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ROUNDUP: Don Bolduc Blasted For Pushing Debunked Election Fraud Conspiracies

Don Bolduc has been blasted for acting “like a conspiratorial nut” after he repeated a “classic” debunked conspiracy theory about election fraud in New Hampshire last week during the NHPR debate. Bolduc “stoked unfounded election fraud claims” during the debate, and he even “scolded a debate audience when members laughed at his bizarre claim about out-of-state voters.” This is the latest example of Bolduc pushing conspiracy theories about election fraud. Bolduc “won the Republican primary in the state after echoing former president Donald Trump’s false claims that the results of the 2020 election were suspect,” has “expressed disappointment that ‘The narrative that the election was stolen, it does not fly up here in New Hampshire for whatever reason,’” and “bragged about his willingness to reject certifying the 2024 results if elected.Even Donald Trump — in a statement today — agreed that Don Bolduc has been a "strong and proud Election Denier." Read more below. MSNBC: GOP candidate in a key Senate race draws laughter at a debate

  • New Hampshire’s Don Bolduc, as much as any Senate candidate in the nation, has eagerly touted his enthusiastic embrace of Donald Trump’s “big lie.” In a recent interview with The New Yorker, the Republican candidate not only insisted there was systemic fraud in 2020 — there was not, in reality, systemic fraud — he also bragged about his willingness to reject certifying the 2024 results if elected.

  • As recently as August, Bolduc participated in a televised debate and stuck to his ridiculous position that the former president won the race he’d lost. “I’m not switching horses, baby,” the candidate said. “This is it.”

  • A month later, the Republican said he’d changed his mind, he’d done some “research,” and as it turns out, the 2020 race “was not stolen” after all. Then he changed his mind again: As we’ve discussed, Bolduc appeared on a podcast aligned with the QAnon delusion and expressed disappointment that “The narrative that the election was stolen, it does not fly up here in New Hampshire for whatever reason.”

  • Which story would the GOP candidate tell in yesterday’s debate? As HuffPost noted, Bolduc apparently went with his sincere beliefs — which some in attendance found literally laughable.

  • “You can laugh about it,” the candidate said about his thoroughly discredited conspiracy theories, “but people in New Hampshire aren’t laughing about it.”

  • Bolduc was, in a rather literal sense, talking to people in New Hampshire who were laughing about it.

  • As part of the same exchange, the Senate hopeful said he considered the discredited conspiracy theories as “valid” because he’d heard some people talking about them — which was right about the time I remembered the fact that New Hampshire’s Republican governor, Chris Sununu, conceded a couple of months ago that Bolduc is “not a serious candidate.”

  • In reality, there’s nothing wrong with mail-in ballots; there have been no proven irregularities with voting machines; and there’s still no evidence that same-day voter registration contributes in any meaningful way to voter fraud.

  • Perhaps my favorite moment from the debate came when incumbent Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan complained that Bolduc had spent the last year “stoking the big lie.” The Republican interrupted her to say, “Two years.” He then looked at the audience and held up two fingers.

  • In other words, Hassan accused her opponent of spending a year acting like a conspiratorial nut, and Bolduc was bothered because she was understating the length of time he’d acted like a conspiratorial nut.

Washington Post: In an era of innovative vote-fraud claims, Don Bolduc dusts off a classic

  • If you look on social media from the period around the 2020 election, there is one thing that appears to be absent: any footage of a bus dropping off voters in New Hampshire.

  • If you are only vaguely familiar with Bolduc’s name, it’s probably because he was in the news a month or two ago, also for voter-fraud-related reasons. Bolduc won the Republican primary in the state after echoing former president Donald Trump’s false claims that the results of the 2020 election were suspect. [...]

  • But then there was this week’s debate. During a section focused on election integrity — itself a reflection of the spread of Trump’s claims — Bolduc elevated that idea about the buses.

  • At the outset, notice that Bolduc frames this idea as being a response to voters’ concerns rather than a concern of his own. This is a common way in which Republicans have managed to elevate fraud claims from a distance. [...]

  • This doesn’t make much sense, in part given that the Republican running against Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Bolduc’s opponent this year, lost more narrowly than Trump did. (Did the illegal voters only get to the top of the ticket?) Federal Election Commission Commissioner Ellen Weintraub asked Trump to provide evidence of this “fraud” so that the FEC could investigate, to no avail. Various New Hampshire officials weighed in to dismiss the assertion as baseless.

