Glen Johnson / Globe Staff
MANCHESTER, N.H. Five prospective Republican presidential contenders are attending a forum tonight sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, a pro-GOP group with ties to billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.
9:15 p.m. - This remarkably efficient event, technological flaws notwithstanding, is wrapping up with closing remarks from the event organizer, Corey Lewandowski.
Thanks for reading.
9: 10 p.m. - First question from AFP President Tim Phillips: If votes were not in place to repeal "Obamacare," what steps would roll it back to the fullest extent possible.
"Right now what we should be doing is defunding Obamacare," which she termed "Frankenstein."
The second question: The debt limit is about to be exceeded; what should be done?
"My feeling is that we should not increase the debt ceiling," says Bachmann.
9:09 p.m. - Michelle Bachmann says she supports a consumption or "flat tax."
Finally, she calls for a massive federal reform bill to reverse the changes under former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The congresswoman is reading her remarks. "This dream can be our reality in less than two years, if we win the Triple Crown of the House, Senate, and the White House."
9:04 p.m. - Michelle Bachmann is outlining a wish list for the country, including having the government ending any future bailouts, as well as running private businesses such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
"Uncle Sam would then legalize private student lending" and end government involvement, she dreams.
Bachmann also calls for cutting corporate tax rate to 9 percent.
9:02 p.m. - The final speaker, Representative Michelle Bachmann, takes the stage.
She started by crediting New Hampshire for Republican gains in recent midterm elections.
8:59 p.m. - First question to Herman Cain: Do you support a balanced budget constitutional amendment.
He says, "Yes/"
Second question: What about corporate welfare through subsidies?
Cain said his experience through boards that business would trade subsidies for less regulation.
8:57 p.m. - Herman Cain also calls for privatizing Social Security, as has been done in Chile.
"We've got some altering and abolishing to do," he says.
8:57 p.m. - Fourth and fifth, Herman Cain calls for lowering tax rates and making them permanent to create predictability.
On the spending front, he calls for repeal of "Obamacare." He also calls for "cut, cut, cut" when it comes to federal agencies, and through block-granting money for states.
8:55 p.m. - Third, Herman Cain calls for stimulating economy by lowering tax on $1 trillion in offshore profits to zero, since they are not going to come back and be invested in the United States otherwise.
8:53 p.m. - Herman Cain takes stage with preachy remarks about "taking back the American Dream."
First priority is "jobs, jobs, jobs" with direct stimulus through lowering corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent, and also by lowering personal tax rates.
Also, Cain wants to take the capital gains tax rate to zero.
8:50 p.m. - Second question for Mitt Romney is to the heart: Would you sign Massachusetts health care bill again.
Romney says it was good because it addressed people who could afford insurance but didn't buy it, so-called "free riders."
Nonetheless, he said he would never force it upon other states.
And Romney says that when he gets to debate President Obama, he will ask him why he never called the former governor to ask how the plan was working.
8:47 p.m. - First question is about how gas has risen from $1.83 per gallon since President Obama took office. AFP President Tim Phillips asks Mitt Romney how he would address energy price sticker shock.
Romney says Obama tries to find a scapegoat, now through search for price gougers.
While it would take years to increase supply, if country started drilling, and used natural gas, prices would come down because investors knew more supply would be there to meet demand.
8:45 p.m. - Mitt Romney could have been speaking to the NRA, too. This speech is largely his stump speech.
"We Americans are a patriotic people," he tells an audience gathered to hearing about plans to cut spending.
8:42 p.m. - Mitt Romney says "it's broken my heart" to watch president who never created jobs.
"It's three years now," he says. "He could have learned better."
Said the lesson he should have learned during his 2008 primary campaign would have been low taxes to create jobs.
"Instead, he looked to Europe" and its big-spending ways, says Romney.
"'Europe' doesn't work there; it sure as heck won't work here," he says.
8:39 p.m. - Mitt Romney takes stage tieless, unlike two prior speakers and jokes that among week's big news that president produced a birth certificate.
