“I’ve come to the conclusion, and I want to be definitive on this: The election was not stolen,” Bolduc said, adding that while he still believes there was fraud, “Elections have consequences and, unfortunately, President Biden is the legitimate president of this country.”
The comments marked a U-turn from as recently as last month, when during a primary debate he doubled down on his past false assertions.
“I signed a letter with 120 other generals and admirals saying Trump won the election, and damn it, I stand by [it],” Bolduc said during the mid-August debate.
Hassan’s campaign described Bolduc’s new public stance as an unconvincing and cynical ploy.
“Don Bolduc has spent the entire campaign touting the Big Lie, and he can’t hide from that record. He has even said that he supports overturning the results of the 2024 election if it doesn’t go his way,” Hassan campaign spokesperson. Kevin Donohoe said. “A word salad on Fox will not erase his record of election denial.”
Bolduc’s campaign did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for an explanation for his reversal.
uc’s rhetoric over the 2020 election, his calls to repeal the direct election of senators as required by the 17th Amendment, and his criticism of the FBI after the search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence would doom him to defeat in a general election. Sununu during the primary called Bolduc a “conspiracy theorist-type candidate” and warned that the Republicans “would have a much harder time” flipping the seat if he was nominated.
At a news conference on Wednesday, Hassan offered a preview of the campaign to come, calling Bolduc “the most extreme nominee for US Senate that New Hampshire has seen in decades” and zeroing in on his ties to Trump.
“It is interesting that Donald Trump indicated his support for Don Bolduc this morning, and again, Don Bolduc supports the election denial for 2020 — has helped spread those lies, says he supports or is open to abolishing the FBI, and says if the 2024 election doesn’t go the way he thinks it should, he would work to overturn it,” Hassan said.
Eventually, though, after the interviewer plainly stated that there was “no evidence that the 2020 election was stolen,” Bolduc tried to distance himself from that language.
“Did I say it was stolen? I didn’t say it was stolen. I said that Granite Staters have issues, and that’s who’s important. I just want to be clear on what I’m saying,” he said.
“I very much believe it and I think it exists, and I think it happens and it’s been happening for a long time in this country. When you try to steal the Presidency, a lot of people are going to go, ‘OK, wait. a minute. What the hell’s going on here?,'” Bolduc said at the time.