Former President Donald Trump told a conservative radio host he’s “looking at” the New Hampshire U.S. Senate GOP primary for a possible endorsement, and the candidate who has apparently caught his eye is retired Gen. Don Bolduc.
“I’ve been looking at the race very closely,” Trump said. “I’ve been watching it. They want the endorsement,” Trump told host John Fredericks on Thursday. “You know the numbers, I’m almost like at 99 percent on endorsements. So everybody wants the endorsement.”
As for the candidate, Trump said Bolduc “has said some great things.” Trump called him a “strong guy, tough guy, I think he’s doing very well, too. I hear he’s up quite a bit. Yesterday I took some phone calls on that one. I’ll be looking at it.”
Asked about Trump’s comments, the former president’s longtime advisor Corey Lewandowski told NHJournal, “I think Trump will be making news very soon regarding the New Hampshire Senate race.”
But will that news be endorsing Bolduc? Or will Trump throw his weight behind Sen. Mitch McConnell’s effort to push state Sen. Chuck Morse past the retired general? Lewandowski has long insisted that Bolduc is unelectable due to the general’s many controversial public statements.
Added to the political calculations is news that some $5 million is going to be spent boosting Morse –and, presumably, attacking Bolduc — by the new “White Mountain PAC,” a sign D.C. Republicans believe Morse can put the New Hampshire Senate seat in play. Trump, who likes to tout his winning record, may see an opportunity to pick up another win.
“Trump cares a lot more about his percentage than he does Don Bolduc,” one GOP strategist said.
The flip side is Trump’s longstanding animosity toward GOP Gov. Chris Sununu, who made headlines during the Gridiron Dinner earlier this year by calling Trump “f***ing crazy.” (Sununu claimed the comments were made in jest as part of the spirit of the Gridiron event.) While Sununu has not endorsed in the race, it is no secret he is a longtime political friend and ally of Morse. And Sununu has been hitting Bolduc hard for weeks, calling him a “conspiracy theorist candidate” who “nobody takes seriously.”
Trump, McConnell, and Sununu all backing the same candidate would be the strangest of political strange bedfellows.
The Bolduc campaign was delighted by Trump’s comments and promptly sent out a press release noting them.
“President Trump’s policies made us energy independent and strong,” campaign spokesperson Jimmy Thompson said. “Unfortunately, Joe Biden and Maggie Hassan have undone all the things that made our country great and Granite Staters deserve better. Just like President Trump did when he was elected in 2016, Don Bolduc will go to D.C. and drain the dreaded swamp.”