MANCHESTER N.H — Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore’s campaign was speechless when asked how they plan to go forward in the race for the Republican nomination.
“No comment,” said Peter Foster, Gilmore’s Virginia campaign director.
Foster was one of about ten people in attendance at Gilmore’s Tuesday night election party hosted at Fratello’s, a local Italian restaurant. Few people this reporter spoke to at the event were actually from New Hampshire, though the former Virginia governor insists focusing his campaign here in the Granite State instead of Iowa was the correct move.
Gilmore received all of 12 votes in Iowa. He told The Daily Caller, “I wasn’t running in Iowa, those 12 votes were just people who I know that wanted to vote for me instead of anybody else.”
Gov. Gilmore received a little over a 100 votes in New Hampshire, and the folks at his election party were largely people who he knew. Besides Foster, who has known the former governor for over 25 years, Lloyd Gatling was in attendance — Gilmore’s brother-in law from Virginia.
So how did a former governor of a major state and chairman of the Republican National Committee receive about half the votes of perennial candidate Vermin Supreme, who wears a boot on his head and speaks of zombie preparedness plans?
It certainly isn’t a lack of dedication. Gilmore has given over $230,000 of his personal funds to his effort to become the Republican nominee, and said he is willing to give more.
Gatling like many in Gilmore’s camp blame the media for the former Virginia’s governor’s lackluster performance thus far.
Gatling spoke to TheDC about the need to reinstate laws similar to the 1934 communications act — passed by FDR — which had an equal time provision for political candidates. Gov. Gilmore has only appeared in two undercard debates and believes that all seventeen original candidates should have been featured in the debates, with two separate panels.
The former governor thinks the standard to appear on the debates should be having ran for a statewide office instead of the current method of polling.
Gilmore said, “Polling is very indefinite, the margin of errors are very wide, we were doing very well for a while in the Reuters poll beating a large number of people who appeared on the stage.” That large amount of people are Rick Santorum and George Pataki, who he, at times, led by a fraction of a percent.
There is no lack of seriousness with Gilmore, and he intends to be the nominee. While many on Twitter joke with the hashtag “Gilmentum” and say other candidates dropping out is the former governor’s strategy coming to fruition, he in fact told us about how he’s outlasted other prominent Republicans, such as Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Santorum, and Pataki.
Santorum and Huckabee finished above Gilmore in New Hampshire.
“I think there’s a path to victory and I think you start here and you go into South Carolina where as a fellow Southerner I have some affinity with the folks,” said Gilmore to TheDC. He has a six A.M. Wednesday flight booked to the Palmetto State and has paid the $40,000 fee to appear on the ballot there.
He also told us that, “I think we’re gonna compete in Rhode Island too, we have a lot of friends there.”
Sam Cataldo, the chair of his New Hampshire campaign, expressed dismay at the idea of Gilmore dropping out saying, “why should he stop?” Gov. Gilmore’s wife was not there to comment about her husband’s expenditures on his dream to be president.
His New Hampshire state director Anne Smith wouldn’t speak to us Tuesday night about his expectations in New Hampshire, and a volunteer, Mike Tervo from Massachusetts said, “well I’m realistic.”
Tervo told us he’s likely to switch his support to Kasich or Christie. He went on to say, “If [Gilmore] was Vermin Supreme, I can see him hanging on.” This asserts the idea that Gilmore is somehow a message candidate.
Though the former governor told us, “I’m just trying to be the nominee, I’m not in the race for some ulterior motive, to put a message out or be the vice president…I’m trying to be the president.”This election night event was unlike others, it lacked chaos and the media covering the event were able to order Chicken Parm. It wasn’t in a private room or ballroom, rather on the second floor of the restaurant in a corner which featured sofas and a TV. This area was located right next to the bar, which allowed for Gilmore to hear cheers from patrons as Trump was announced the victor in New Hampshire.
A waitress announced that if they wanted food they would have to order before nine, Gilmore said, “I think I’ll just eat at the bar.” He spent the meal talking with Tervo.