Posts Tagged Carly Fiorina

Christie & Fiorina Drop Out of GOP Presidential Race

Christie & FiornaTwo more Republicans have ended their White House runs, whittling down the field as the party’s remaining candidates and Democrat Hillary Clinton look to blunt the momentum of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders down south.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina both called time on their presidential bids, one day after finishing sixth and seventh, respectively, in the New Hampshire primary.

Trump and Sanders two political outsiders with vastly different ideologies, but who have a common campaign credo of speaking what they say is truth to power, served notice in the Granite State on Tuesday with their resounding victories.

Sanders almost doubled Clinton’s tally and Trump bested second place Ohio Governor John Kasich by almost 20 percentage points.

Both results shocked the party establishments, virtually guaranteeing bitter and drawn-out races for the Democratic and Republican nominations.

New Hampshire was the second stop in the months-long process to choose the two candidates who will vie to succeed President Barack Obama on Election Day, November 8.

“I leave the race without an ounce of regret,” Christie said in a Facebook post, noting that while his message had been heard by many, it was “just not enough and that’s ok.”

Fiorina, the only woman in the Republican field, said she would “continue to travel this country and fight for those Americans who refuse to settle for the way things are and a status quo that no longer works for them.”

So where do the other candidates go from here? South Carolina and Nevada, where both parties will stage nominating contests before month’s end.

The upcoming votes will be crucial for Clinton, the former secretary of state who admitted in an uneasy concession speech that she had “some work to do, particularly with young people,” to revitalize her campaign.

Clinton is seen as enjoying strong support among black voters and Sanders, realizing the need to boost his standing with African Americans, met Wednesday with prominent civil rights activist Al Sharpton in New York.

“My concern is that in January of next year, for the first time in American history, a black family will be moving out of the White House,” Sharpton said.

“I do not want black concerns to be moved out with them.”

Clinton said she recognized the American electorate’s fury with establishment politics.

“People have every right to be angry,” she said. “But they’re also hungry, they’re hungry for solutions.”

Sanders has signaled he is in the race to win and expects the coming weeks to be even more closely fought. The next battle is in Nevada on February 20, followed by South Carolina.

“They’re throwing everything at me except the kitchen sink, and I have the feeling that kitchen sink is coming pretty soon,” he said in a buoyant victory speech.

Beefing up his ability to take the fight to Clinton for the long term, the Sanders camp announced he raised $5.2 million in the 18 hours following his New Hampshire win.

For now, he reigns supreme with young voters: Clinton received just 16 percent of the vote among people under 29, according to New Hampshire exit polls.

If the Democratic race is poised to take a more confrontational turn, then Republicans are set for all out internecine warfare.

Trump’s visceral assault on American politics brought him his debut victory after a second-place showing in last week’s Iowa caucuses.

It was a must win for Trump, after his embarrassing performance in the Hawkeye State called into question his frontrunner status and brand as a winner.

But similar levels of support for Kasich, Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Marco Rubio and former Florida governor Jeb Bush left the field in turmoil. The last remaining candidate, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, finished farther off the pace.

Now the fight moves to South Carolina, a state with a lingering reputation for bare-knuckle campaign tactics.

Even before the candidates arrived, the state’s airwaves were being flooded with negative attack ads, with each man hoping to emerge as the mainstream answer to Trump.

“They’ve written me off in this campaign, over and over again,” Bush told supporters in Bluffton, South Carolina, arguing that his campaign got a new lease on life even though he finished fourth up north.



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Trump Crushes GOP Field – Sanders Delivers Massive Blow to Clinton in New Hampshire Primary

Trump & SandersFlamboyant businessman Donald Trump won by nearly 20 percentage points in New Hampshire’s Republican primary on Tuesday night, solidifying his status as the overwhelming favourite for the party nomination. Left-wing Vermont Sen. Trounced Hillary Clinton by about 20 points in a Democratic primary in which he had once trailed her by 40, establishing himself as legitimate contender.

The triumph of the insurgent outsiders was forecast by recent polls but unimaginable just a year ago. It represents a momentous affirmation of American anger at the political establishment and the state of the country.

