New Hampshire

GOP Debate Demonstrators Confined to "Free Speech Zone" A Mile Away

Most shared their preferred candidate's temperament.

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Over a thousand political demonstrators were confined to a "free speech zone"

GOP ClownShow
Flickr/DonkeyHotey

more than a mile away from the media assembled for the Republican presidential debate at St. Anselm College in Manchester, NH. 

After going through airport-style security (there were literally TSA and Secret Service agents inspecting bags) to enter the building, we were one of the very few reporters who decided to leave the considerable comforts of the Google-branded media room to make the long walk up a winding road leading to a snowy hill where throngs of people held signs promoting their preferred candidate or issue. The demonstrators seemed to be aware of the marginalized status, which they expressed by booing the media shuttle buses passing by. 

Among the crowd, there was a sizable presence of Bernie Sanders supporters, as well as Black Lives Matters and "Fight For 15" protesters agitating for raising the minimum wage.

Performance artist and sometime presidential candidate Vermin Supreme was also

Vermin Supreme
Anthony Fisher

there, wearing the trademark black boot on his head and carrying a giant toothbrush. If elected, he promised to create a fossil fuel-independent energy policy by giving every American a pony.

Naturally, the majority of the crowd was there to show support for their favorite Republican candidates. We couldn't find any Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush or Ben Carson supporters, and just one Carly Fiorina booster, who told us he was there to protest her exclusion from the debate stage and that he "liked her blueprint for change," but couldn't name any of her policies he supported.

The largest contingents were there for Ted Cruz and John Kasich, with a handful of very loud Donald Trump and Chris Christie boosters. Evoking the scientifically-proven phenomenon of pet owners resembling their pets, the demonstrators largely shared the temperaments of their favorite candidates. 

A Kasich-backer spoke slowly, deliberately and politely while praising the Ohio governor's "positive" campaign, as well as what he described as Kasich's considerable legislative accomplishments focused on creating policy through pragmatism and compromise.

Chris Christie's supporters were the loudest, chanting "Who Do We Want? Christie!"

Christie Con Man
Anthony L. Fisher

One supporter said, "He's got experience as a prosecutor, he's tough, intelligent, and we live in a very unsafe world. I think he'll keep us safe." One anti-Christie protester said he drove all the way from New Jersey to protest the governor's veto of a 2012 bill that would have legalized gay marriage in the Garden State. He said he wanted to be there "when Christie's campaign goes up in flames, which will hopefully be tonight."

A husband and wife duo wearing "Make America Great Again" caps told Reason they support Donald Trump because they think "it's time to have a businessman in the White House" and "the government should be run like a business." They added that they don't believe Trump's brash style will be a problem as president, and that "he's playing the media" to get free media coverage "really cheaply." The husband said he doesn't believe Trump truly intends to ban Muslims from entering the country and noted that his wife, also a Trump supporter, is Lebanese (though not a Muslim). 

One Ted Cruz supporter called him a "strong Constitutional conservative" and said he liked Rand Paul, but couldn't get behind his non-interventionist foreign policy. He added that libertarians' aversion to "defending the country" is what will keep them marginalized within the Republican Party.

We asked a young man in his early 20s named Zachary Zupan if the liberty-inclined voters who backed Rand Paul before he dropped out of the race should switch their allegiances to the Texas senator. Zupan replied Cruz "is the natural choice for people who supported Rand Paul" and "he is the only person advocating any kind of military restraint on our side of the aisle. He's not going to invade Libya or topple Assad like Rubio has said he would."

Zupan added that he considers himself "somewhat libertarian" and that libertarians should take a look at the remaining GOP field and assess "who best advances the cause of liberty. Nobody's perfect, but Cruz is the only candidate left who values libertarians and will give them a place at the table."

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  1. Youse guys will vote fo Christie if youse knows what’s good fo youse.

    1. Whaddya gonna do? Shut down my bridge?

  2. “If elected, he promised to create a fossil fuel-independent energy policy by giving every American a pony.”
    Perfect for Bernie’s VP ticket.

    1. But…but… but Obama promised everyone a unicorn. (sniff)

      1. VERMIN SUPREME 2016 !!!!!!

        A FRIENDLY FASCIST YOU CAN TRUST !!!!

