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Hassan and Bolduc square off in a final showdown after the GOP candidate is attacked for a debate

Hassan and Bolduc square off in a final showdown after the GOP candidate is attacked for a debate

Former governor and first term Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan New Hampshire and Republican challenger Don Bolduc took aim at each other on inflation, abortion, national security, the border crisis, denial of choice and many other issues in their third and final debate in their key battleground state race that is among the few around the world . country that will likely determine whether the GOP regains the Senate majority.

But before the verbal crossfire on the debate stage, Bolduc — a former Army general who served ten tours of duty in the war in Afghanistan — was nearly assaulted when he arrived at the debate site at Saint Anselm College New Hampshire Institute of Politics on Wednesday night.

According to the Bolduc campaign, an onlooker standing in the crowd outside the debate venue waved at the former general when he arrived. The campaign states that Bolduc was slightly injured, but not injured.

Rick Wiley of the Bolduc campaign tells Fox News that the person who punched the former general appears to have been a libertarian activist.

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Incumbent Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan and New Hampshire Republican Senate candidate Don Bolduc will face off in the Granite State's Nov. 8 primary.

Incumbent Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan and New Hampshire Republican Senate candidate Don Bolduc will face off in the Granite State’s Nov. 8 primary.
(Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Hasan’s campaign communications director Kevin Donohoe tweeted about the incident, writing, “Disgusting behavior. We saw this same Libertarian Party activist become aggressive with our campaign volunteers at this and the last debate.”

Bolduc mentioned an argument near the end of the debate, when he and Hasan discussed the brutal attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband at their home in San Francisco.

The GOP Senate candidate said “it’s a sign of political trouble. Republicans and Democrats, stirring up trouble with people who get them to the point where they’re so upset with an individual that they attack him. It happened to me outside right before I walked in . Good. This is wrong and it needs to be stopped.”

Bolduc campaign spokeswoman Kate Constantini told Fox News in a statement that “as the general said on stage tonight, it’s time to lower the temperature of political discourse in this country. Before the debate, an individual in the crowd outside tried to punch the general and he was quickly apprehended and arrested. We are grateful for the quick response of the police on the scene.”

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The former general, who is making a second straight bid for the Senate in New Hampshire, has campaigned in a populist style this cycle, emphasizing his MAGA-Republican and outsider credentials in a crowded and heated GOP primary. In mid-September, Bolduc narrowly edged out more mainstream conservative Chuck Morse, the state Senate president backed by popular GOP Gov. Chris Sununu, to win the nomination.

And over the past six weeks, Bolduc has slowly but steadily eaten away at Hassan’s once single-digit lead in the polls. The latest polls in this race suggest it is a margin of error contest with six days to go.

The two candidates exchanged fire at the top of the debate on the burning issue of abortion.

For weeks, Hassan’s campaign and allied Democratic groups have shown footage of Bolduc from last year vowing never to “vote against life” and since June celebrating a successful move by the Supreme Court’s conservative majority to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, returning the issue of legalized abortion to the states .

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But Buldoc told Fox News immediately after winning the GOP nomination that if he were in the Senate, he would not support the proposal, which was introduced earlier this month by a Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, to implement the federal 15-week abortion ban, because abortion is now a state issue.

Bolduc, at Wednesday’s debate, reiterated that “I promised all the granite states that I would not vote for any federal law related to abortion. It’s a state’s rights issue.”

Hasan emphasized that “it is about a woman’s fundamental right to make her own decisions about healthcare and her health and safety, and I firmly believe that these decisions should be made by the woman and her doctor”.

Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan, after voting on the first day in New Hampshire, in Newfields, NH on September 13, 2022.

Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan, after voting on the first day in New Hampshire, in Newfields, NH on September 13, 2022.
(Fox News)

And the senator accused that Bolduc “votes to ban abortion in the entire country and is trying to cover up his record.”

“That’s an absolute lie,” the GOP challenger shot back, before stating that Hassan “believes in abortion until birth.”

The senator countered that he was “really working to hide his extremism from the Granite States.”

on inflation, Hasan said that “I stood up to big pharma and passed legislation that would lower people’s prescription drug costs. My opponent says he wouldn’t do that. I’ve proposed suspending the gas tax until we see a big drop in gas prices. My opponent stands with a big oil and says he wouldn’t do that either.”

She also showed her support for the bipartisan spending bills she helped pass during both the Trump and Biden administrations.

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Bolduc emphasized that “I would not vote for them. They were unnecessary”.

And pointing to record inflation, he charged that “all her votes in the Senate caused this heating and food problem we have. Retirees are going back to work. She created it with her 100 percent support for Joe Biden’s failed policies… She caused these problems for many Granite Staters who go into winter not knowing how they will feed their children and heat their homes.”

Former Army Gen. Don Bolduc, Republican candidate for New Hampshire Senate, speaks at the New Hampshire GOP Breakfast, September 15, 2022 in Concord, NH

Former Army Gen. Don Bolduc, Republican candidate for New Hampshire Senate, speaks at the New Hampshire GOP Breakfast, September 15, 2022 in Concord, NH
(Fox News)

Hassan, responding, claimed that Bolduc was in big oil pockets, saying “you hear Don Bolduc singing the big oil song.”

Bolduc, who during the primary campaign said he supported former President Donald Trump repeated unsubstantiated claims that his 2020 election loss to Biden was due to “massive voter fraud,” quickly reversed course after his nomination victory. In an interview with Fox News a few days later, Bolduc said that after speaking with Granite Staters, he “came to the conclusion” that the 2020 presidential election was “not stolen.”

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Trump, who stayed neutral in the New Hampshire Republican primary, endorsed Bolduc on Monday but blasted him for reversing his views on the 2020 election.

“General Don Bolduc ran an excellent campaign to be a US Senator from the beautiful state of New Hampshire. He was a strong and proud ‘choice denier’, a big reason he won the nomination, but then recanted,” Trump wrote on social media.

“He’s since come back, at least about the bus, but that’s only a small part of the NH election fraud. Still, Don Bolduc asked for my support and got it, Complete & Total,” the former president added.

At the debate, Hassan argued that Bolduc’s shifting answers about whether the 2020 election is rigged show that he is “an extremist, the most extreme US Senate candidate New Hampshire has seen in modern history, and he’s trying to hide it from the Granite States.”

And she claimed he “spent over a year in New Hampshire fueling a big lie … he then began casting doubt on the 2022 election, saying there would be a midnight ballot.”

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Given the opportunity to respond to Hassan’s attacks, Bolduc criticized the debate moderators, saying “thanks for giving her the softball, because that’s exactly what she needed because she can’t hit a fastball.”

And he emphasized that “the bottom line is that we have to focus on the future.”



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