“As a country we don’t win on trade, we don’t win with the military, we can’t beat ISIS. We don’t win with anything,” Trump said in a victory speech in which he called terrorists “animals” and suggested the real unemployment rate was 42 per cent. “We are going to start winning again, and we’re going to win so much, you are going to be so happy.”

“Together,” Sanders said in his speech, “we have sent a message that will echo from Wall Street to Washington, from Maine to California. And that is that the government of our great country belongs to all of the people, and not just a handful of wealthy campaign contributors and their Super PACs.”

Trump’s loss to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the Iowa caucuses last week raised questions about the devotion of his supporters and the preparedness of his campaign team. New Hampshire provided a resounding answer: he is for real, and he will be hard to beat. He holds big leads in the upcoming primaries in South Carolina and Nevada.

And his opposition is deeply divided. What happened in the race for second place is almost as helpful to Trump as his victory and almost as troubling to the Republican establishment hoping in vain for someone to take him down.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, widely viewed as the most electable Republican, had hoped to use a strong runner-up showing to position himself as the undisputed alternative to the polarizing Trump and Cruz. Instead, he finished a disastrous fifth, not only behind second-place Ohio Gov. John Kasich and likely behind former Florida governor Jeb Bush, two men he wanted to force out of the race, but also behind Cruz, whose religion-infused rhetoric appeared to be a poor fit for New Hampshire.

Sanders now confronts the challenge that could sink his campaign: earning support from people of colour, who favour Clinton by large margins. The states voting in the coming weeks are far more diverse than lily-white New Hampshire and Iowa, where Sanders battled last week to a near-tie.

Whatever happens next, New Hampshire proved that his message is far from the fringes. Sanders, a gruff 74-year-old facing a former secretary of state backed by almost the entire Democratic leadership, won a wide victory railing about the “rigged economy,” promising Canada-style health care, and calling for a “political revolution.”

“I’m just sick of the whole system. The whole thing is broken. The elections are fixed, and the American public is starting to catch on,” said Rick MacMillan, 60, an independent who voted for Sanders in the small town of Hopkinton.

Trump made a few concessions to normal political behaviour in response to his Iowa loss, scrambling to build a get-out-the-vote operation after months of neglect. But he did not change his unorthodox style or an inflammatory race-baiting platform that includes a ban on Muslims entering the country, a giant wall on the Mexican border, and the authorized torture of terrorists.

“This country don’t need another lawyer,” said retired police officer Bob Arsenault, 64, after he voted for Trump in Hopkinton. “He tells you how he feels. I’m a good ol’ Frenchman. I’ll tell you how I feel.”

Kasich, running as a cheery compassionate conservative, proved that there is still a substantial Republican constituency for civility and governing experience. But he will be hard-pressed to repeat his success elsewhere. While he held some 100 town hall meetings in New Hampshire, he invested only barely in other states.

Bush’s Super PAC has spent tens of millions of dollars supporting his candidacy, so third or fourth place is not especially impressive. If he had finished fifth or worse, though, he would have faced pressure to quit. He can now soldier on to South Carolina, whose most prominent legislator, Lindsey Graham, has already endorsed him.

The three candidates who fared worse than Rubio, former neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former HP chief executive Carly Fiorina and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie might all drop out. If this was indeed Christie’s last stand, it was consequential. His Saturday debate attack on Rubio as a speech-memorizing lightweight sent Rubio into a panicked recitation of a memorized speech, a comical gaffe that appeared to cripple him in the final days of the race.

New Hampshire, a state of 1.3 million, has always been a unique political environment, largely moderate but with a rebellious streak. More than 40 per cent of voters identify as independent, and they often decide at the final moment which party’s primary to join. On Tuesday, it was not hard to find voters choosing between Sanders and Trump.



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President Obama Delivers Final State of the Union Address But Sounds 2016 Caution to Democrats

Obama SOTUPresident Barack Obama admitted his regret that he will leave the US more, not less, polarised when he departs office a year from now, using his final State of the Union address to urge the nation not to succumb to demagogues.

The man who declared “We are not a collection of red states and blue states. We are the United States of America” while campaigning in Iowa in 2008 conceded that, as his presidency comes to close, the American political divide runs deeper than ever.

Obama urged Americans to rekindle their belief in the promise of change that first carried him to the White House, declaring that the country must not allow election-year fear and division to put economic and security progress at risk.

