NASHUA — The daughter-in-law of President Donald Trump insisted he’s determined to avenge a narrow 2016 defeat here and win New Hampshire’s four electoral votes next year.
Lara Lea Trump, 36, fired up a very supportive crowd of Republican activists at a fundraiser for the state GOP at the Nashua Radisson Hotel Tuesday night.
“We were so close to winning here in New Hampshire less than 3,000 votes really,” Lara Trump said. “We’re going to get it done in 2020.”
Trump, 36, married the President’s son, Eric, in 2014 and had a career as a television producer for Fox News before the 2016 election.
She has been a frequent surrogate for the President, speaking at events like this one and corporate functions to promote the White House agenda.
Gov. Chris Sununu said Republicans need to advocate for their fiscally conservative policies and not simply run against what Democrats have been pushing in Concord.
“If it’s about them (Democrats) being socialists, that’s not enough. It is about us being for New Hampshire and that’s the message for 2020,” Sununu said.
This was the first major fundraiser since former State Rep. Stephen Stepanek of Amherst became chairman of the Republican State Committee last January.
A former fundraiser for former House Speaker Bill O’Brien, Stepanek made reviving the state GOP base of donors a major theme of his candidacy.
Last February, Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley claimed his party cleared $400,000 when nearly 1,000 attended its 100 Club fundraiser in Manchester where presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) served as its keynote speaker.
“Pocohantas, I think she’s done unfortunately; it’s too bad to see,” Lara Trump said referring to Trump’s nickname for Warren.
Stepanek claimed 500 bought tickets to attend Tuesday’s event and he expected to net at least $70,000 from it. “I’m not satisfied. The next event I’d like to have 1,000 come and net $150,000 from it,” Stepanek said.
Major sponsors of this Spring to Victory celebration were Sununu, Senate Republican Leader Chuck Morse, former GOP state chairman Steve Duprey of Concord, several GOP committees and Peter Napoli, whose company owns many McDonald’s restaurants in New Hampshire.
During an interview, Lara Trump said President Trump’s threat to close down the southern border with Mexico unless he gets more cooperation with America’s neighbors was not an idle one.
“I think one thing the people know about Donald Trump is he is not a bluffer. When he says he’s going to do something he generally does it,” she said.
“He has given Congress every opportunity to fix this and they have failed to do so.”
Her visit comes a day after Republican congressional leaders confirmed they will not be acting on a replacement to the Affordable Care Act until after the 2020 election.
“He tried to get something done quicker but unfortunately the Congress was not on board,” she said.
A North Carolina native, Lara Trump declined to criticize former Vice President Joe Biden, who in recent days had two women come forward to say he touched them in ways that made them uncomfortable.
“Having been in this family and since Day One had things written about us, talked about us, said about us that were untrue I can tell you I take everything with a grain of salt,” she said.
These allegations from several years ago could have been politically timed to stop Biden’s candidacy before it was to become official later this month, she suggested.
“It seems politically advantageous for his potential competitors to want to keep him out of this race. I don’t know why this is coming out now but I’m going to let them fight with each other,” Lara Trump said.
Outside the event, the New Hampshire Democratic Party had protesters holding large signs depicting the cash that Sununu’s Inaugural Fund in 2017 and 2018 had reimbursed him and family members.
“From self-dealing inaugural slush funds to an exclusive focus on corporate special interests over the needs of New Hampshire families, the similarities between Sununu and Trump are uncanny,” Democratic state chairman Raymond Buckley said in a statement.
“So it makes perfect sense that Sununu would be fundraising with a Trump instead of standing up to the President as he works to take away the health care of tens of thousands of Granite Staters and steal hundreds of millions from our shipyard.”