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Expected presidential candidate Kander calls out Trump, Sununu during Dems fundraising dinner in Nashua

New Hampshire Union Leader

April 14. 2018 10:05PM

NASHUA - Potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Jason Kander said the Trump administration and Republican leaders across the country are promoting "racist laws" to suppress the vote and protect their incumbency.

"It is time that politicians who make it harder to vote find it a whole lot harder to get reelected," Kander said in remarks to the McIntyre-Shaheen Dinner of the New Hampshire Democratic Party on Saturday night.

At the partisan affair, Kander attacked Trump and Gov. Chris Sununu throughout his 25-minute keynote speech.

An Afghanistan war veteran, Kander said he fought for his country to protect individual liberties.

"I'll be damned if I am going to let Chris Sununu and Donald Trump take those rights away," Kander said.

Trump has lowered American standing in the world, Kander said.

"Patriotism is not about everybody standing to salute the flag; patriotism is about making this a country where everybody wants to (salute the flag) and we can be that country again," Kander said.

Trump failed to even stand up against bigots and racists and his support for voter suppression is aimed at minority and low-income residents, he charged.

"White supremacists and the KKK, they are emboldened by a President who says they are very fine people," Kander said.

He vowed to work with state Democrats to defeat Sununu and erase the Republican majorities in the state Legislature.

"I am excited to work with all of you to make sure we turn New Hampshire bright blue," Kander said.

Republican Party spokesman Patrick Hynes said Sununu will easily win re-election as Democrats are bitterly divided.

"New Hampshire Republicans are getting the job done for the people of the Granite State," Hynes said in a statement.

"Governor Chris Sununu is the fifth most popular governor in the nation and the looming Democrat primary for governor, which will be especially bloody and contentious between two far-left candidates, will result in New Hampshire Democrats being soundly rejected at the ballot box this November."

The annual fundraiser, the largest of the year for state Democrats, turned out a sellout crowd of more than 600 at the Radisson Hotel in Nashua.

Tickets were $100 apiece and $250 for those attending a private reception with the event's speakers.

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., urged activists to build on the party's momentum to elect more Democrats this fall.

"Donald Trump is not on the ballot this year, but many of their enablers are and they must go," Shaheen said.

She defended the special counsel investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., echoed the call of several speakers to support gun control reforms.

"After another senseless act of gun violence, students in Parkland, Florida and all across our country showed that thoughts and prayers are not enough," Hassan said.

And Rep. Annie Kuster, D-N.H., attacked attempts by state House and Senate Republican leaders to tighten voter residency laws.

"Efforts like HB 1264 and across this country to restrict the right to vote from people whom they disagree with are simply un-American," Kuster said.

A former Missouri secretary of state, Kander was making his 10th visit to the state since he said he was considering a 2020 run for President.

Kander, 36, founded Let America Vote, a political action committee supporting Democratic candidates and voting rights causes.

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