Entries in July 4th (5)


Obama Thanks Military Heroes at Fourth of July Celebration

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama paid tribute to America’s men and women in uniform Wednesday night as he kicked off the White House Fourth of July celebration, telling service members gathered on the South Lawn that they “represent what is best in America.”

“You serve under our proud flag.  You and your families sacrifice more than most of us can ever know -- all in defense of those God-given rights that were first put to paper 236 years ago: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” he said.  “So as your commander-in-chief -- but also as an American -- I want to invite all of you over to say one thing: Thank you.”

The president saluted this “generation of heroes” for its service and sacrifice.

“I want you all -- our men and women in uniform, our veterans and their families -- to know this: America will always remember.  We will always be there for you, just as you’ve been there for us.  That’s my promise.  That is America’s promise.  And that is one that we pledge to fulfill on this Independence Day,” Obama said.

The president and first lady welcomed service members and their families for a barbeque and concert at the White House and, of course, to see the fireworks.  Families braved the sweltering heat to enjoy the celebration and meet the president.

“Are you hot?  It’s supposed to be hot.  It’s the Fourth of July,” Obama, dressed down in khakis and a polo shirt, said at the top of his brief remarks.

“Today, all across America, at schools and beaches, and in town squares, Americans are celebrating the freedoms that all of you and your families defend.  Like many of them, we’re grilling in the backyard,” he joked.

Hot dog and hamburger stands were set up on the South Lawn.  Cotton candy and popcorn were also on the menu.  Children enjoyed face painting and balloon animals and, later that night, guests were treated to a concert by country crooner Brad Paisley.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney, Family in Tow, Steals the Show at New Hampshire Parade

Darren McCollester/Getty Images(WOLFEBORO, N.H.) -- The Romney family vacation hit a peak Wednesday as several of its members paraded down Main Street in the picturesque New England town of Wolfeboro, N.H.

Residents flocked to catch a glimpse of the presumptive GOP nominee with some even setting up chairs at dawn to get a good seat along the route.

Romney, accompanied by his wife, Ann, their five sons and more than a handful of their grandchildren, marched through the Wolfeboro town center, greeting supporters with handshakes and an occasional sweaty hug.  Romney has been there since Saturday enjoying a week-long vacation.  Wednesday marked his first public event.

“Happy Fourth of July!” Romney wished supporters as he criss-crossed the street, his Secret Service agents in tow, to shake as many hands as possible.  “Happy Birthday, America!”

When one supporter yelled, “Save our spirit,” Romney responded with an emphatic “You bet!”

“Get out and vote next year, this November, I mean!” said Romney, wiping beads of sweat off his brow.  At one point, stopping to guzzle a glass of lemonade, Romney was asked how it tasted, to which he replied, “Lemon.  Wet.  Good.”

The parade ended in a park overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee, where Romney stood alongside New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte to make brief remarks in honor of the holiday.  While Ayotte is rumored to be a vice presidential contender, members of the crowd were convinced that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal would show up there on Wednesday with RomneyJindal, who was in Baton Rouge, La., according to an aide, did not make an appearance.

“My heart is full this morning as I see you and know of your patriotism and passion for the future of this country, and I think of all that has been sacrificed so we can enjoy the liberties we have here,” said Romney on a stage decorated with American flags.

“The world needs a strong America. It needs an America that is convinced that its values are right, an America with strong homes and families, an America with an economy that’s bustling, creating jobs and supporting a military so strong that no one in the world would ever think of challenging it,” said Romney. “That is the America we must have and we must build!”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Sen. Kelly Ayotte to Join Romney in New Hampshire on July 4

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte plans to march with Mitt Romney in Wednesday’s Fourth of July parade in Wolfeboro, N.H., GOP sources tell ABC News.

Ayotte will be the first vice presidential short-lister to appear publicly with the presumptive Republican nominee during his week-long vacation at his Lake Winnipesaukee retreat.  And her appearance also gives Romney the chance to meet with Ayotte privately at his home.