“All the talk of America’s economic decline is political hot air,” Obama said in his final State of the Union address. “So is all the rhetoric you hear about our enemies getting stronger and America getting weaker.”

“The United States of America is the most powerful nation on Earth. Period. It’s not even close,” he said.

The president’s address to lawmakers and a prime-time television audience was meant to both shape his legacy and put his imprint squarely on the race to succeed him. He defended his record and implicitly urged the public to elect another Democratic president to build on it, but acknowledged the persistent anxieties of Americans who feel shut out of a changing economy or at risk from an evolving terror threat.

While Obama did not directly call out Republicans, he sharply, and at times sarcastically, struck back at rivals who have challenged his economic and national security stewardship.

In one of his most pointed swipes at the GOP candidates running to succeed him, Obama warned against “voices urging us to fall back into tribes, to scapegoat fellow citizens who don’t look like us or pray like us or vote like we do or share the same background.”

His words were unexpectedly echoed by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who was selected to give the Republican response to Obama’s address. Underscoring how the heated campaign rhetoric about immigrants and minorities from GOP front-runner Donald Trump in particular has unnerved some Republican leaders, Haley called on Americans to resist the temptation “to follow the siren call of the angriest voices.”

“No one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws and love our traditions should ever feel unwelcome,” said Haley, whose parents are Indian immigrants.

Focused on his own legacy, Obama ticked off a retrospective of his domestic and foreign policy actions in office, including helping lead the economy back from the brink of depression, muscling through a sweeping health care law, taking aggressive action on climate change and ending a Cold War freeze with Cuba.

He touted implementation of the landmark nuclear deal with Iran, but made no mention of the 10 American sailors picked up by Iran Tuesday. The Pentagon said the sailors had drifted into Iranian waters after encountering mechanical problems and would be returned safely and promptly.

Tackling one of the most vexing foreign policy challenges of his presidency, Obama vowed a robust campaign to “take out” the Islamic State group, but chastised Republicans for “over the top claims” about the extremist group’s power.

“Masses of fighters on the back of pickup trucks and twisted souls plotting in apartments or garages pose an enormous danger and must be stopped,” he said. “But they do not threaten our national existence.”

The president’s words were unlikely to satisfy Republicans, as well as some Democrats, who say he underestimates the Islamic State’s power and is leaving the U.S. vulnerable to attacks at home.

Obama was frank about one of his biggest regrets: failing to ease the persistently deep divisions between Democrats and Republicans. The GOP-led Congress Obama stood before Tuesday night is hostile to his ideas and angry about his executive orders on issues from guns to immigration.

On the campaign trail, Trump’s heated rhetoric is seen by some voters as a welcome contrast to Obama’s cool calls for civility. On his Twitter account Tuesday night, the candidate dismissed Obama’s speech as “really boring.”

As for political disagreement, Obama conceded, “The rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better. There’s no doubt a president with the gifts of Lincoln or Roosevelt might have better bridged the divide, and I guarantee I’ll keep trying to be better so long as I hold this office.”

He specifically called for ending the gerrymandering of some congressional districts that gives parties an iron grip on House seats. He also urged steps to make voting easier and reduce the influence of money in politics.

Mindful of the scant prospect for major legislative action in an election year, Obama avoided the traditional litany of policy proposals. He did reiterate his call for working with Republicans on criminal justice reform and finalizing an Asia-Pacific trade pact, and he also vowed to keep pushing for action on politically fraught issues such as curbing gun violence and fixing the nation’s fractured immigration laws.

The president also touted a new effort led by Vice President Joe Biden to fight cancer, aimed at increasing public and private resources and breaking down barriers to collaboration among researchers. Biden’s 46-year-old son died last year from brain cancer.

Yet Obama was eager to look beyond his own presidency, casting the actions he’s taken as a springboard for future economic progress and national security. His optimism was meant to draw a contrast with what the White House sees as doom-and-gloom scenarios peddled by the GOP.

Republicans were largely dismissive of the president’s address. House Speaker Paul Ryan, assuming the speaker’s traditional seat behind the president for the first time, said Obama’s “lofty platitudes and nostalgic rhetoric may make for nice soundbites, but they don’t explain how to” solve problems.