      2. YOU DO NOT WANT A UNICORN !!!! YOU WANT A FREE PONY !!!! YOU WILL HAVE A FREE PONY OR ELSE !!!

        AND BRUSH YOUR TEETH !!!!!

    2. TEH BREN IS NOT WORTHY OF VERMIN !!! ONLY ONE MAN IS TEH EQUAL OF VERMIN SUPREME !!!

      TEH RENT IS TO HIGH !!!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79KzZ0YqLvo

  3. “who best advances the cause of liberty. Nobody’s perfect, but Cruz is the only candidate left who values libertarians and will give them a place at the table.”

    Yes, and Lucy is the only one who will allow Charlie Brown a shot at kicking the football.

  4. I’m pretty sure Rand did the right thing by dropping out and concentrating on defending his Senate seat but, God damn, who the hell does it leave?

    Cruz ego flipped on criminal justice reform, skipped the Audit the Fed vote and appears to have flipped completely on the NSA.

    Rubio has always been the NSA’s butt-boy, wants to go to war everywhere and lost his mind over naturalizing relations with Cuba, which as far as I’m concerned, is the only not stupid thing Obama ever did.

    So, try to ignore politics for the next year, support Bernie and try to laugh while the world collapses, support Johnson to try and get the big L vote over 1%?

    Dammit.

    1. I’ll do what I’ve done since 2007: stay home.

        1. Oh, we all lose. My vote won’t change that.

        2. (Paul), you touch it with a pin!

          I know lots of people who (sometimes smugly) sit it out and “refuse to participate” but to what possible benefit to anyone?

          If nothing else I see voting as license to bitch. If you don’t vote, STFU.

          1. I get the idea, but my vote is literally useless. And until they make it compulsory, no I will not STFU.

            1. Well sure, no one person’s vote actually matters. But hopefully you get my point. It’s like complaining about a restaurant that you don’t even go to.

              Do you participate in any way? Give money, man phones, hang flyers, whatever?

              Mandatory voting would make you More likely to vote?

              And, in the interest of civility, let me clarify that I was using a generalized STFU. Nothing personal.

              1. Mr. Drew, if I go into that restaurant, and it smells like sulfur, and there’s a rodent running around the dining hall, and the waitstaff looks unclean, and the entree looks like it was made yesterday, do I really have to eat there in order to complain about it?

                Non-voter since 1996.

                1. Well ok, consider that metaphor retired, but I think my point still stands.

                  Single votes mean nothing but trends are made up of many single votes.

                  Even if there is no one on the big ticket you can stomach, “waste” your vote on the libertarian ticket to improve attention paid to the party.

                  I wonder how many disaffected libertarian-ish voters there are? Enough to double Johnson’s numbers? Hmm….

            2. Well sure, no one person’s vote actually matters. But hopefully you get my point. It’s like complaining about a restaurant that you don’t even go to.

              Do you participate in any way? Give money, man phones, hang flyers, whatever?

              Mandatory voting would make you More likely to vote?

              And, in the interest of civility, let me clarify that I was using a generalized STFU. Nothing personal.

              1. Mandatory voting would make you More likely to vote?

                Yes? Better than a fine or jail.

                Do you participate in any way?

                I explain to friends how evil leftists are – not sure if they’re listening.

                Anyway, when I say my vote is useless, it’s because I live in NYC. I dunno, I’m open to voting again, if only as a protest. But I’m not under any illusions that my vote means anything.

                Nothing personal.

                I know – no worries.

                1. Yes, yes, protest vote. That is what I was talking about above with the Johnson vote. He isn’t gonna win, no way. But if he gets enough support we may be seen in the future as a group that needs to be appeased.

                  “The f’ing libertarians pulled two percent of the vote last time! Maybe they’ll get behind our meat puppet if he says something like ‘cops shouldn’t shoot you for sassing them’.”

                  Usher in the libertarian moment of momentary consideration!

                  Sigh.

          2. If you don’t vote, STFU.

            No. If you vote, you are agreeing to abide by the decision of the majority so you are the one who has no right to bitch when you don’t like what the majority decided. Those of us who don’t accept that the majority has the authority to elect a dictator or a madman and therefore refuse to vote are the ones who’ve earned the right to bitch.

