The Fourth of July was no holiday for Republican presidential candidates.
It was time turn up the heat on their campaigns, but with no fireworks this early in the campaign season concentrating on the political hot spots of Iowa and New Hampshire.
Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn, rolled into Iowa for her first trip as a presidential candidate. She attended a church service, a prayer breakfast and parades.
"My goal is to take the reasonable, fair-minding voice of Iowa not only to the halls of Congress, but now to the White House, where it's been missing for far too long," Bachmann told a crowd of voters.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., traveled Iowa's Fourth of July parade route as did former former Pennsylvania Republican senator Rick Santorum.
" trying to build a real solid grass roots effort with our focus being having to be in a good position, come February," Santorum said.
Former U.S. ambassador Jon Huntsman pushed to build his grass roots campaign in New Hampshire, where he and family marched in a parade and met with small groups.
"It's a marathon when you approach it that way. But in New Hampshire that is the only way it is done. It's done hand shake by hand shake," Huntsman said.
Republican front-runner Mitt Romney shook hands along a parade route in Amherst and then took aim at President Obama in Washington.
"The recession is deeper because of our president. It's seen an anemic recovery because of our president. The people who want the status quo can vote for him, but people who want real change and jobs for Americans are going to vote for us," the former Massachusetts governor told a crowd.
Businessman and presidential hopeful Herman Cain skipped the parades. Instead, he threw out the first pitch at the Fisher Cats game in Manchester.
He lost two high-level staffers in the last week, but says his campaign is still on track.
"In a matter of days, we are opening offices in New Hampshire," Cain said.