Bass, Lamontagne Unite in Windham Rally

Charlie Bass called the southern tier of the state the "heart and soul" of the 2nd district.

On a day when GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney all but secured the party nod with Rick Santorum's campaign suspension, the former Massachusetts governor saw an ally in N.H. Congressman Charlie Bass.

"Mitt Romney would be good for New Hampshire," Bass said to a crowd of about 60 supporters at Castle Commons in Windham.

He added that he is "confident" that Romney will be the next president.

It wasn't the only political support that Bass dished out before entertaining the audience on some of the important state and national issues. He also praised N.H. gubernatorial candidate Ovide Lamontagne, saying that he has the kind of "well-rounded experience" to be a generational governor in the state.

Lamontagne had the crowd laughing before Bass even got to the podium, reminiscing about how he used to observe the congressman in the cafeteria when they first started working together in 1991.

While other lawmakers were packing in the calories, Bass was not.

"I was marveled at Charlie's self control," Lamontagne said. "(He) would open up his briefcase and take out a bag of lettuce and pay attention to what was going on the whole time."

But the evening wasn't just dedicated to Bass' rational and conservative diet. The incumbent congressional candidate also preached for some rationality with the U.S. Senate.

"We sent 27 different jobs bills to the U.S. Senate (and) not one was taken up," he said.

Bass also hammered the massive budget deficit, saying that he hopes a unified House, Senate and presidency will get what he called the "runaway budget" under control.

As for his reelection, Bass dominated the southern tier of Windham, Pelham, Salem, Atkinson, Hudson and Litchfield en route to his 2010 victory.

He called the southern tier the "heart and soul" of the 2nd District. 

Windham GOP Chairman Travis Blais, who was responsible for organizing the rally, echoed the importance of the region.

"I feel that this region of New Hampshire is so important to Republican victory throughout the state," he said. "We get people excited in this region."

Blais went after Bass' Democratic opponent – Ann McLane Kuster – calling her worse than former Congressman Paul Hodes, the last Democrat to hold the seat in the state.

"Ann Kuster makes Paul Hodes look like Andrew Hemingway," Blais said to loud applause and laughter.

He called Kuster famous for being a "liberal champion" who thinks that Obamacare doesn't go far enough and that taxes aren't high enough.

Blais added that she "supports the culture of dependency," where people are getting handouts from the government.

"The government then becomes dependent on a small group of taxpayers and communist China to continue bankrolling it," he said.

In 2010, Blais said that Kuster outspent Bass two to one for her campaign.

Bass defeated Kuster by a margin of just 3,470 votes in that first clash between the two politicians, both of whom graduated from Dartmouth College.

The space used for the rally was provided by Eric and Chris Nickerson of E. Nickerson Associates, who were the owners of the Castle Hill property.

Chris Nickerson said that they are both supporters of Bass, and were happy to help out any way they could.

They were also trying to showcase the property, which at the moment is vacant but they are working to move a business into it very soon.

Many prominent political figures and town officials showed up from all of the southern tier towns. 

Salem Selectman Stephen Campbell asked Bass what he planned to do with Interstate 93, to which the congressman responded he is in favor of getting a highway bill passed "as soon as possible."

Windham state representatives Charles McMahon and Kevin Waterhouse were also in the audience.

Blais said that he and the rest of the GOP town committee will be working to get more political appearances organized in the future, including one with Lamontagne potentially as the headliner.


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