Tuesday’s address was one of Obama’s last opportunities to claim a large television audience as president. However, the State of the Union has suffered a major drop-off in viewers in recent years. Last year, Obama’s speech reached 31.7 million viewers, according to Nielson, down from 52 million for his first State of the Union and 62 million for George W. Bush in 2003.

Obama’s final State of the Union address revived some of the gauzy nostalgia that was a hallmark of his political operation. Among those sitting in first lady Michelle Obama’s guest box was Edith Childs, the South Carolina woman who first introduced Obama to the “Fired up! Ready to go!” chant that was a staple of his 2008 campaign.

The president himself appeared to get momentarily caught up in the emotion of the moment. As he walked toward the exit after his hour-long speech, he turned back to the crowded House chamber and said, “Let me take one more look at this thing.”

Republican frontrunner Donald Trump summed up his response to President Obama’s final State of the Union address with a 140 character tweet calling the president’s speech “really boring.”

Trump wasn’t the only Republican presidential candidate to bash the president’s speech. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who opted to skip the speech and instead held his own State of the Union-themed campaign event, also took to Twitter with a scathing review of the presidential address.

Retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson replied mockingly to the president on Twitter, criticizing Obama for “excessively” using executive actions.

And former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina said in a Facebook post that the president’s speech “again proved that he is a politician, not a leader. Instead of talking about solutions, he talked politics.”

“It is time to elect a leader who has been tested, who will see and speak and act on the truth. We need a President who will be a clear-eyed advocate for policies formed by principles, not by polls and politics,” Fiorina said.


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Trump Hits a Massive 41% in New National Poll

Donald TrumpDonald Trump has hit a new milestone in national polling, garnering 41% of the Republican vote in a new national poll.

Trump is at 41% in a Monmouth University poll out Monday, holding a wide advantage over his GOP challengers. His support was up from 28% in October.

In second was the rising Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, at 14%; followed by Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, at 10%. Ben Carson was at 9%, down 9 points from October, and all other candidates were in the low single digits.

A flurry of polls released in the last few days have pointed in sometimes conflicting directions as the first debate since the terror attacks in Paris and the shooting in San Bernardino approaches, but the Poll of Polls points to clear story lines emerging nationally and in the two states set to cast the first ballots of the 2016 presidential campaign.

The CNN Poll of Polls finds that across the five latest national, live-interviewer telephone polls, Trump tops Cruz 33% to 17% in the race for the Republican nomination. Behind Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (12%) and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson (11%) are the only other candidates with average support above 10%. Former Florida governor and one-time front-runner Jeb Bush averages 4%, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie holds 3%, with businesswoman Carly Fiorina, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul all at 2%.

Trump’s lead in these national polls varies from 27 points in the most recent poll from Monmouth University to just five points in the NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey conducted early last week. Some of that difference stems from sampling the CNN/ORC Poll and the Monmouth poll measure opinions among registered voters who say they are Republicans or lean toward the Republican Party, and both found Trump with larger leads than some polls using a different sampling method.

The NBC/Wall Street Journal, CBS News/NYT and Suffolk University/USA Today polls all interview those who say they plan to vote in their state’s Republican primary or caucus.

There is also timing, with the Monmouth poll the only one conducted entirely after Trump released his proposal calling for a ban on allowing Muslims to enter the United States.

Still, each of the five polls included in the national CNN Poll of Polls shows Trump holding a lead larger than its margin of sampling error.

While the national polling shows significant volatility, the Iowa poll results show even greater variation from poll to poll.

According to the CNN Poll of Polls averaging the six most recent live-interviewer telephone polls, the race in Iowa is a tight one between Cruz (27%) and Trump (25%). Rubio and Carson follow here as well, with 13% and 12% respectively, while Bush (5%) and Paul (4%) lag behind, trailed by four candidates at 2% each: Christie, Fiorina, Huckabee and Kasich.

Three of the six Iowa polls included here found Cruz with a significant lead over Trump, two found the two within margin of error of each other, and one found Trump ahead by a wide margin. The CNN/ORC poll which found Trump ahead is the oldest in the bunch, with interviews conducted between November 28 and December 6.

