- Arnie Arnesenlongtime radio and TV host in New Hampshire. She was the Democratic nominee for governor in 1992.
In the Republican race, Donald Trump soared to a commanding victory in the New Hampshire primaries Tuesday, winning 35 percent of the vote. Ohio Governor John Kasich placed a surprising second with 15 percent, followed by Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Chris Christie.
AMY GOODMAN: But I want to turn to the Republican race. Donald Trump won 35 percent of the vote in New Hampshire. Ohio Governor John Kasich placed second with 15 percent, followed by Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Chris Christie, who’s now gone home to New Jersey, reconsidering the race. Trump delivered his victory speech in Manchester, where you are.
DONALD TRUMP: I am going to be the greatest jobs president that God ever created. Remember that. Don’t believe those phony numbers when you hear 4.9 and 5 percent unemployment. The number’s probably 28, 29, as high as 35. In fact, I even heard recently 42 percent. Do you think we’d have gatherings like this if we had—if we had 5 percent unemployment, do you really think we’d have these gatherings?
AMY GOODMAN: Ohio Governor John Kasich celebrated his second-place finish in the New Hampshire primary—I think he held something like 106 town halls in New Hampshire—telling a crowd in Concord that his campaign had overcome the “darkness” in politics.
GOV. JOHN KASICH: We never went negative, because we have more good to sell than to spend our time being critical of somebody else. And maybe—maybe, just maybe—at a time when, clearly, change is in the air, maybe, just maybe, we are turning the page on a dark part of American politics, because tonight the light overcame the darkness of negative campaigning. And you made it happen.
AMY GOODMAN: John Kasich and Donald Trump—number one, Donald Trump; number two, John Kasich—as they head to South Carolina. Bernie Sanders, by the way, today is in New York. Arnie Arnesen, the Republican primary and its significance?
ARNIE ARNESEN: Ah, it’s incredible. And again, it’s a message to the GOP: It’s time to re-evaluate what you’re talking about. Donald Trump is really talking to the economic angst of American workers. There’s no question about it. The American people are frustrated and frightened. And he definitely has a conversation with them. But I want to tell you something that was interesting, Amy. I had a guy that was in the Trump celebration, and he had a chance to talk to 25 people who are basically supporting Donald Trump, and he was asking them why. Do you know what word never came up as it related to Donald Trump? The word “conservative.” They never used that word in connection with Donald Trump. They used the word “jobs.” They used the word “anger.” They used the word “great.” They used the word—they’re angry with the status quo. They hate the institutions. But the word “conservative,” associated with Donald Trump, never came up. That is a really powerful message to the Republican Party. They’ve wrapped themselves up in that word as if it has meaning, and now if it has resonance. But in that room last night, that wasn’t there.
Donald Trump also has done something that no one quite understood. You mentioned John Kasich did 100 town halls. He’s been in people’s living rooms. He’s been in—you know, at people’s schools. But you know what’s interesting about Donald Trump? Donald Trump, Amy, has been in people’s living rooms for years. It is called The Apprentice. And people don’t understand that when you’re on the TV and you’re in someone’s room, you create relationships with folks. So Donald Trump has actually done the living rooms, but just not in a way that the party has expected. So, when he started doing these huge events, they said, “In New Hampshire, it will never resonate. After all, he hasn’t, you know, kissed the babies and been in our diners.” Well, you know what? What they didn’t understand is the kind of relationship he already had as he started his presidential campaign. And then throw in all the ridiculous free media that the national media and the cable news outlets gave him. He had more free media time than any candidate in human history. And that is the other problem. They brought him into everyone’s living rooms, because he’s a ratings god. Was that good for the party? Absolutely not. Was that good for democracy? Probably not. But we can’t be surprised about the numbers he produced. Yeah, Kasich came in second, but a distant second, despite all his work and the fact that he’s kind of the happy warrior.
AMY GOODMAN: And the xenophobia, the racism, the barring Muslims, the talking about Mexicans as rapists, did this resonate in New Hampshire, one of the whitest states in the country?
ARNIE ARNESEN: Well, a little point of information, everyone. New Hampshire was the last state in the nation to embrace Martin Luther King’s birthday. Can I repeat that? The last state in the nation. Can I also repeat that our Democratic governor was the only Democratic governor who said no to the Syrian refugees? You see, the Democratic governor knows her state. And Donald Trump, he knows how to play some of the New Hampshire base, unfortunately, like a fiddle. Were they offended by those comments? They cheered him.
AMY GOODMAN: Arnie Arnesen, I want to thank you for being with us, longtime radio and TV host in New Hampshire, Democratic nominee for governor in 1992. Twenty years ago this next week, she was the first guest on the first episode of Democracy Now! on the eve of the New Hampshire primary. So it’s great to be with you again, Arnie.
ARNIE ARNESEN: Thank you so much.
AMY GOODMAN: Thank you. This is Democracy Now! When we come back, Ta-Nehisi Coates joins us in studio. Stay with us.