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VIDEO: NHDP Chair Ray Buckley on Meet the Press NOW To Talk FITN

In case you missed it, yesterday NHDP Chair Ray Buckley joined Kristen Welker on Meet the Press NOW to discuss the DNC’s proposed pre-primary window. He discussed how – because of a Republican trifecta – New Hampshire Democrats don’t have the power to change the law and comply with the DNC’s demands. He also emphasized how it would be possible for the DNC to elevate Black voters and keep a critical battleground state like New Hampshire as the first in the nation primary.

The full video from Meet the Press NOW is here.

Key Excerpts:


NH OFFERS A PROVEN LEVEL PLAYING FIELD Ray Buckley: But what New Hampshire offers is a small state, a level playing field, where we are known, well known, for our fairness, for being able to allow any candidate to have an opportunity to have success here in New Hampshire. And that is a great place to start. Then over the course of over a month and a half, we'll go to all of these other, much larger states with great, diverse voters. And we think that's a terrific way of starting off the process.


NH DEMS HAVE NO CONTROL OVER THE PRIMARY DATE


Ray Buckley: Well, the situation is actually that New Hampshire has a state law which the DNC nor the NHDP have anything to do with. We just simply don't have an opportunity to change our law. So the New Hampshire state government is going to conduct this primary with or without the candidacy of Joe Biden if he's running again or not. So what's going to happen is that the very first voting that can occur is going to be in New Hampshire. Now, if Democrats are not participating in the primary, that sends a very strong message to the battleground state of New Hampshire that Democrats don't care about New Hampshire. And we think that's going to be very detrimental for us in the general election.

Transcript:


Kristen Welker: Welcome back. If the Democratic National Committee and President Biden have their way, the 2024 presidential primaries will look dramatically different than they have in years past. Earlier this month, the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee approved a plan for a new primary schedule that would put South Carolina first, stripping Iowa and New Hampshire of their status as the first in the nation caucuses and primaries, respectively. The move came after President Biden recommended South Carolina, the state that launched his comeback in 2020, be the first state of the nominating process, citing the historic importance of black voters to the Democratic Party. New Hampshire lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, are pushing back forcefully on the proposal, with a Republican Governor Sununu calling any attempt to change the state's law requiring New Hampshire hold the first primary "dead on arrival." And last week, New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley sent the DNC a letter calling the proposal a, quote, poison pill that punishes New Hampshire voters. And joining me now to discuss this is Ray Buckley, Chair of New Hampshire's Democratic Party. Thank you so much for joining me. I really appreciate it.


Ray Buckley: Thank you so much, Kristen.


Kristen Welker: Let me start off by just letting you respond to really what seems to be the crux of the argument from the DNC, from the Biden administration, that essentially this change is important. It's important to empower a more diverse group of voters. What say you about that?


Ray Buckley: We absolutely believe in increasing the diversity, especially the Black voters in the early voting process. If you look at what that calendar will look like with the inclusion of the voters in Georgia and in Michigan, along with Nevada and South in South Carolina, New Hampshire included will include tens of millions of Black voters, Latino voters, into this early window process. We support that. Absolutely. Just as we did in 2006 when we included South Carolina and Nevada into this process. If you look at what has happened since 2006, the Black voters of South Carolina have actually chosen the nominee, whether it was Barack Obama in 2008 or Hillary Clinton in 2016 or Joe Biden in 2020. So Black voters absolutely have a huge part of this process. But what New Hampshire offers is a small state, a level playing field, where we are known, well known, for our fairness, for being able to allow any candidate to have an opportunity to have success here in New Hampshire. And that is a great place to start. Then over the course of over a month and a half, we'll go to all of these other, much larger states with great, diverse voters. And we think that's a terrific way of starting off the process.


Kristen Welker: You said- you make such an interesting point about the fact that South Carolina has effectively chosen so many of the Democratic candidates who have gone on to serve as president. I guess, given that, let me follow up with you. Why not reward South Carolina voters given that? And what message do you think it sends if this change doesn't go into effect?


Ray Buckley: Well, the situation is actually that New Hampshire has a state law which the DNC nor the NHDP have anything to do with. We just simply don't have an opportunity to change our law or change it. So the New Hampshire state government is going to conduct this primary with or without the candidacy of Joe Biden if he's running again or not. So what's going to happen is that the very first voting that can occur is going to be in New Hampshire. Now, if Democrats are not participating in the primary, that sends a very strong message to the battleground state of New Hampshire that Democrats don't care about New Hampshire. And we think that's going to be very detrimental for us in the general election. We are a very closely contested state. You know, Senator Hassan only won her victory in 2016 by 2017 votes. And we've got an open governor's race coming up, two congressional seats that are both in competitive districts that could flip either way. Our legislature is only divided by a total of five out of five voters outside members. So we don't want to have happened in 2000 when Al Gore lost Hampshire by 7,000 votes and subsequently George Bush was elected.


Kristen Welker: And let me ask you, because we don't have a whole lot of time left, what recourse do you have? Would you sue the DNC?


Ray Buckley: No. What will simply have to use the DNC will come up with a laundry list of punishments to the New Hampshire Democrats when we don't have anything to do with it.


Kristen Welker: So now I can ask, what say you about that? How concerned are you about those punishments that they might not count your electors, for example?


Ray Buckley: Well, we don't know what they are going to be, but we're certainly concerned that they will impact the general election of 2024. At the end of the day, all of this is about winning the general election 2024.


Kristen Welker: And we have to end it there because we are out of time for the hour. Ray Buckley, thank you so much. I'll be back tomorrow. Hallie Jackson is up next.

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