Surveying likely Iowa caucusgoers is one of the toughest challenges in election polling, as it is routinely one of the lowest turnout events in the entire presidential election process. In 2012 and 2008, only about 6% of the state’s registered voters participated in the Republican caucuses, and whether turnout this time around will be similar is a question that can’t be answered until the caucuses themselves are complete.

Some argue that Trump’s appeal among those who are not regular participants in the caucus process will drive turnout higher, much as the hotly contested presidential race on the Democratic side in 2008 did for that party. Others say Trump’s supporters’ allegiances aren’t strong enough to overcome the challenges inherent in participating in a caucus: Having to trudge out on a wintry night for several hours of political speeches and declare your support for your chosen candidate publicly.

In New Hampshire, a larger turnout means the task is somewhat easier, and the most recent polls are more closely aligned with each other. Five polls were included in the CNN Poll of Polls in New Hampshire, with the earliest including interviews conducted November 14 and the latest running through December 8.

The CNN Poll of Polls in New Hampshire finds Trump (26%) with a more than 2-to-1 advantage over his nearest competitor, Rubio, who at 12% is the only other candidate to average double-digits. Behind Rubio, a passel of candidates range in support from 7% to 9% Carson and Cruz each average 9%, Bush 8% and Kasich and Christie 7%.

That bunch-up around third place masks some clear trends that have developed in recent New Hampshire polling, Christie’s numbers are on the rise, with the governor averaging 11% in the two polls conducted after Thanksgiving compared with 5% in the three conducted earlier in November.

Carson, meanwhile, has been losing steam, dropping from 11% in the pre-Thanksgiving polls to 6% in the polling conducted more recently. Bush, Rubio and Cruz have been roughly steady in the Granite State lately.

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Senator Ted Cruz Takes Lead in Latest Iowa GOP Poll

Ted CruzConservative US Senator Ted Cruz has risen to lead the field of Republican presidential contenders in the politically-crucial state of Iowa, a new poll showed on Monday.

The poll the first in which Cruz has led the field, shows the Texas senator with 24 percent support from voters who intend to take part in the February 1, 2016 Iowa caucuses, the first real measure of voter support in the 2016 presidential campaign.

As recently as October, Cruz, 44, had just 10 percent support in the Monmouth poll.

His fortunes have changed, however, after a critical endorsement from a popular Republican lawmaker in this heartland state, and as voters cool on retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, an earlier favourite.

“This marks the first time Ted Cruz has held a lead in any of the crucial early states,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, New Jersey, highlighting what he called a “Cruz surge in Iowa.”

As Ben Carson’s stock has fallen, Cruz has been able to corral most of those voters, Murray said.

Billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump was the second choice of Iowa Republicans with 19 percent support, followed by Marco Rubio (17 percent); Ben Carson, (13 percent); Jeb Bush, (six percent); Rand Paul (four percent) and Carly Fiorina and John Kasich each with three percent.

Two months ago, Carson topped the Monmouth survey with 19 percent support, but his poll numbers have been in free-fall in recent weeks following a number of gaffes in the area of foreign policy and security.

His slip-ups have occurred at precisely the moment when Americans are paying more attention to candidates’ foreign policy acumen because of perceived security threats abroad and at home.

Marco Rubio, the fresh-faced senator from Florida, is seen by many as the favourite of the party establishment given the lackluster showing on the campaign trail so far of his state’s former governor Jeb Bush.

Like Cruz, he appears to have improved his standing with Iowa voters, increasing his support by seven percentage points since the last poll, up from 10 percent in October.

The telephone survey of 425 likely participants in the Iowa caucuses has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8 percent.


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CNN Announce Criteria for December GOP Presidential Debate

CNN DebateRepublicans have three ways to make the cut for the main stage of their fifth presidential primary debate.

Candidates must meet one of three criteria in polls conducted between October 29 and December 13 and recognized by CNN: An average of at least 3.5% nationally; at least 4% in Iowa; or at least 4% in New Hampshire.

The debate is Tuesday, December 15 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Right now, nine candidates would make cut for the Republican National Committee sanctioned debate at The Venetian in Las Vegas: Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Christie would make the main debate stage as of Friday, but he did not qualify in the last GOP debate, hosted by Fox Business Network.

CNN also announced that it, along with Facebook and Salem Media, will hold a second debate for Republican candidates who don’t make the cut for the main stage.

