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Giuliani Endorses Edwards, Says Election About 'Impeachment Or No Impeachment'

Lauren Chooljian / NHPR

  In yet another week where news of the Russia investigation dominated national headlines, President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani made time in his schedule to fly to Portsmouth and endorse Republican Eddie Edwards in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District race.

Despite insisting that voters shouldn’t interpret his endorsement as an endorsement from the president, most of Giuliani’s remarks were about Trump, and the similarities between Edwards and the president’s agenda.

“It’s quite clear that [Edwards] sees the world pretty much the way the president does and I think it will be a winning strategy,” Giuliani said.

Giuliani’s visit to Portsmouth on Wednesday included both an endorsement press conference and private fundraiser at the home of Wayne Semprini, a former New Hampshire GOP chairman and head of Giuliani’s presidential campaign in New Hampshire in the 2008 election cycle.

Edwards is one of more than a dozen candidates running to replace retiring Rep. Carol Shea Porter. His main competitor on the Republican side is state Senator Andy Sanborn.

Giuliani told the crowd of supporters that he just met Edwards a few months ago, and was introduced to him by Semprini. He leaned heavily on a prepared script when describing Edwards’ attributes.

The former New York Mayor said he was encouraged by Edwards background in the military and law enforcement, and that Edwards has lived for decades in New Hampshire, making a dig at Democratic candidate Maura Sullivan, who moved to Portsmouth just a few months before announcing her run for office.

Giuliani also tried to paint Edwards’ Democratic opponents in the 1st District race as “socialists,” saying the “the Democratic Party has fallen off the left cliff.”

“As a concerned citizen and Republican, this election is gonna be about impeachment or no impeachment. [If] Democrats get control of the House, do you think they’re going to treat President Trump fairly? I don’t think they are,” he said.

If there were any lingering doubts about whether or not the Edwards campaign is courting Trump supporters, Edward reminded the crowd that Trump won the 1st District in 2016, adding that he thinks the president is doing “one hell of a job.”

“I’m aligning myself with the voters of this district and our president, they want a conservative voice in Congress,” Edwards said.

While in town, Giuliani also made a bit of national news. Earlier Wednesday, President Trump tweeted that he wanted Attorney General Jeff Sessions to “stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further.”

Giuliani told a pack of national reporters that the president’s tweet was not a “presidential directive” but an opinion.

“He used the word should, he didn’t use the word would,” he said. “He didn’t direct [Sessions] to do it and he’s not going to direct him to do it.”


Lauren is a Senior Reporter/Producer for NHPR's narrative news unit, Document.
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