Don Bolduc: New Hampshire GOP Senate candidate pushes back on false 2020 election claims

Asked about the 2020 race on Fox News on Thursday, Bolduc, a retired Army brigadier general who is facing Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan in November, said he has “done a lot of research on it” and, after talking to New Hampshire voters, was changing his mind. the position

“I have come to the conclusion, and I want to be definitive about this: the election was not stolen,” said Bolduc, and although he still believes there was fraud, “Elections have consequences and, unfortunately, President Biden is the legitimate president of this country.”

The comments took a turn from last month, when he doubled down on past false assertions in the first debate.

“I signed a letter with 120 other generals and admirals saying Trump won the election, and damn, I’m fine [it]” Bolduc said during the mid-August debate.

Hassan’s campaign described Bolduc’s new public stance as unreliable and cynical.

“Don Bolduc has spent the entire campaign praising the Big Lie, and he can’t hide from that record. He’s even said he’s willing to overturn the results of the 2024 election if he doesn’t get his way,” campaign spokesman Hassan said. said Kevin Donohoe. “A word salad from Fox won’t erase record of election denial.”

Earlier on Thursday, Hassan’s campaign He shared a video clip on Twitter In a note on the Bolduc debate, “Don Bolduc is an election denier.”

Bolduc’s campaign did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for an explanation for his retraction.

Hassan’s seat is a great opportunity for Republicans, who are trying to wipe out Democrats’ slim Senate majority this fall. New Hampshire swept incumbent Joe Biden by 7 points in 2020, and many GOP leaders believe Hassan could face a competent challenger, which led him to back state Senate President Chuck Morse in the first place. Morse gave it to Bolduc early Wednesday.
Morse was acknowledged by the state’s popular GOP governor, Chris Sununu, as Senate Republicans tried – and failed – to recruit him against Hassan. Even senior figures in the GOP establishment sided with Morse, much to Bold’s dismay

uc’s speeches about the 2020 election, his calls to abolish the direct election of senators as required by the 17th Amendment, and his criticism of the FBI after the raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence would doom him to defeat in the general election. In the primaries, Sununu called Bolduc a “conspiracy theorist candidate” and warned that Republicans would have a “much harder time” flipping the seat if nominated.

At a news conference Wednesday, Hassan offered a preview of the upcoming campaign, calling Bolduc “the most extreme U.S. Senate candidate New Hampshire has seen in decades” and considering his ties to Trump.

“It’s interesting that Donald Trump this morning expressed his support for Don Bolduc, and again, that Don Bolduc supports the denial of the 2020 election – that he has helped spread these lies, that he supports or is open to abolishing the FBI, and that the 2024 election is not happening as he believes, he would work to overthrow it,” said Hassan.

Trump did not provide an endorsement in the New Hampshire GOP Senate primary. Trump congratulated Bolduc on Wednesday for his “BIG WIN in Hampshire” in a post on the former president’s Truth Social platform. Bolduc’s campaign shared a screenshot of that message on Twitterwriting: “Strong words from President Trump. Thank you sir!”
Bolduc last week showed some signs that he was moving away from the false claims of the 2020 election that were central to his candidacy. In an interview with New Hampshire Public Radio published on September 2, he repeatedly denied those claims.

In the end, though, after the interviewer made it clear that there was “no evidence that the 2020 election was stolen,” Bolduc tried to distance himself from that language.

“Did I say it was stolen? I didn’t say it was stolen. I said Granite States has problems, and that’s what’s important. I want to be clear about what I’m saying,” he said.

Bolduc, however, has long been an exponent of Trump’s lies. In an interview with The New Yorker published in October 2021, he defended his decision to sign the letter declaring Trump the winner of 2020 and insisted that his claims of a rigged election and fraud were sincere.

“I’m a big believer and I believe it exists, and I believe it happens and has been happening for a long time in this country. When you try to steal the presidency, a lot of people are going to say, ‘OK, wait a minute. What the hell is going on here?'” Bolduc said then.