THE 2020 primary for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate became even more interesting with the news that Corey Lewandowski is considering joining the race.
Lewandowski was Donald Trump’s presidential campaign manager before he was forced out by the now-incarcerated Paul Manafort. Lewandowski remained close to Trump, however, defending him as an analyst on television and writing books praising Trump.
After the 2016 election, Lewandowski dove into the Washington swamp, founding or becoming affiliated with several “strategic consulting” firms that have lobbied for clients that included big-energy interests and payday lenders.
There have been a number of Lewandowski firestorms. One was the “womp womp” incident. During an appearance on Fox News, his response to a story about a 10-year-old girl with Down Syndrome taken away from her mother at the Mexican border was a mocking, “Womp womp.”
According to USA Today, Lewandowski’s speaker’s agency terminated their relationship because of this incident.
Lewandowski’s controversies echo those of his former employer. During the 2016 campaign, Trump was widely condemned for mocking a reporter with a physical disability.
Like Trump, Lewandowski owned a company that walked away from a debt. According to the Conway Daily Sun, Lewandowski bought a building in Berlin, N.H. in 2004, which he then transferred to a company he formed called Green Monster Realty. After the building suffered extensive fire damage in 2007, the city obtained an order requiring Lewandowski to remove the remaining structure because it was a health and safety hazard.
Green Monster did nothing, so Berlin razed the building and removed the debris. Lewandowski’s company never paid the nearly $25,000 bill, and the city ended up owning the property. The city took the property over the nonpayment
Then there was the dispute with his neighbors in Windham over the use of an easement. According to the Boston Globe, the neighbors alleged that Lewandowski “repeatedly intimidated them, once coming out of his home with a baseball bat and another time yelling on the phone that he would ‘use his political connections and clout...and make your life a nightmare...’”
The possibility of a Lewandowski Senate nomination was not well received by New Hampshire’s old guard, establishment GOP. Former Governor and Senator Judd Gregg could not have been blunter, saying, “He’s a thug,” and that if Lewandowski were the nominee, it would be an outrage.
In the good old days, the other announced and potential candidates would have nothing to fear from a Lewandowski run, due to his lengthy record of controversy and lack of support from the Judd Gregg wing of the Republican Party. However, these are not normal times.
Donald Trump has a record of business failures, nonpayment of bills, alleged sexual assaults, broken promises as President and attacks on anyone who utters the least bit of criticism about him, not to mention what I shall charitably refer to as “racially tinged” comments. Yet the new Republican establishment continues to embrace him, including Gov. Chris Sununu, who says he is looking forward to welcoming Trump to New Hampshire.
Given the embrace of Trump by so many New Hampshire Republican leaders, including Sununu, it would be difficult for them not to similarly embrace Lewandowski if he wins the nomination. His record of controversy pales next to Trump’s. It will likely cost them that Senate election, and Sununu’s reelection prospects will take a large hit if he is forced to campaign with Lewandowski.
But Lewandowski is the ultimate Trumpist, and in the new Republican Party, that seems to be all that matters.