            1. So……by not voting you are magically not bound by the results of the election?

              I’ve heard of “I didn’t vote fur him so he’s not my president” but “I didn’t vote at all so I don’t have to recognize anyone as president” is a new one on me.

              Am I understanding this correctly?

              1. Yes, but not in the way you think you are.

              2. That sounds like Pres. Obama in 2014, claiming a mandate in an election his party lost in massive fashion. He claimed a majority mandate because the participation rate was under 50%.

            2. I pay taxes to the state. I receive no welfare or subsidies. I have every right to complain whether I vote or not.

              The people who are sucking at the teat are the ones who should shut their pie holes.

          3. Have you ever heard of a quorum, bro?

          4. I think the taxes we got to pay should give us plenty basis for having a say. Voting doesn’t really add anything. And the fact that we are otherwise forced under duress to participate in other aspects of the system. Perhaps most importantly, the state derives the entirety of its legitimacy from a delegation of powers by the people. Your position is like saying we have to agree to forfeit our rights before we are allowed to exercise any of them. Until we are permitted a “No” vote, requiring folks to vote in order to activate their rights is absurd.

    2. who the hell does it leave?

      It’s a mindblowing train wreck. Here are the top contestants:

      Career Government Criminal
      Socialist

      Increasingly insane reality TV star who lashes out at all who oppose him – “They have insulted us Precious. Kills them!”
      Maybe a Canadian who might give the presidency to whatever Dem Disaster runs
      Hispanic Howdy Doody – Campaign Slogan – If People will make know nothing and do nothing Obama President, Why not Me?

  5. He added that libertarians’ aversion to “defending the country” is

    a complete lie?

    1. I know, right? Non-aggression sites not equal pacifist. In fact, the only pacifist who claims the L labor is the one girl on here. You know…uh…shoot. I hear she is the worst?

  6. I really hate Lil’ Taco – that sawed off little bitch.

    1. What do you hate about him besides his ethnicity?

      1. I hate his military aggression toward Iran (which Sheldon Adelson paid for). I hate his contempt for free enterprise and his opposition to opening up Cuba that Obama initiated.

        But most of all I hate his constant cloying to his GAWD and how we all should bow to his fictional tales.

        1. So where does his ethnicity rate among those other things you hate about him?

        2. Show us on the doll where his God touched you.

          And while I’m sure you’re sick of hearing it by now, did you pay up yet?

        3. Don’t you have some bills to pay?

          1. What’s this about a bill to pay?

            1. He has a bill for his toup?e?

              1. Well he should better pay it.

    2. Your favorite “libertarian” celeb Bill Maher seems to like Bernie Sanders. Maybe give him a second look?

      1. Jesus… he’s still around?!

      2. You mean tratorous bastard Bill Maher. He learned that sucking up to Proggies paid much better that maintaining his libertarian principles. He’s a total sellout.

        Right now if you look at the libertarian comments out there, it appears that legal pot is the only thing that matters anymore. I would say that free love would be in they, but the Progs promoting free pot

    3. Until I see concrete evidence of a donation, STFU.

  7. I am no libertarian. But to be fair to libertarians, they are not adverse to “defending the country.” They just don’t happen to believe that constant military intervention in countries that are not at war with us does that.

    I am not sure whether the libertarian approach to foreign affairs is right or wrong. I guess I would evaluate the position on an situation-by-situation basis. But I do believe that it ought to be characterized accurately.

    1. They just don’t happen to believe that constant military intervention in countries that are not at war with us does that.

      And every remaining candidate does believe that.

    2. “I am not sure whether the libertarian approach to foreign affairs is right or wrong.”

      That’s because there isn’t really any “libertarian” approach to foreign affairs.

      even Rothbard’s ‘strict neutrality’ isn’t really particularly relevant since the end of the cold war. Neutral in relation to what, exactly?

      I’ve always thought there is little benefit to maintaining any ideological, one-size-fits-all approach to foreign affairs – every region/nation/conflict/resource/etc. has its own specific issues that each demand careful consideration of benefits, liabilities, risks, etc. Trying to make every potential scenario fit within a cookie-cutter ideological-approach is stupid. In the case of any given “problem” – say, Syria or Iran – the “solution” will often likely be ‘stay the fuck away/out/uninvolved’ most of the time. However presuming it *always* will is suicidal naivete. Its also just way too-convenient a posture for people who refuse to actually deal with the details of the given subject.

      e.g. Ed has repeatedly touted the sensibility of Obama’s “nuclear deal” with Iran. All while refusing to acknowledge that Iran’s continued tests of nuclear-capable missiles don’t suggest a high-level of sincerity on Iran’s part. Does that mean it was a ‘bad deal’? who knows. The mag prefers to just *pretend* its awesome-diplomacy rather than a charade…. because its just more-consistent with their preferred ideological posture.

