The first NH GOP Senate debate will take place tonight at 6 p.m, and will feature all five Republican candidates vying to be the next rubber stamp for Mitch McConnell and his corporate special interest, anti-choice agenda. This is the first time that all of the candidates will be on stage together. With less than three months until the September primary, the debate will put the messy and chaotic primary on full display, with all of the Republican candidates pushing their anti-choice, pro-corporate special interest policies. Here’s what to expect. TOPLINE: With Roe Overturned, All of the Republicans’ Anti-Choice Records Will be in the Spotlight. Now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, the Republicans running for Senate will use the debate to double down on their extreme anti-choice records. There is no doubt that these Republicans would help Mitch McConnell ban abortion nationwide if Republicans re-take their Senate majority.
Chuck Morse is the “key architect” of the first abortion ban in modern New Hampshire history, which made no exceptions for rape, incest, or fatal fetal anomaly, mandated ultrasounds, and imposed felony penalties and prison time on doctors. Morse voted four times against adding exceptions for rape, incest, or fatal fetal anomaly to the abortion ban.
Kevin Smith told his supporters that “we are SO close to ending abortion once and for all” and is one of the leading opponents of women’s reproductive freedom in the Granite State. Smith was a lobbyist for the anti-choice, far-right group Cornerstone Action where he advocated for making abortion illegal in New Hampshire and defunding Planned Parenthood. Smith has said he would vote for any anti-choice legislation in the US Senate.
Don Bolduc opposes access to abortion and openly calls for defunding Planned Parenthood, which would threaten access to reproductive health care for thousands of Granite Staters.
Bruce Fenton said that he is “against abortions” and backed Chuck Morse’s extreme abortion ban.
Vikram Mansharamani told Adam Sexton that he is "absolutely in agreement" with the Republican abortion ban that Chuck Morse helped pass last year.
Republicans Will Keep Putting Corporate Special Interests First, Granite Staters Last. While Senator Hassan is working to lower prices at the pump by pushing to suspend the gas tax – a proposal with wide bipartisan support – her opponents continue to oppose her proposal and will use the debate stage as another opportunity to parrot Big Oil’s debunked talking points.
Just last week, Chuck Morse again made it clear that he opposes suspending the gas tax, and this year he went so far as to personally block an amendment to create a state gas tax holiday — ensuring that "the pain at the pump will continue” for Granite Staters.
Kevin Smith has repeatedly opposed the proposal, with his opposition awkwardly putting him at odds with a fellow Republican at a GOP press conference this spring.
Don Bolduc has also said that he opposes Senator Hassan’s proposal to suspend the gas tax and provide relief to Granite Staters.
This debate will only further highlight how Senator Hassan is proposing solutions to lower costs for Granite Staters and her opponents are parroting tired talking points from Big Oil and corporate special interests.
Debate Will Showcase Infighting, Divisions Within the NH GOP. The volatile primary will be on full display tonight, after months of infighting that has fractured the New Hampshire Republican Party and will seriously damage whoever emerges as the nominee.
In a clear indication of just how nasty the NH GOP Senate primary has become, this month the New Hampshire Republican Party was blasted for picking favorites by sending their field organizers out with campaign literature for Chuck Morse and Kevin Smith — but nothing from Don Bolduc, Vikram Mansharamani or Bruce Fenton.
Don Bolduc accused Chuck Morse and Kevin Smith’s campaigns of playing “dirty tricks” against him to block his candidacy. Chuck Morse’s campaign released a memo that took a jab at Don Bolduc after Bolduc’s campaign slammed Morse and Smith for being “establishment-backed candidates” and failing to connect with voters.
At a campaign event in May, Bruce Fenton went on a tirade against Morse, saying he is “such a weak candidate," "we don't need Jeb Bush to go down to the Senate,” and "Chuck Morse has a terrible campaign. He can't do what I'm doing right now. He literally can't just stand up and talk to people, it's all preprepared nonsense. His WMUR interview is an embarrassment."
CONCLUSION: The Republicans who will appear on stage tonight are fighting to see who can be the next rubber stamp for Mitch McConnell’s unpopular agenda that includes banning abortion nationwide, gutting Social Security and Medicare, and selling out Granite Staters to corporate special interests. But first, the Republican Senate candidates will have to make it out of the messy and chaotic primary that will leave them out of touch and unprepared for the general election — especially when they have to go up against Senator Hassan, who has a proven record of winning tough races and getting results for Granite Staters.