LACONIA, N.H. — After a strong second place showing in the Iowa caucuses last week, Steve Forbes '70 was working hard in New Hampshire this weekend, looking to continue his recent success in this coming Tuesday's presidential primary.
Approximately 100 Forbes supporters gathered Saturday at the Laconia Country Club to cheer on the famous magazine publisher and conservative candidate.
Forbes gave his standard stump speech to the crowd, noting especially his success in the Iowa caucus and his optimism about the upcoming New Hampshire primary. "The American people are rising up," he said, "and we are going to return the government to 'We the people.' "
He explained what he called a disparity between polls and caucus voting returns, saying that polls and pundits were "lagging indicators."
Forbes also explained his tax plan, his opposition to abortion and his plan for school choice. Abortion was an especially important issue for Forbes on Saturday, after he released a statement criticizing Democratic candidates Bill Bradley '65 and Al Gore for their "abortion-on-demand position."
"A new birth of freedom," Forbes said, "should include the freedom to be born."
Forbes also called on Texas governor George W. Bush to commit to appointing pro-life judges and picking a pro-life running mate, a pledge Bush has not yet made.
Forbes took second place in the Iowa caucuses last week, with 30 percent of the vote, behind Bush. Forbes also tied Bush at 36 percent in last week's Alaska straw poll.
In New Hampshire, however, the latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll shows Forbes with only 15 percent, and Bush and Arizona Sen. John McCain fighting it out at 34 and 39 percent, respectively.
Still, Forbes remains optimistic, hoping for a good showing in the upcoming primary. "Starting Tuesday night," Forbes declared, "we're going to reclaim our political system."
After the rally Saturday, Forbes commented briefly on the University's appointment of Peter Singer.
"When they make an appointment like that, putting him on the faculty in a prestigious chair, in a so-called chair of ethics. . . I think it is a disgrace, and I'm not going to give resources to an institution that goes as low as that," Forbes said.
Meanwhile, onetime underdog and current New Hampshire Republican front-runner McCain was continuing his effort to beat back the Bush campaign.
New polls show that out of the Republican candidates, voters see McCain as more trustworthy and more in touch with average Americans, and they believe that the Vietnam veteran senator has a better vision for the future and would improve moral standards.
As the first primary in the country, the New Hampshire election is seen by the campaigns as an opportunity to gain momentum for the rest of the primary elections, which come later in the winter and in the early spring.