A throng of demonstrators greeted Texas Gov. Rick Perry when he arrived at Popovers on the Square on Thursday morning, telling him loud and clear they don’t support his policies to revamp Social Security and Medicare.
“Hands off Medicare! Hands off Medicare!” was one chant the demonstrators from the New Hampshire Alliance of Retired Americans made in unison.
Others held signs that read “No Texas trash talk,” and “Social Security is not a Ponzi scheme.”
When Perry was asked by one reporter how he felt about protestors, he replied, “If they’re all senior citizens then they have nothing to worry about.”
Surrounded by a crush of TV cameras, reporters and photographers, Perry greeted voters outside and inside Popovers as well as Popovers employees like Whitney Bresson, who handed the Texas governor a popover and some ice water.
“That’s awesome on top of the pancake I just had,” said Perry as a voter shouted in the background, “Let them eat cake, governor!”
Bresson and several of her co-workers enjoyed meeting the Republican Presidential candidate.
“He was very nice and had a firm handshake,” she said.
But Perry also found plenty of supporters for his Presidential bid, which he just announced last weekend in South Carolina, immediately having an impact on the Republican Presidential primary race.
One of those supporters was Mike Esthers of Portsmouth, who had his family take a photo with Perry.
“There are plenty of people here who support Rick Perry and like his policies,” Esthers said to one of the demonstrators before Perry arrived at Popovers.
Former State Sen. Martha Fuller Clark of Portsmouth -- a Democrat -- managed to ask Perry about his position on global warming, which the Texas governor has said he doesn’t fully endorse.
“The verdict is still out,” Perry told her.
Fuller Clark said Perry’s refusal to look at the science behind global warming research concerns her.
“We could have a president who is not willing to look at scientific facts,” she said. “All you have to do is look at what’s happening in Greenland.”
Perry was at Popovers for less than an hour before he and his staff walked down Congress Street, turned onto Fleet Street and boarded an SUV bound for his next stop in Dover.