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On NH Today With Chris Ryan, Establishment Corky Says Candidates Like Smith Should "Get Out"

This morning on NH Today with Chris Ryan, former 2020 Republican Senate nominee and NH GOP establishment grandee Corky Messner reiterated his disappointment with the current state of the NH GOP Senate primary, criticizing all the candidates for their abysmal fundraising and constant infighting. Corky again called for candidates to "get out of this race" if they can't fundraise. Corky said that he doesn't "think there's a frontrunner right now" and that if "Republicans continue to fight amongst themselves throughout the summer, I think the likelihood of a Republican beating Hassan is very, very low." Corky noted that fundraising in the summer would be challenging because donors don't like giving money to candidates trying to tear each other down, which these candidates already are. Infighting among the "B-Tier" candidates isn't the only problem for Republicans in the Senate primary. Corky said that "Maggie Hassan is going to have a lot of money" after another historic quarter, and he criticized Kevin Smith's announcement that he raised $410,000 for a US Senate race as "not much money” and said, “at this point in 2020 I think I had somewhere between two and three million dollars cash on hand.” Messner again doubled down on his call for candidates to "get out of this race" if they can't raise the money they need – and so far, none of the candidates have. Corky's interview comes one day after he published a Facebook post where he said that General Don Bolduc should withdraw from the NH GOP Senate primary and warned that if either Morse or Smith "does not demonstrate viability as a candidate through fundraising, then that person should withdraw." Between constant Republican infighting and low fundraising numbers compared to Senator Hassan's record-breaking quarter, it's no wonder that Republicans don't believe "the field is complete yet" and are possibly lobbying for another Republican to join the messy and chaotic Senate primary. Read a transcript of Corky’s interview below and listen to the interview here: Chris Ryan: Let's look at the U.S. Senate race, and you have said that it is important for there to be as little of a contact sport being played here as possible, given the close proximity between the primary date and the general election date. We've seen Kevin Smith's fundraising numbers around four hundred thousand, we've seen Maggie Hassan numbers in that same time period, the first quarter, at over four million. Chuck Morris is going to release his numbers early next week, he is going to join us here in studio on Tuesday, and my sense is that his number is going to be pretty good. So what do you think has to happen next year if Morse's numbers much better than that of Smith's? Should Smith drop out? Should the race continue on, we have a mention of other people getting into the race. There could potentially be five candidates in the race when the filing date hits in June. Corky Messner: Yeah. In fact, I wrote a piece on this, Chris, and after that about the Saint A's poll that came out, and first of all, I don't think there's a frontrunner right now based on that Saint A's Poll. And I think we're seeing that Maggie Hassan is going to have a lot of money and she's going to use that money to define herself as a moderate. And if the Republicans continue to fight among themselves throughout the summer, I think the likelihood of a Republican beating Maggie Hassan in the general is very, very low. So I would hope that after these fundraising reports come out, that some people take stock of where they are and make a courageous decision to get out of this race. I, you know, you know, I got to tell you $400,000 for a quarter for a US Senate race is not much money. At this point in 2020, I think I had somewhere between two and three million cash on hand at this point in my cycle. So, sadly money is important in the U.S. Senate race and there will not be enough time between the primary and the general for any--whoever wins the primary to raise enough money and deploy it and defeat Maggie Hassan. So I hope everybody who's in this race or is thinking about getting in this race, does some reflection and recognizes that if they really care about this country and electing a conservative, that that if they don't have the ability to raise money or they haven't raised money that they get out of this race. Chris Ryan: We have about a minute left here. Is it your experience that becomes more difficult to raise money as we go into the summer months and your first quarter is generally your better quarter? Or do you think that there's chance for candidates to do better moving forward, given how far they are behind Maggie and the cash on hand? And we've got about 30 seconds. Corky Messner: Yeah, it will be more difficult for New Hampshire U.S. Senate candidates to raise money if there is a contested primary going on. Donors do not like to donate money when Republicans are fighting among themselves, so it will get more difficult as the summer goes on.


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