At NHPR Debate, Bolduc “Stokes Unfounded Election Fraud Claims,” as Sen. Hassan and Don Bolduc “Spar Over Abortion And Election Denial”

Friday, October 28, 2022

The key takeaway from today’s NHPR debate? Don Bolduc doubled down on his record of spreading lies about New Hampshire’s elections and his support for overturning elections. 

During the debate, Don Bolduc once again  “stoked unfounded election fraud claims” according to The Washington Post, and  “claimed, without evidence, that the state must make sure that ‘school buses loaded with people’ ‘don’t come in and vote.’”CNN noted that Bolduc’s record of election denial was a “flash point” of the debate as well, with Bolduc using the debate to raise the “unsubstantiated possibility of 2022 election impropriety.”

Read more below:

Washington Post: Bolduc Stokes Unfounded Election Fraud Claims During Debate

  • Don Bolduc, the GOP candidate for Senate in New Hampshire, stoked unfounded election fraud claims during a debate against incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan (D) on Thursday.

  • Bolduc said practices like same-day voter registration and mail-in voting are causing election fraud in the state, without providing evidence to back his claims.

  • The retired Army brigadier general also claimed, without evidence, that the state must make sure that “school buses loaded with people” “don’t come in and vote.”

  • Questioned about whether he could back these allegations with facts, Bolduc said his claims are “valid” because “this is what Granite Staters are telling me.”

  • “If Granite Staters don’t like it, then we need to take a look at it,” he said.

  • Moderators reminded Bolduc that there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in elections, and that the state’s government itself has ensured that.

  • Hassan accused Bolduc of stoking the “big lie” — former president Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was fraudulent — and said he is doing so to set the stage for contesting the results of this election if he loses.

  • “What you just heard from Don Bolduc is a continued to attempt to stoke the ‘big lie,’” Hassan said. “He has traveled around this state for over a year now, stoking the big lie that 2020 was stolen. He has said he’s been casting doubt on whether this election is something that he will accept by suggesting even last week that there would be big ballot dumps election night. He said that as a senator, if the 2024 election doesn’t go through his preferred candidate, he would work to overturn the election.”

By Dan Merica
  • Democrat Sen. Maggie Hassan and Republican Don Bolduc on Thursday sparred over abortion during their second debate in the New Hampshire Senate race, with the retired Army brigadier general getting visibly worked up by the attacks being lobbed at him on the issue.

  • […]Hassan responded by accusing Bolduc of “singing (big oil’s) song” and said the Republican’s views on abortion can “harm women and cost them their lives in some cases.”

  • The race in New Hampshire is a key contest for both parties. Hassan entered the year as one of the most vulnerable Senate incumbents in the country, hampered by antipathy for Democratic control in Washington. But Bolduc, despite winning the primary in September, was not the first choice among top Republican operatives, some of whom worry that his more far right views have imperiled their chances of unseating the New Hampshire Democrat. […]

  • Voting and election denial has also dominated the broader Senate race and it was a flash point in the debate, too. When Bolduc was asked about voting in New Hampshire, he raised the prospect of “school buses loaded with people” who aren’t permitted to vote going to the polls in New Hampshire and thousands of people voting without identification and not coming back to verify their identity.

  • Someone in the audience seemingly laughed when Bolduc said this, causing the candidate to say, “You can laugh about it, but people in New Hampshire aren’t laughing about it.”

  • “I am claiming that is what Granite Staters tell me,” Bolduc said. “And I am saying we need to respond to that.” When pushed on his claim about buses of people and whether he needed to verify that claim, Bolduc said, “I think we need to verify that. That is what I just said. Can you listen to me here for a second?” But he added later, “I think it is valid.”

  • Bolduc centered his primary campaign on denying the results of the 2020 election. “I signed a letter with 120 other generals and admirals saying Trump won the election, and damn it, I stand by [it],” Bolduc said during a mid-August debate. But shortly after the primary, Bolduc tried to walk back those comments, saying he had “done a lot of research on this… and I have come to the conclusion – and I want to be definitive on this – the election was not stolen.”

  • But since that walk back, Bolduc has struggled to fully deny the 2020 election was stolen, including raising the unsubstantiated possibility of 2022 election impropriety. Hassan used the exchange to highlight that back and forth. “What you just heard from Don Bolduc is his continued attempt to stoke the big lie, he has traveled around this state for over a year now, stoking the big lie that 2020 was stolen,” Hassan said.

  • She added: “Here is the thing about election deniers: He is working, and has been working, to conceal how extreme he is… here is the reason why having free and fair elections matter, it is because it is the way people in New Hampshire hold us accountable. Don Bolduc can ignore where most Granite Staters are … because he thinks he doesn’t need to accept election results.”

  • Later in the debate, Bolduc accused Hassan of being a “2016 election denier.” At one point, both candidates got visibly exasperated with each other. After Bolduc claimed that he “never said” he wanted to terminate Social Security, Hassan directed viewers to go to a website her campaign stood up to highlight several of Bolduc’s positions, noting the fact that there were videos of Bolduc taking certain positions. “That have been tampered with,” Bolduc interjected. “Oh my goodness,” Hassan sighed.


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