Starts by saluting New Hampshire's role in start of presidential process, and then segues to stump speech that recalls how his Dad rose from plasterer to governor of a state.
8:37 p.m. - AFP President Tim Phillips asks Rick Santorum about his use of earmarks, which Senator Tom Coburn has equated to a drug.
"I've got tracks," the former senator says, pointing to his left arm, saying he engaged in practice to ensure spending he said he didn't think the president would commit to this state.
8:35 p.m. - First question about "regulatory assault" by administration.
Rick Santorum says the problem is passing laws "that are these huge, expansive bills" that expand power of regulators.
"You're giving power away from the people who were elected," the former senator complains.
Calls for simpler bills "that actually force Congress to make decisions."
8:33 p.m. - Rick Santorum calls for repeal of "Obamacare," tax cuts, a new energy policy. Hits President Obama for calling for conservation.
"Does the president really think you're that stupid?" asked Santorum, saying it's wrong to focus only on supply and not demand.
He says "when I left the United States Senate," referring to when he lost reelection, there were fights over building LGN terminals on the East Coast.
8:29 p.m. - Rick Santorum notes Obama said in budget retort to Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan, country is better because of Medicare and Medicaid, and then adding, country was not great before those programs.
The former senator says, imagine a president saying the country was not great before 1965.
There has been virtually no economic policy to Santorum's speech; it has been virtually all social conservatism.
He segues to it by saying deficit is being generated by politicians trying to make government care for its citizens through programs.
8:26 p.m. - For a supposed economics speech, Rick Santorum is talking a lot about God and "City Slickers," which he says is his favorite movie.
:8:25 p.m. - Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is at podium, noting he just came from Pittsburgh, where he addressed NRA convention.
Noted he is a member, and gets gun-rights group's magazine.
Also says this is his 15th visit to New Hampshire.
8:23 p.m. - First question to Tim Pawlenty was on entitlement reform, prompting a riff from his stump speech.
The second question: "N.H. House passed legislation to pull out of cap-and-trade system; as governor, you supported similar system. Have you changed your views?"
"Yes," says Pawlenty. "It is ham-fisted."
He adds: "I don't try to defend it. Everybody's got a few clunkers in their record."
8:19 p.m. - Actually, Tim Pawlenty is using notes for him more formal remarks. He boasted about his state's high rating by the fiscally conservative Club for Growth.
Then, after telling his personal story, Pawlenty slipped and said, "That's why I'm running for president ... considering running for president."
He recovered by saying, "To be formally and finally announced later."
8:15 p.m. - Tim Pawlenty said he and Mitt Romney used to debate which of their state's was the most Democratic, and, in his mind, Massachusetts lost because it voted for Ronald Reagan twice.
Nonetheless, even in Minnesota, Pawlenty said he cut spending, tort reform, and welfare reform, and "we can do it anywhere."
8:13 p.m. - Tim Pawlenty lauded South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, a kingmaker in the audience, and his "good friend" Mitt Romney, as well as the other prospective candidates.
Pawlenty says voters consistently tell him "get the government off my back."
Speaking rapid-fire, without notes, the former governor proclaims government growth discourages the American spirit.
"What makes us great is that we're free," he said.
8:09 p.m. - AFP Foundation President Tim Phillip has introduced the first speaker, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.
"You had enough of $4 a gallon gas?" is Pawlenty's first line.
8:07 p.m. - Apologies for the dearth of posts, but that "filing center" had spotty Internet service, no power strips, and really any of the things needed to file realtime. BUT, now we're back online.
Providing a live blog is proving to be a logistical challenge, as organizers have taken planned media workspace for the overflow crowd at the Executive Court conference center.
This first post is coming via wireless card from a bench in the garden area out front.
So far, the only prospective candidate we've seen is former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former US Senator Rick Santorum, former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain, and US Representative Michelle Bachmann.
Outside the event, protestors are complaining about "union busting" and chanting, "Big oil, big problems," but they are being kept at a distance by police barricades.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.