Longtime Trump advisor Corey Lewandowski told radio host Jack Heath Thursday that retired Gen. Don Bolduc’s comments about Ukraine “disqualified him” for a U.S. Senate seat. And, Lewandowski said, the former president is continuing to watch the GOP primary field in a race that is “not fully developed.”
Bolduc, who lost a GOP Senate primary in 2020, has been taking a steady stream of incoming fire over wild speculation he made during a Fox News TV appearance last weekend. His comments about how the CIA or military could “get in there on the ground” in Ukraine, using “special operations troops” and “indirect fires and direct capabilities” to attack Russian targets were viewed as so inflammatory, he was called out on the air by the network’s Pentagon correspondent.
“Clearly, Brig. Gen. Bolduc is not a student of history,” said Jennifer Griffin. “He’s a politician. He is not a military strategist. To suggest the U.S. would put an indirect fire or special operations or CIA on the ground to give Putin any excuse to broaden this conflict is extremely dangerous talk at a time like this.”
Lewandowski expressed similar views when Heath asked him about Trump’s potential role in the September primary in New Hampshire.
“I spoke to the president yesterday specifically about this race,” Lewandowski said. “And — this is not the president’s opinion, it’s mine — the comments that Don Bolduc made on Fox News this weekend completely disqualify him for a chance at the United States Senate. To think that we’re going to put American troops on the ground there, or the CIA or Special Forces on the ground there … I think it’s a disqualifying factor.”
Bolduc has embraced the fringe of the Trump voter coalition, making appearances on conspiracy theory programs like Steve Bannon’s War Room and pledging to vote against certifying the 2024 election if Biden wins again.
Bolduc has also gone out of his way to take on popular Gov. Chris Sununu, calling him a “Chinese Communist sympathizer” who’s “in business with Saudi Arabian companies that give money to terrorists. He’s a globalist world-government guy.”
On Thursday, Bolduc was endorsed by former New Hampshire U.S. Sen. Bob Smith. “Gen. Bolduc is the true outsider candidate ready to shake up the status quo and represent New Hampshire values. He is a strong, tough, and principled man that will do great things for our state. He will go far beyond the rhetoric and act for the people of New Hampshire. He is by far, the best man for the job.”
But is Smith the best man to make an endorsement in a New Hampshire GOP primary? He left the GOP to run for president as an independent in 2000, a failed campaign that didn’t even make it to the New Hampshire presidential primary. Two years later he became one of the few incumbent Senators to lose a primary. He was defeated by John E. Sununu, who went on to defeat Jeanne Shaheen in the 2002 general election. Since then, Smith has run for Senate three times in two different states.
“It is truly humbling to receive the support of a committed conservative leader like Sen. Bob Smith,” Bolduc said in a statement.
Lewandowski said he believes Donald Trump will eventually play a role in the primary, and he suggested more candidates may enter the race.
“The criteria as you run for office are: Do you have a grassroots operation out there, a groundswell of support for your campaign? And do you have the financial resources to compete, to take out an incumbent –a very weak, Democrat U.S. Senator?
“The first FEC [Federal Election Commission] reports for both of these candidates — meaning Kevin Smith and Chuck Morris — is going to close at the end of this month. We’ll see what those numbers are next month,” Lewandowski said.
“I believe Donald Trump is going to wait and see who has the financial resources, and who has the grassroots resources to be successful. This is a very winnable seat. I’m not completely convinced the field is fully developed because the filing deadline is still many months away,” Lewandowski said.