Today Steve Forbes spoke with NH Journal staff while he was on his way to enthusiastically endorse Ovide Lamontagne, candidate for the Republican nomination for Governor in NH.
Mr. Forbes heaped praise on Ovide for “his core principles, his policy ideas and his consistency”. The head of the Forbes publishing empire recalled knowing of Ovide from the 1990’s when as Chair of the NH State Board of Education Lamontagne turned down Federal funds due to the amount of strings and red tape attached.
One of America’s preeminent voices on economic issues, Mr Forbes declared Lamontagne to be “the real deal” – high praise indeed. Forbes discussed why Governors matter and why he engages in state primary battles. He recalled seeing in Chris Christie, the current Governor of New Jersey (Forbes’ home state) the passion to fix what was ailing the state at the time. Forbes backed the then-underdog in that important race in 2009 and the results have been well noted: reduced state spending, lowered taxes, capped property taxes, and a reformed state pension program.
Forbes said he sees in Ovide Lamontagne that same passion he saw in Chris Christie.
The popular television host of “Forbes on Fox” (Saturday mornings on Fox News Channel) went on to credit individual governors for their efforts which have led to national reforms, such as the widely heralded 1996 national welfare reforms which were first implemented by governors like Wisconsin’s Tommy Thompson. He also singled out Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker work to reform state pensions. Governors do matter in areas of regulation, business taxes, and pushing back on the federal government, Forbes argued.
Forbes also commented on presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s economic plan, which he called much stronger and praised his tax reform ideas. On the other side when asked to grade the economic team of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Federal Reserve Chair Bernanke and President Barack Obama, he answered that he “does not believe in grade inflation” and gave each one an F based on their performance and where they want the nation to head economically.
Finally, Forbes recalled with fondness his many trips to the Granite State, praising “the direct interaction with voters,” and “the retail side of New Hampshire where there are real discussions and engagement on the issues, not just sound bites.”