      1. There’s so much good to be had of libertarianism, it does bother me a lot to see it stretched & twisted to make particular hobby horses look good. To some extent Reason‘s done that a long time, but in recent years it’s gotten annoyingly frequent.

  8. Free speech zones make me feel really free.

    1. I too like to masturbate away from the glare of the media.

    2. I was just thinking how awful it was that the free speech zone part of the story is such a common thing now that it didn’t even get me enraged.
      That makes me a sad

      1. I like your website. Very interesting.

        1. Well thanks. In addition to my Reason addiction I’m also a real estate investing nerd, err… genius

          1. I’m also a Reason addict. Plus, My wife and I are fellow re investing nerds. Mostly in Cleveland, but we own a duplex in Avondale, and are always looking to buy. Want to add to our Cincy portfolio.

            Our website kinda sucks right now. I’m gonna fix it up over the next month and then start to promote it.

            1. Did you watch the video tour of the single family in Evanston? Really good deal. Going vacant in a few weeks, thank heavens. Current tenants are only paying $600 per month.

              Join the buyers list by clicking “join the buyers list” 🙂 you’ll get an email whenever I have a deal for sale…And not any other time.

              I think people sweat site promotion too much unless they are dealing with the masses. If I had a I Buy Houses site, sure, it would need to be pretty and optimized, etc, etc but for dealing with other investors nah.

              1. Signed up. I like the Evanston property. Prefer multi units, but it is tempting as a SFR. Let’s stay in touch.

                1. “Signed up”

                  Look out for troll dick pics.

                  1. I’ll pay the troll toll.

  9. One anti-Christie protester said he drove all the way from New Jersey to protest the governor’s veto of a 2012 bill that would have legalized gay marriage in the Garden State.

    Is it just my hetero privilege talking, or is this childish and pathetic?

    1. b

      but you’re also obviously a gay-hater now.

    2. Democracy in action.

  10. libertarians should take a look at the remaining GOP field and assess “who best advances the cause of liberty. Nobody’s perfect, but Cruz is the only candidate left who values libertarians and will give them a place at the table.

    There is absolutely NOTHING libertarian about Cruz.

    1. He would probably be better than the Dem nominee on guns, at least.

      But no, I don’t think that’s enough for him to deserve my vote.

    2. So what? is a fiscal conservative who defends core-constitutional principles supposed to be a bad thing?

      And while your diagram is cute, Cruz is the only person other than Rand Paul to have voted no on the NDAA

      “Libertarian or nothing!” might feel fashionable, but it doesn’t seem very smart to me.

      1. I don’t hear any other candidate wanting to “abolish the IRS” either. Not that I think he could actually do it.

        1. *major candidate

      2. Has nothing to do with fashionable, it has to do with not being a useful idiot for the Republican party. There is no incentive for the Rs to move towards liberty if they know libertarians will vote R as the lesser of two evils.

        There was no one on that stage worthy of my vote. Not even close. They are horrible. Every single one of them.

        1. “There is no incentive for the Rs to move towards liberty if they know libertarians will vote R as the lesser of two evils.”

          It is actually more accurate to say that there is no incentive for R’s to move toward liberty…. if the ones who DO deviate from the herd on things like spending and militarism never beat the rest of them come election-time.

          Your rationale presumes politicians are more influenced more by “non-voters” than voters. Which doesn’t make any sense to me.

          In fact even if you had no interest in who wins the general election, theres a decent argument that one should want the “most liberty-minded” candidates in each party to win their respective primaries.

          e.g. I would even consider voting for Bernie Sanders in the primary, if only because i think Hillary is far worse than any other potential candidate.

          1. Your rationale presumes politicians are more influenced more by “non-voters” than voters.

            I am not a non-voter. I’m voting for Johnson.

