Who Won the Republican Voters First Presidential Forum? | NECN
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Who Won the Republican Voters First Presidential Forum?

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    Who Won the Republican Voters First Presidential Forum?
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    MANCHESTER, NH - AUGUST 3: (L-R) Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (PA) and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker stand on the stage prior to the Voters First Presidential Forum for Republicans at Saint Anselm College August 3, 2015 in Manchester, New Hampshire. The forum was organized by the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper and C-SPAN in response to the Fox News debate later this week that will limit the candidates to the top 10 Republicans based on nationwide polls. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

    Most of the Republican 2016 hopefuls met on stage Monday evening at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire.

    So how'd the candidates handle the Voters First Presidential Forum? Many are weighing in.

    Francine Wendelboe, a former Republican state representative in New Hampshire, wrote: "I think they all did well, no HUGE mistakes. The second part seemed stronger than the first. Graham did better than I expected but got a little too emotional. Carly was very strong and I think she raised her profile. Walker looked a little overwhelmed but his answers were good and his record as Governor impressive.

    "Wasn’t impressed with Christie or Bush. I thought Rand came off stronger as not quite so libertarian and dovish. Rubio answered well but his responses were just a tad too eager and rushed. Wasn’t impressed with Kasich or Pataki. Perry came off a little too cowboy-ish." 

    Brian Griset, the Exeter Republican chairman, says all of the candidates gave great answers.

    "From [Lindsey] Graham to Carly [Fiorina] to Ben [Carson] to [Ted] Cruz, all actually answered the questions asked and did so persuasively! That's what NH likes to see!" he wrote.

    Bill Boyd, a Merrimack town councilor who has endorsed Sen. Rand Paul, said he thought Monday's forum was insightful.

    "People on Twitter were likening this to speed dating, but, I thought it allowed candidates to avoid sound bites, but, forced them to articulate a policy position with succinct brevity. It allowed voters the opportunity to evaluate, compare and contrast the candidates without that debate crosstalk. It was a refreshingly good night to listen to the candidates," he said.

    Boyd added that Donald Trump would have done well in the forum because he thinks the format suits Trump's communication style.

    "This was a missed opportunity for him. And, the fact that he wasn't mentioned at all once during the three hour forum was telling," he said.

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