First it was Rep. Ralph Norman, who in 2021 had urged President Trump to stay in the presidency by declaring “Marshall Law.”
Now its Don Bolduc, the retired brigadier general and Michael Flynn ally who ran for Senate in New Hampshire with Trump’s endorsement.
Both men this week endorsed Nikki Haley, Trump’s first opponent to enter the race for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.
Bolduc will campaign with Haley in New Hampshire on Thursday and Friday, NH Journal reported.
Haley launched her campaign this week, following Trump’s early kick-off of the race immediately after the midterms in November. She studiously avoided critiquing the former president in her campaign-launch remarks, though she did offer that our next president shouldn’t be old, calling for a “new generation” of leaders.
And while plenty of pundits have sought to make the case for Haley, speculation has abounded that the former Trump administration U.N. ambassador is actually seeking to build a case for herself as vice president in 2024.
Bolduc, her new New Hampshire surrogate, entered the 2022 race for Senate as an outspoken denier of the 2020 election results, a position he held through the Republican primary only to abandon it — partially — in the general.
He said in September that he had concluded the election “was not stolen” after all.
He then seemed to walk that walkback back, indicating that he had only made the remarks because “the narrative that the election was stolen — it does not fly up here in New Hampshire for whatever reason.”
In the end, he resolved to just stop talking about the 2020 results, but failed to stick to that, too, stating during his debate with Democratic rival Sen. Maggie Hassan that “school buses loaded with people” were sent to polling sites in New Hampshire.
Trump was confused by all this, too.
“He was a strong and proud ‘Election Denier,’ a big reason that he won the Nomination, but he then disavowed,” Trump wrote in a last-minute endorsement. “He has since come back, at least on busing, but that is only a small part of N.H. Election Fraud.”
“Nevertheless, Don Bolduc has asked for my Endorsement, and he’s got it, Complete & Total,” he added.
Bolduc also peppered his campaign with criticism of New Hampshire governor Chris Sununu, who he described as a “communist Chinese sympathizer.” Sununu, a rare Republican to maintain relatively centrist positions amid the party’s lurch toward the MAGA right, has also reportedly been weighing a 2024 run for the White House.
Bolduc’s endorsement of Haley comes one day after another ardent big lie supporter, Rep. Norman, threw in his lot with the former governor, telling Fox News, “In 2016, President Trump was exactly who the Republican Party needed at the time.”
“However, the Republican Party has entered a season of change,” he added.
The move was surprising given that Norman was apparently so upset about the outcome of the 2020 election that he urged Trump to go full-on coup just days before Biden’s inauguration.
“Our LAST HOPE is invoking Marshall Law!! PLEASE URGE TO PRESIDENT TO DO SO!!,” Norman wrote in a text to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on January 17, 2021, three days before Joe Biden was set to take office, according to a log of Meadows’ texts obtained by TPM.
Trump himself weighed in on his first 2024 rival’s entrance into the race on Wednesday.
“I’m glad she’s running,” Trump told Fox. “I want her to follow her heart — even though she made a commitment that she would never run against who she called the greatest president of her lifetime.”
“She should do what she wants to do and not be bound by the fact that she said she would never do it,” he said.