HuffPost: New Hampshire GOP Candidate Annoyed By Audience Reaction To His Vote Fraud Claim

  • Don Bolduc, a Republican candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in New Hampshire, scolded a debate audience when members laughed at his bizarre claim about out-of-state voters.

  • Bolduc, a far-right candidate and Army veteran, had peddled false claims about the 2020 presidential election before he distanced himself from them following his Republican primary victory last month.

  • The GOP candidate had campaigned on unfounded claims about election fraud [...]

  • Bolduc returned to making claims about election fraud during his debate against Democratic opponent Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) on Thursday. The Republican said “Granite Staters” tell him that school buses brought thousands of people into the state to vote illegally. [...]

Washington Post: Bolduc Stokes Unfounded Election Fraud Claims During Debate

  • Don Bolduc, the GOP candidate for Senate in New Hampshire, stoked unfounded election fraud claims during a debate against incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan (D) on Thursday.

  • Bolduc said practices like same-day voter registration and mail-in voting are causing election fraud in the state, without providing evidence to back his claims.

  • The retired Army brigadier general also claimed, without evidence, that the state must make sure that “school buses loaded with people” “don’t come in and vote.”

  • Questioned about whether he could back these allegations with facts, Bolduc said his claims are “valid” because “this is what Granite Staters are telling me.”

  • Moderators reminded Bolduc that there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in elections, and that the state’s government itself has ensured that.

  • Hassan accused Bolduc of stoking the “big lie” — former president Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was fraudulent — and said he is doing so to set the stage for contesting the results of this election if he loses.

  • “What you just heard from Don Bolduc is a continued to attempt to stoke the ‘big lie,’” Hassan said. “He has traveled around this state for over a year now, stoking the big lie that 2020 was stolen. He has said he’s been casting doubt on whether this election is something that he will accept by suggesting even last week that there would be big ballot dumps election night. He said that as a senator, if the 2024 election doesn’t go through his preferred candidate, he would work to overturn the election.”

CNN: Hassan and Bolduc Spar Over Abortion And Election Denial In Testy New Hampshire Senate Debate

  • Democrat Sen. Maggie Hassan and Republican Don Bolduc on Thursday sparred over abortion during their second debate in the New Hampshire Senate race, with the retired Army brigadier general getting visibly worked up by the attacks being lobbed at him on the issue.

  • [...]Hassan responded by accusing Bolduc of “singing (big oil’s) song” and said the Republican’s views on abortion can “harm women and cost them their lives in some cases.”

  • The race in New Hampshire is a key contest for both parties. Hassan entered the year as one of the most vulnerable Senate incumbents in the country, hampered by antipathy for Democratic control in Washington. But Bolduc, despite winning the primary in September, was not the first choice among top Republican operatives, some of whom worry that his more far right views have imperiled their chances of unseating the New Hampshire Democrat. [...]

  • Voting and election denial has also dominated the broader Senate race and it was a flash point in the debate, too. When Bolduc was asked about voting in New Hampshire, he raised the prospect of “school buses loaded with people” who aren’t permitted to vote going to the polls in New Hampshire and thousands of people voting without identification and not coming back to verify their identity.

  • Someone in the audience seemingly laughed when Bolduc said this, causing the candidate to say, “You can laugh about it, but people in New Hampshire aren’t laughing about it.”

  • “I am claiming that is what Granite Staters tell me,” Bolduc said. “And I am saying we need to respond to that.” When pushed on his claim about buses of people and whether he needed to verify that claim, Bolduc said, “I think we need to verify that. That is what I just said. Can you listen to me here for a second?” But he added later, “I think it is valid.”

  • Bolduc centered his primary campaign on denying the results of the 2020 election. “I signed a letter with 120 other generals and admirals saying Trump won the election, and damn it, I stand by [it],” Bolduc said during a mid-August debate. [...]

  • But since that walk back, Bolduc has struggled to fully deny the 2020 election was stolen, including raising the unsubstantiated possibility of 2022 election impropriety. Hassan used the exchange to highlight that back and forth. “What you just heard from Don Bolduc is his continued attempt to stoke the big lie, he has traveled around this state for over a year now, stoking the big lie that 2020 was stolen,” Hassan said.

  • She added: “Here is the thing about election deniers: He is working, and has been working, to conceal how extreme he is… here is the reason why having free and fair elections matter, it is because it is the way people in New Hampshire hold us accountable. Don Bolduc can ignore where most Granite Staters are … because he thinks he doesn’t need to accept election results.”