            And as I’ve pointed out, there are no “liberty-minded candidates” running in either of the two major parties. They are all EXACTLY the same.

            Trump

            Rubio

              1. They’re all at or above the midpoint of the vertical towards liberty. They’re more libertarian than anti-libertarian.

                Try http://votesmart.org/voteeasy too. You may be pleasantly or unpleasantly surprised.

                1. That depends on the weight you give each issue. To me, someone who supports mass surveillance, the TSA, stop-and-frisk policies, DUI checkpoints, prosecuting Edward Snowden, etc. is not someone who I will ever vote for.

                  I don’t really care about random online tests.

    3. How can you say there’s 0 libertarian about Cruz, when you map him halfway to the peak of liberty?

    4. What a cute picture.

      I don’t see anything wrong with it.

      Probably because I don’t believe in the leftist bullshit that demands that libertarians be ‘socially liberal and fiscally conservative’. Anywhere in that upper right quadrant is assloads better than anything the Dems are putting out.

      Right wing principles.not republican party actions–as stated– lead to fiscal and social libertarianism.

      Frees speech free press, small government, individualism, voluntarism, free markets–all of this is good stuff.

      Your choice in this election is maybe getting a chunk of this good stuff–or getting horrific stuff from the criminal socialists on the other side. Because they offer nothing good–even when they claim to, it is so entangled in their statist garbage that accepting it is always a setback for liberty.

  11. I think he’ll keep us safe.

    And then Christie ate him.

  12. The thing that blew my mind was when Christie was asked about whether US law enforcement should cross the border to go after Mexican drug lords even if the Mexican government doesn’t agree and he said yes, and “as a former prosecutor…..” If you’re a former prosecutor and know so little about the law that you don’t realize the scenario presented is what is legally known as “an act of war” you’re a shining example of what’s so screwed up about our criminal justice system – prosecutors don’t have to know or care a damn thing about the law.

    1. prosecutors don’t have to know or care a damn thing about the law

      I think we had a shining example of that right here a few months ago.

    2. It’s a shining example of what’s so screwed up about politics: Candidates have to spout obvious lies to at least get a nomination.

  13. “the government should be run like a business”

    Hey, an Anarchocapitalist!

    1. “the government should be run like a business”

      Regulatory Monopoly !!!!

      =D

  14. “Nobody’s perfect, but Cruz is the only candidate left who values libertarians and will give them a place at the table.”

    I’ve been thinking of Cruz this way (replace “libertarians” with “the good kind of conservatives”), though when I saw that he supports internal passports (“e-verify”) my support wobbled a little bit.

    If you threaten businesses with penalties if they hire illegals, then offer a safe habor if they run applicants’ info through a government computer program, and if you then threaten them with discrimination prosecutions if they waive the rules for people who are obviously citizens…bottom line, you basically need government approval to work for any sizable employer.

    1. You basically need government approval to work for any sizable employer now. I’ve never had a non-family employer fail to demand a Social Security card before I could work.

  15. My roomate’s sister makes $86 an hour on the internet . She has been without work for 5 months but last month her pay was $17168 just working on the internet for a few hours. linked here…..
    Clik this link in Your Browser……..

    http://www.Wage90.com

  16. My roomate’s sister makes $86 an hour on the internet . She has been without work for 5 months but last month her pay was $17168 just working on the internet for a few hours. linked here…..
    Clik this link in Your Browser……..

    ??????????? http://www.Wage90.com

  17. Where in the BoR does it give governments the authority to create restrictive zones for speech? This is bigger than any issue being pushed by these so called candidates.

    1. Where in the constitution does it give governments the authority do conduct mass surveillance on the populace? Where in the constitution does it give governments the authority to do 99% of the shit they’re doing now?

      Nowhere. They’re just thugs with lots of guns.

  18. One Ted Cruz supporter called him a “strong Constitutional conservative” and said he liked Rand Paul, but couldn’t get behind his non-interventionist foreign policy. He added that libertarians’ aversion to “defending the country” is what will keep them marginalized within the Republican Party.

    As a military veteran who supports non-interventionism, people like this make me want to start slapping the shit out of them, then tell them that I’m only “defending” myself from someone who is obviously too different from me to let me feel safe.

    Then if they protest, I just accuse them of being weak on combating evil.

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