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Republican Candidates Eats: Romney Removes Chicken Skin, Perry Calls BBQ Roadkill

Categories: Musings
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​Today the voters of New Hampshire will trudge through miserable weather and vote for their preferred Republican candidate in the presidential primary. You are probably familiar with all of the folks running by now: Newty, Mittens, Sneezy, Grumpy, etc. If they look a bit pale and green around the gills, consider they've just spent months eating every queasy street food available in Iowa.

Here are some specific gastronomic stories relating to each candidate, along with a snippet of their political views on food and nutrition. There are surprises: One candidate takes his wife out to eat only at food carts, another candidate held a contest for a lucky winner to share a burrito lunch with him, and another compared North Carolina barbecue to roadkill. Oops.

If you are what you eat, this is the only guide Republican primary voters will need to consult when making their determination about character (and if you're curious, we have already opined as to what food each candidate would be if they were, indeed, foods).

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Huntsman leaving the Puritan Backroom restaurant in Manchester, NH
Jon Huntsman
Food: As a young man, Huntsman worked in a restaurant with the woman he would wed. "She was the salad girl who stole his heart," it says in his campaign video. In the same clip, Huntsman is referred to as "the world's best pancake chef... who makes a mean egg-white omelet... a man who won't make restaurant reservations because the food carts he eats at won't take them... [Wife] Mary Kay says she'd like to eat somewhere nice someday, but that day seems yet to arrive."

Huntsman's favorite place to eat when staying in California is Henry's Taco Stand in Los Angeles. He also has a thing for clay-pot dishes and chili crab from his days as ambassador to Singapore. No doubt he has a keen knowledge and appetite for Chinese food as well.

He also seems to enjoy Jewish comfort food. As Kathleen Parker writes in Newsweek: "Looking to grab a bite across from Penn Station before hopping his train back to Washington, Huntsman asked the waiter: 'Got any matzo-ball soup?'"

Food politics: While governor of Utah, Huntsman cut the state's food tax in half.

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Do not bother this man when he's eating.
Ron Paul
Foods: It shouldn't surprise that Paul isn't much of a gourmand. In fact, photos of him eating gross street foods are extremely rare. On the other hand, that might be because he really doesn't like being disturbed while chowing down. While sitting over breakfast last Thursday at an Embassy Suites hotel in Iowa, a reporter from the National Journal stopped by Paul's table to ask whether he was bothered that if he doesn't win, his followers won't rally behind the eventual GOP nominee. "He (Paul) looks up from his plate of cantaloupe, honeydew, eggs, sausage and biscuit and says brusquely, 'Right now, the only thing that bothers me is people who don't respect my privacy enough to leave me alone for five minutes when I'm eating breakfast.' And then he goes back to reading his USA Today."

From this incident we can infer that Paul has a fairly hearty appetite in the morning.

Food politics: Shortly before announcing his run for President, Congressman Paul introduced legislation to allow interstate raw milk sales. "I think you should make your own choice on whether you drink raw milk or not," says the peppy Libertarian.

He also started the Ron Paul Food Drive, a nationwide program aimed at collecting five tons of non-perishable food items across the United States.

Yet while he gives with one hand, his libertarian instincts take away with the other: Paul wants to eliminate the Child Nutrition Program which provides students in low income areas with funding for school breakfasts and lunches.


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