July 4 politics: Hassan accuses his GOP challengers on the New Hampshire battleground of being ‘extreme adversaries’
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EXCLUSIVE: AMHERST, New Hampshire — Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan calls July 4 a “great day to celebrate our freedom, our independence, and what Americans have in common, which is that love of freedom and love of country.”
But Independence Day is also a great day for politicians to campaign.
And Hassan, a former governor and first-term senator who is being targeted by Republicans as she faces a potentially tough re-election this year in the key battleground state of New Hampshire, was in campaign mode when she spoke to Fox News ahead of the annual 4th of July Parade in quaint Amherst.
Highlighting the crowded field of Republicans vying for their party’s nomination hoping to take on Hassan in November’s midterm elections, the senator said, “I have a group of really extreme opponents. Whoever emerges as the candidate for this primary is gonna be extreme, gonna be a rubber stamp for [Senate GOP leader] Mitch McConnell.”
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Democrats face historic headwinds and an extremely difficult political climate fueled by soaring gas prices, record inflation and President Biden’s submerged approval ratings, as they try to hold on their wafer-thin majorities in the Senate and House of Representatives in November.
But Democratic strategists see a silver lining in the seismic reversal of the landmark Roe v. Wade by the conservative majority in the Supreme Court and the return of the issue of legalized abortion to the state legislatures. It may offer Democrats a chance to shift the campaign conversation, energize their progressive base and win back key suburban voters who helped Democrats win back the House in 2018 but who appeared to cross the lines of the House. party in some 2020 congressional contests and again in the GOP. election victories in Virginia and New Jersey last November.
“The Supreme Court’s decision just set us back. Now women are second-class citizens again in the United States because that fundamental freedom has been taken away from us. It will be extremely important this fall that people understand that Mitch McConnell and my opponents want to push through a national abortion ban,” Hassan charged in an exclusive national interview with Fox News. “We can’t let it happen and people have to vote for pro-choice candidates throughout the ballot.”
While abortion is likely to grow more problematic over the medium term, polls suggest that inflation and gas prices remain the top concern for voters.
Hassan and fellow first-term Democratic Senator Mark Kelly of Arizona, who also hails from a key general election battleground state that is also facing a tough re-election, co-wrote a bill in February to temporarily repeal the federal gasoline tax, to help consumers cope with skyrocketing prices at the pump.
While the president is now on board to support the idea, their bill still faces obstacles in Congress.
“We need to lower gas prices. People are really feeling the pain at the pump. I want to suspend the gas tax at least for the rest of the year. I’m glad the president agrees I will continue to push and also hold the big oil companies accountable because they are making record profits while still keeping prices really, really high,” Hassan stressed.
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While some congressional leaders from both parties opposed the bill, Hassan lashed out at Republicans.
“Republicans have blocked any votes on this in Congress. We need to get them to stop blocking it and I will continue to push for it. Most Americans think it’s a really sensible thing to do. And it would help to put a little bit more money in people’s pockets at a time when other costs are also high,” she said.
Two of the top Republican candidates running for the Senate also marched in Monday’s parade.
“I think it’s pretty clear – the average person right now is – what they’re paying to do their shopping for this holiday weekend or the fuel they’re putting in the car to get to the barbecues she’s going to. They know what’s going on. They know we’re going in the wrong direction,” New Hampshire State Senate Speaker Chuck Morse told Fox News.
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“I think she has a lot of explaining to do,” Morse, who is a small business owner, said of Hassan. “We will certainly make it clear that Senator Hassan is not doing her job.”
And former Londonderry, New Hampshire city manager Kevin Smith pointed out that “at the end of the day, people are going to go to the voting booth, vote with their wallet. And when they pay more than $5 a gallon for gasoline When they pay more than $6 a gallon for heating oil When they pay huge prices at the grocery store, those are the issues they’re going to vote on when they go to this ballot box.
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And Smith claimed that “I’m the only one – not Maggie Hassan – who has a plan to solve these problems.”
The GOP core estate also includes retired Army General Don Bolduc, who is running for a second consecutive Senate race, cryptocurrency entrepreneur Bruce Fenton, and businessman, economist, and author Vikram Mansharamani. .
While New Hampshire has held the first presidential primary on the nominating calendar for a century, its state primary is one of the last on the calendar.
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As Hassan focuses on the general election — she faces a little-known primary challenger — and continues to build an impressive campaign war chest — the GOP won’t have a Senate candidate until the Sept. 13 primary — which is less than two months away from the November election.