Romney arrived at his lakefront home in the small New Hampshire town last week to begin his annual family vacation, which includes such activities as the ”Romney Olympics.”  But there has been heightened speculation about whether Romney would use the time away from the political spotlight to meet with potential vice presidential contenders.

Ayotte, the freshman New Hampshire senator, is said to be one of several potential running mates the Romney campaign search team may be considering.  Also on that list: Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who plans to visit New Hampshire later this week.

Ayotte campaigned with Romney in New Hampshire in June during his five-day, battleground state bus tour.

Last week, Romney sent Ayotte to address the pro-life, National Right to Life conference in Arlington, Va.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Fourth of July: The Perfect Presidential Campaign Holiday

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/PeteSouza/White House(WASHINGTON) -- With its widely attended parades, voter-filled picnics and overt patriotism, the Fourth of July may be the perfect holiday for a presidential candidate looking to connect with constituents during the long haul of the summer campaign.  

And for the two men currently vying for the White House, Independence Day this year will the perfect opportunity for a festive photo-op showcasing, in Mitt Romney's case, his family man-cred and, in President Obama's case, his support for military veterans.

"It is a day for people of all political stripes, a day for holding faith with America," said Robert Allison, the chairman of Suffolk University's history department.  "This is the one [holiday] that has it all: patriotism and a celebration of our history."

But for Romney and Obama, this Fourth of July is a balancing act between campaigning and vacationing.  Romney is taking the holiday week off for a family reunion at his New Hampshire vacation home, where about 30 family members are facing off in the annual "Romney Olympics" to compete in swimming, running and who can hang on a pole the longest.

But the presumptive GOP presidential nominee will squeeze in at least one Independence Day campaign event, taking a brief detour from his sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren on Wednesday to march in the local Wolfeboro Fourth of July parade.

After a weekend of R&R at Camp David with his family, Obama will spend the Fourth at home, hosting a picnic with military families and his administration staff and their families.  But on the fifth, family time is over as Obama sets off on a two-day swing-state bus tour.

The candidates' mostly at-home celebrations this year are low-key compared to the hectic schedule of a primary election year.

Last year, six of the eight announced Republican presidential candidates attended Fourth of July events, marching in a total of six parades and attending a picnic, a baseball game and an Independence-themed museum.

The same was true during the 2008 campaign.  During the crowded primary campaigns of 2007, candidates seemed to be competing for the most hectic Independence Day schedule.  Romney and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton each attended three events in Iowa, including the same parade in Clear Lake.

Then-Democratic candidate Joe Biden packed in a parade, a picnic, a house party and a fundraiser.

But by 2008, the two remaining candidates, Obama and John McCain, had seriously toned down their Fourth of July schedules.  McCain took the day off to spend time in Phoenix with his family.  Obama contained his campaigning to one Montana city, unlike the three-city tour of Iowa he did on July 4, 2007.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman to March in Same July 4th Parade

Danny La/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- They managed to narrowly avoid each other in Utah last week, but now former governors Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman will come face-to-face for the first time as presidential candidates. The two Republican contenders will march in Amherst, New Hampshire’s Fourth of July parade.

A group of Ron Paul supporters will also participate in the event, though Paul will not be in attendance.

Mitt Romney will walk first in political section of the parade, followed by Paul’s group, and then Jon Huntsman. The order was determined by the date in which the candidates’ applications were received.

“We love it. We absolutely love it,” parade organizer Nancy Head told ABC News. “The townspeople look forward to having the candidates. The majority of the people are totally engaged in the political process. They want to know what the candidates stand for.”

The Amherst Fourth of July parade has been a hot spot for both Republicans and Democrats on the campaign trail for nearly 40 years. George W. Bush, John Kerry, Elizabeth Dole, and Gerald Ford are just some of politicians with their eyes on the White House who have made the trip to the small New Hampshire town.

Huntsman spokesperson Tim Miller told ABC News, “We are looking forward to voters in New Hampshire having the opportunity to size up both candidates one on one this weekend.” Romney’s team acknowledged that he would be marching in the same parade as Huntsman.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio