Rhetoric vs. record: Senate nominees debate in New Hampshire

Oct 18, 2022, 9:27 AM | Updated: 9:58 am

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The first debate between U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan and Don Bolduc on Tuesday pitted the Democratic incumbent’s record against her Republican rival’s campaign trail rhetoric.

Bolduc accused Hassan of failing constituents by supporting the Biden administration’s economic and energy policies, while she used his own words against him to argue he has undermined democracy and endangered women.

“Senator Hassan has supported Joe Biden 100% of the time with every failed policy that has resulted in your choice between heating and eating, has diminished your ability to provide three meals a day, has closed small businesses, has hurt people across this Granite State and across America,” Bolduc said. “She would rather talk about what you’re not thinking about.”

By that he meant abortion, which Hassan has made a centerpiece of her campaign. While Bolduc now says he opposes a national abortion ban, she referred to his past statement that he would never oppose anti-abortion legislation (“I’m not going to vote contrary to pro-life”). And she took issue with his recent comments about who should have the authority to set abortion policy.

“It belongs to the state. It belongs to these gentlemen right here, who are state legislators representing you,” the retired Army general said at a town hall meeting earlier this month in Auburn.

“I do not agree with him that gentlemen, as he put it, in the New Hampshire Legislature should assume my rights or make decisions for me or any other woman,” said Hassan, a former governor seeking her second term in Washington. “I think government has no role here. Because I think every time government tries to regulate this, they end up making decisions that hurt women.”

In defending his comments, Bolduc accused Hassan of twisting his words and taking them out of context as he believes she has done on Social Security and other topics. But he also muddled things further, saying “All there were was men in the room, these gentlemen. There were no women.” In fact, while there were no female lawmakers at the event, there were several women.

George Epstein, who moderated the debate for the Mount Washington Economic Council, also pressed Bolduc on his shifting statements about the 2020 presidential election.

Bolduc claimed during his primary campaign that the White House race was stolen from former President Donald Trump. Then, after Bolduc won the Sept. 13 vote, he said it wasn’t. More recently, he has said he doesn’t have enough information for a conclusion.

“Do you believe that position weakens our country by creating problems with the electorate feeling confident in our elections?” Epstein asked.

Bolduc answered by saying the state needs to tighten rules about same-day voter registration and absentee voting to prevent fraud, and by accusing Hassan of wanting to do away with New Hampshire’s tradition of holding the first-in-the-nation presidential primaries.

But Hassan, who denied that claim, returned to his earlier statements about 2020 to argue he has undermined democracy.

“Let’s be very clear here: Don Bolduc is an election denier,” she said. “His refusal to accept election results means he doesn’t listen to you. This allows him to support an agenda that will raise your costs and eviscerate your rights, because at the end of the day, he doesn’t think he needs to listen, or isn’t accountable to you.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., listens to a question during a news conference, March 30, 2022, in W...

Associated Press

Tuberville is ending blockade of most military nominees, clearing way for hundreds to be approved

Sen. Tommy Tuberville announced Tuesday that he's ending his blockade of hundreds of military promotions, following heavy criticism.

13 hours ago

An employee works inside the Hanwha Qcells Solar plant on Oct. 16, 2023, in Dalton, Ga. On Tuesday,...

Associated Press

US job openings fall to lowest level since March 2021 as labor market cools

U.S. employers posted 8.7 million job openings in October, the fewest since March 2021, in a sign that hiring is cooling.

14 hours ago

Megyn Kelly poses at The Hollywood Reporter's 25th annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast, Dec. 7,...

Associated Press

The fourth GOP debate will be a key moment for the young NewsNation cable network

By airing the fourth Republican presidential debate, NewsNation network will almost certainly reach the largest audience in its history.

15 hours ago

Lead water pipes pulled from underneath the street are seen in Newark, N.J., Oct. 21, 2021. (AP Pho...

Associated Press

Biden to require cities to replace harmful lead pipes within 10 years

The Biden administration has previously said it wants all of the nation's roughly 9 million lead pipes to be removed, and rapidly.

6 days ago

Facebook's Meta logo sign is seen at the company headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., on, Oct. 28, 2...

Associated Press

Meta shuts down thousands of fake Facebook accounts that were primed to polarize voters ahead of 2024

Meta said it removed 4789 Facebook accounts in China that targeted the United States before next year’s election.

6 days ago

A demonstrator in Tel Aviv holds a sign calling for a cease-fire in the Hamas-Israel war on Nov. 21...

Associated Press

Hamas releases a third group of hostages as part of truce, and says it will seek to extend the deal

The fragile cease-fire between Israel and Hamas was back on track Sunday as the first American was released under a four-day truce.

10 days ago

Sponsored Articles

(KTAR News Graphic)...

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Follow @KTAR923...

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

Follow @KTAR923...

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

Rhetoric vs. record: Senate nominees debate in New Hampshire