply inexcusable."

"He came to New Hampshire. He saw the mills in Manchester, he saw the buildings, he recognized that there was an economic crisis here," Romney said. "He could have learned that when you dealt with that economic crisis you believed in holding down taxes, keeping regulations low, balancing budgets, keeping government small. And that formula has filled those mill buildings."

Joining Romney in his critique of the president's economic policies were former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and businessman Herman Cain.

Pawlenty, who launched a presidential exploratory committee in March and is an all-but-declared candidate, nearly made an official announcement Friday.

"I see a brighter future for our nation -- that's why I'm running for president," Pawlenty said, quickly clarifying, "considering running for president."

In his remarks, Santorum said it was time for a "drill baby drill" approach to energy policy with Americans facing painfully high gas prices. Bachmann, meanwhile, called for an overhaul of the country's tax system.

"Flat tax or a fair tax," she said, "let's get rid of what we've got and start over."

Cain, the founder of Godfather's Pizza, said he had a simple solution for reducing spending: "Cut, cut, cut."

"I can think of a few agencies in Washington, D.C., that might need to be cut all the way to the bone."

Friday night's event was one of the first major "cattle calls" in the important early nominating state. Many attendees said they walked into the forum undecided about who they plan to support when their state holds its primary less than a year from now, and walked out without a decision.

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