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VIDEO: Congresswoman Annie Kuster: National Democrats "put us in a no win situation" on FITN

CONCORD, NH — This morning New Hampshire Congresswoman Annie Kuster appeared on WMUR’s CloseUp and made the case that national Democrats were putting New Hampshire in a no-win position with changes to the Primary calendar. The full video is here.


Key Points:


ON THE PLAN TO CHANGE THE FIRST IN THE NATION PRIMARY

“I'm disappointed with the president trying to downgrade New Hampshire. He's put us in a no win situation, Adam. He's asked us to try to change the New Hampshire law. It's a statute that requires us to go first. And we've got a Republican governor, a Republican state legislature. That's not going to happen. But you know, what I'm really disappointed in is it didn't need to be this way.”


ON THE IMPORTANCE OF A DIVERSE LINEUP OF EARLY STATES

“We agree on promoting Black voters, Latino voters, the diversity in our party…The way I look at it, we could have New Hampshire go first, either South Carolina or Nevada go second, third, maybe Georgia, Michigan. And let's put together the whole coalition of voters that are going to win the White House again in 2024 and make that be the showcase for the country on how Democrats will lead.”


ON PRESIDENT BIDEN’S STRENGTH AS A CANDIDATE GOING INTO 2024

“We've been communicating with the White House and directly with the president, and what I've said to him is come to New Hampshire, we will endorse you. You will win handily. Frankly, I think in a landslide right now based on this extraordinary record that we just came out of Congress with. And you'll clear the field. No need to be afraid of New Hampshire voters. You are standing at the head of our party right now.”

Full Transcript:


Adam Sexton: What's your reaction to what the president decided in terms of the first in the nation primary?


Congresswoman Annie Kuster: Well, look, I'm disappointed with the president trying to downgrade New Hampshire. He's put us in a no win situation, Adam. He's asked us to try to change the New Hampshire law. It's a statute that requires us to go first. And we've got a Republican governor, a Republican state legislature. That's not going to happen. But you know, what I'm really disappointed in is it didn't need to be this way.


We agree on promoting black voters, Latino voters, the diversity in our party. But we also agree on promoting women voters, rural voters, LGBT voters. It's a big coalition. So the way I look at it, we could have New Hampshire go first, either South Carolina or Nevada go second, third, maybe Georgia, Michigan. And let's put together the whole coalition of voters that are going to win the White House again in 2024 and make that be the showcase for the country on how Democrats will lead.


So we haven't given up the fight. We are talking to members of the Democratic National Committee, making our case of why we are so uniquely situated with our size. It's less costly. And we know from Jimmy Carter, from Barack Obama, from Pete Buttigieg, you can come into New Hampshire without a big war chest, without a big name and you can show what you have to offer to the American people.


And early in February, we'll know if we're successful in keeping the first in the nation Democratic primary.


Adam: What about these penalties that the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee has devised? Of course, they're not finalized yet, and the executive committee still has to vote on them. But being there, you know, it really seemed like there are some of these DNC members who want to punish Iowa and New Hampshire if they try to hold on to their traditional roles. And in some cases, this would mean like the financial decimation of the NHDP as an organization.


Kuster: Well, this is the case that we've been making to them. Look, Chris Pappas and I were two out of the four votes that are the margin in the House, the U.S. Senate race. Maggie Hassan. Look how close the Senate is. Jeanne Shaheen. These are vital seats in a swing district that is important to our coalition going forward and winning seats, elections for Democrats.


And so we've made that very clear. They would be shortsighted to pull the rug out from underneath the Democratic Party. And, you know, one thing that we've tried to remind them, Adam, the Republicans are going to go forward with their early primary. And we have 40% of our voters are independent voters. They can vote in either primary if they start going to the Republican primary, that's going to be very detrimental for Democrats going forward in New Hampshire. We've worked hard to win the all Democratic federal delegation. And so we're making that case as well.


Adam: One last question on this front. Obviously, there's frustration around this and there are so many tumultuous things going on in our times. It's hard to imagine the primary being a major motivator for a lot of voters. But, you know, you see these ads on TV right now saying that we need someone other than President Biden. I don't think it's by Democrats, progressives, more along the lines.What do you think about this push to kind of come out right now that we're seeing at least from some quarters among?


Kuster: But what's interesting about this and we've been communicating with the White House and directly with the president, and what I've said to him is come to New Hampshire, we will endorse you. You will win handily. Frankly, I think in a landslide right now based on this extraordinary record that we just came out of Congress with. And you'll clear the field.

No need to be afraid of New Hampshire voters. You are standing at the head of our party right now. We passed the American Rescue Plan and got us past COVID. We passed the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Roads and bridges and highways and broadband. All of these things that we have done, lower prescription drug costs, invest in clean energy and tackle climate change.

Come and be proud of your record. New Hampshire voters will respond and you will clear the field and you will head into a second term.

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