New Hampshire’s September 8 state primary election is less than six weeks away. The biggest Republican race is for the United States Senate nomination and the unenviable task of trying to defeat Senator Jeanne Shaheen.
The two GOP candidates are Colorado lawyer and recent (really recent) Granite State resident Corky Messner and retired Brigadier General Don Bolduc.
Messner is weak on policy specifics. His web site reads like a checklist of old Republican National Committee talking points: hold the line on spending; the national debt threatens prosperity; stop crime by ending illegal immigration; support the Second Amendment; and, fix health care through the free market.
He says nothing about climate change, the environment, or the cost of college, has no proposals to help working and/or middle class families, does not mention racial justice, and provides no substantive alternatives to the ACA to provide health insurance. I was unable to find any policies supported by Messner regarding the war in Afghanistan, and little about the pandemic.
He touts his endorsement by Donald Trump. This is ironic, given that under Trump the national debt has mushroomed (even before the pandemic). Messner calls for strengthened ties with our allies, yet doesn’t mention Trump’s effort to blow up NATO and his abandonment of the Kurds.
If you want a Republican who has nothing new to say and appears to have missed the last three years, Messner is your man.
Unlike Messner, Bolduc is a New Hampshire guy who did not move here to run for office. He also has done admirable work on the effect of PTSD on active military and veterans. But much of his web site is also just checking old boxes, while ignoring the environment, climate change and racism.
Unlike Messner, he does address the burden of student debt, proposing a service program through which students can earn reduced tuition. Like Messner, he opposes regulation by the federal government, but suggests replacing it with regulation by individual states.
A patchwork of state regulation seems unworkable when it comes to corporate issues of national impact, but give him credit for at least thinking beyond the talking points.
I listened to their interviews on NHPR, which are available on the NHPR website. Bolduc, who has a bad habit of veering toward fringe notions, was asked about wearing masks to prevent COVID-19. He stated that he is “unapologetically of the opinion that masks cause more problems than they solve.” I am unapologetically of the opinion that he needs to stop listening to right wing talk shows.
Messner was asked whether he supports Black Lives Matter. He said no, that it was a “revolutionary movement.”
So was the American Revolution, Corky. Black Lives Matter wants our country to live up to the promise of that revolution — that all are created equal.
You can obtain more information about Bolduc and Messner by googling their names, or doing a search of this paper’s web site. I encourage anyone planning on voting in the Republican primary to do so, as what I say about each of them is through my partisan Democrat lens.
And that partisan lens says neither one will be able to defeat Jeanne Shaheen.