To qualify for the earlier debate, candidates must reach at least 1% in four separate national, Iowa or New Hampshire polls that are recognized by CNN.

The network said it will recognize data collected from surveys that began no earlier than October 29, 2015 and are released no later than 5 p.m. on December 13.

Polls that will be considered are live interviewer national and state surveys by: ABC News, Bloomberg News, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, Gallup, Marist University, McClatchy News Service, Monmouth News Service, NBC News, The New York Times, Pew Research Center, Quinnipiac University, Time, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Des Moines Register, the University of New Hampshire, WBUR and WMUR.

CNN also said Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash will join conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt as questioners in the debate that will be moderated by Wolf Blitzer.


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Team Rubio Look to Increase Size and Scale of Operation

Marco  RubioFor months, Marco Rubio’s campaign team in South Carolina operated out of a staffer’s garage, plotting strategy for the first-in-the-South primary from freshly painted yard sale furniture and tiny classroom desks.

The shoestring budget setup was a point of pride for the Republican presidential candidate’s team. Now, with Rubio enjoying a burst of momentum as the early voting contests edge closer, the Florida senator’s campaign is moving beyond its lean and mean roots.

Rubio’s South Carolina team officially moved out of the garage and into a proper campaign headquarter, though they brought some of the yard sale furniture along with them.

“This election could very well be decided in this state,” Rubio told the crowd gathered at the office in Columbia, South Carolina’s capital.

Rubio’s team also opened offices in Nevada a few weeks ago. His staff grew by about 30 percent in October, with more than 70 people now on the campaign payroll. The new hires include communications and digital advisers, as well as field workers to boost voter contact and advance staff to help set up larger and more frequent events in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, the first four states to vote in the nomination contest.

Whether Rubio can effectively build up his campaign infrastructure in those states may determine whether he can turn his natural political talents and easy appeal with GOP voters into primary victories.

While Rubio’s advisers say they’re simply executing the next phase in a carefully crafted campaign blueprint, there’s no doubt the team’s early penny-pinching was driven in part by necessity. The senator’s fundraising has been underwhelming and his money totals trailed several rivals through summer and fall, including a lackluster $6 million haul in third financial reporting period of the year.

But buoyed by strong performances in the last two GOP debates, Rubio has been attracting more high-dollar donors, including billionaire investor Paul Singer and New York hedge fund manager Cliff Asness.

With more cash in the pipeline, Rubio is expected to spend more money on travel to early voting states and on larger events aimed at putting him in front of as many voters as possible. Rubio communications director Alex Conant pointed to a 450-person event in New Hampshire last week and a similar sized event in Davenport, Iowa, on Wednesday as examples of the type of settings the candidate will appear at more regularly.

Rubio’s more robust travel plans are welcome news to some Republicans in early voting states who have griped for months that the senator wasn’t spending enough time on the ground meeting with donors and wooing important backers. While some candidates have all but taken up residency in Iowa and New Hampshire, Rubio has been a more sporadic presence.

“He’s recognizing that in order to win in New Hampshire, you need to be available to voters, not just once or twice but more often than that,” said Donna Sytek, a prominent New Hampshire Republican. She called Rubio an “attractive candidate” but said she’s also still considering Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina.

Rubio’s backers believe the campaign’s fiscal caution has already been validated by the early money woes of other candidates. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker quickly built a large and expensive operation, but was forced to withdraw from the race after just two months when his fundraising stopped covering his bills. And despite raising more than $100 million for his super PAC, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush slashed payroll spending by 40 percent after campaign fundraising slowed.

To be sure, the Rubio team’s tales of cheapness have helped the campaign define the Florida senator as a scrappy underdog taking on wealthier rivals. Campaign manager Terry Sullivan has bragged about sticking Rubio on budget airline Frontier, which he called “a special kind of hell,” and touted his rule of personally approving expenses over $500.

At one of the campaign’s Nevada offices, staffers tried to do their part to live up to the less is more mantra. After noticing a pizza place next to a campaign office had free wireless internet that required a password, a staffer walked over and bought two pieces of pizza and asked for the internet access code.

But the cost-cutting measure was short-lived. After about three weeks, the pizza place caught on and asked the Rubio team to stop.


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