Union Leader: Trump looks at becoming kingmaker in U.S. Senate GOP primary
In case you missed it, the Union Leader reported that “the first Republican contest in New Hampshire’s very competitive U.S. Senate campaign will be the fight for Donald Trump’s endorsement.” However, “none looks to have a lock on it,” and “each Senate Republican hopeful has something in their background that might rub the mercurial Trump the wrong way.”
The first Republican contest in New Hampshire’s very competitive U.S. Senate campaign will be the fight for Donald Trump’s endorsement.
Vying for the former president’s approval will be Senate President Chuck Morse of Salem, Londonderry Town Manager Kevin Smith and retired Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc of Stratham.
None looks to have a lock on it.
“I would believe each one would do just about anything that’s legal in order to get Trump’s endorsement,” said Neil Levesque, executive director for the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College.
“What a difference that could make in this race.”
Corey Lewandowski of Windham, Trump’s 2016 campaign manager and close adviser, said last week that Trump asked him to identify someone who can beat incumbent Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan.
State Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley said all the Republicans who go on bended knee to Trump risk upsetting Gov. Chris Sununu.
Lewandowski also said last week Trump would love to see another Republican run for governor against Sununu, who he believes has never been loyal to him.
“We know that every Republican running for U.S. Senate or House is tripping over themselves to win Donald Trump’s toxic endorsement, but now they must make a choice between Trump or Chris Sununu,” Buckley said.
“No matter how you slice it, this beef between Trump/Lewandowski and Sununu is going to make things extremely uncomfortable for Republican candidates who have ties to both sides,” Buckley said. ”One thing is for sure – no matter which side New Hampshire GOP candidates take, Granite Staters ultimately lose.”
Each Senate Republican hopeful has something in their background that might rub the mercurial Trump the wrong way.
In the 2016 New Hampshire presidential primary, Morse supported former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush who, after losing, vowed not to vote for Trump in the general election.
To underline his conservative bona fides, Morse had leading conservative and two-time GOP nominee for governor Ovide Lamontagne introduce him at the Senate kickoff announcement in Atkinson last month.
After the 2020 election in December, however, Smith tweeted to Trump supporters that the election was lost.
“I remember the feeling of exasperation after the 2000 election when it seemed as though Gore and his supporters would not accept defeat, but eventually for the good of the country they did,” Smith tweeted.
“It’s time for Trump supporters to do same. We’re a nation of laws and the laws have spoken.”
As for Bolduc in 2020, Trump abandoned him to endorse wealthy business lawyer Corky Messner of Wolfeboro, who won that primary and lost badly to Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.
The Institute of Politics’ Levesque said he thinks any of the three could overcome the past and win Trump’s endorsement.
“With Donald Trump, it’s all about loyalty today — are you 100% in his corner now? He’s been Democrat, Republican, he’s been pro-choice, anti-abortion, he’s been pro-gay rights, anti-gay rights,” Levesque said. “All his endorsement decisions aren’t perfect, but each one is a moment in time. If he thinks the time and candidate is right, Trump will go all-in for that person.”
Read the full article from the Union Leader.