Live Blog: Jeb Bush speaks at Rotary Luncheon


NASHUA, N.H. — Follow our live updates of the Jeb Bush Rotary Luncheon at the Nashua Country Club.

11:39 A.M. - This has already been awesome. On our way here, we realized that Bush's bus was behind us, so we beat him to the country club and were there waiting for him. Alex Fisher grabbed an incredible photo of the candidate, and Carter grabbed some hasty but up-close video. We are now waiting in the press overflow room.

11:44 A.M. - Lot of talk about the impending snow among the journalists in the overflow room. There's still no certainty over whether the candidates will keep their events on schedule for the remainder of the day. 

11:52 A.M. - The song "Think of Me" from Phantom of the Opera is playing inside the rotary luncheon. A woman standing at the door is turning away any members of the press and said after someone joked about the music choices, "We are guests of the rotary." 

11:55 A.M. - Now, it's an instrumental version of "The Music of the Night." I guess the Nashua Country Club has a flair for musical theater. 

11:58 A.M. - After more members of the press complain, a Bush staffer explains that, despite including this event on Jeb Bush's public schedule, the campaign must still abide by the rules of the country club. 

12:02 P.M - Carter and Dan are finally let into the event! While the club members eat with Jeb(!), we are congregated behind the food serving stations. The waiters don't seem much too pleased, given that some journalists are now blocking the kitchen entrance. 

12:03 P.M. - The show gets on the road here after the Pledge of Allegiance, the singing of "America the Beautiful" and an invocation.

12:05 P.M. - Muted laughter among the rotary crowd after an introductory speaker asks Jeb(!) if "it'll be a good time to clap," a clear reference to Jeb's mishap the other day.

12:08 P.M. - Jeb(!) begins his speech by telling a joke about a mistake on his Wikipedia page that identified him as "an avid rock climber." Be sure to "check your Wikipedia page," he tells the crowd. 

12:10 P.M - "I'm a Texan, which is a nationality you know," Jeb(!) says.

12:11 P.M - Lot of strong words for Donald Trump now. "It's not strong to insult women. It's not strong to castigate Hispanics. It's not strong to ridicule the disabled." 

12:15 P.M. - Jeb(!) discusses leadership and hugs. "I'm a hugger. I like hugs."

12:18 P.M - "I'm really tired of politicians that blame their predecessors. I kind of have a personal feeling about this after having watched it for so long," Jeb(!) says.

12:22 P.M. - "A leader has to focus on personal responsibility," Jeb(!) says while discussing veterans.

12:25 P.M. - "The big three accomplishments of this president has been Obamacare, Dodd-Frank and the stimulus, where he worked with Congress," Jeb(!) says.

12:27 P.M. - Addiction "is not a Republican or Democratic problem" — a major theme for the candidates in a state where heroin overdoses are the second-leading cause of death.

12:28 P.M - Jeb(!) wraps up his speech and begins to take questions from rotary members.

12:30 P.M. - On the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, Jeb(!) says he would "overturn it on stead" and references ideal constitutional amendments like giving president a line-item veto power, enforcing a balanced budget and term limits for Congress.

12:34 P.M. - "I will be a Tenth Amendment president," Jeb(!) says. The last question is coming up. He only took three.

12:36 P.M. - Last question comes from mother of a son enrolled in the U.S. Naval Academy and concerns cuts to the military. Jeb(!) says "we're putting people in harm's way for an extended period of time" by cutting military spending. 

12:39 P.M. - Jeb(!) decries any political wrangling over the Department of Defense, advocates for peace through strength ("It's not a cliche," he says) and argues for reform of the Department of Veterans Affairs. He cites an example where the VA thought a still-living veteran had died and stopped sending benefits to his family.

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