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Trump's N.H. Supporters Stand By President, Push For Overturn Of Biden's Victory

Supporters of President Trump protest at the New Hampshire State House, November 14, 2020
Dan Barrick / NHPR
Supporters of President Trump gathered in front of the New Hampshire State House, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020.

As President Trump continues his refusal to concede to President-Elect Joe Biden or acknowledge his loss in his bid for re-election, his supporters protested the election results in several events this weekend in New Hampshire.

At rallies in Concord and Londonderry, pro-Trump demonstrators echoed many of the same false claims of fraud that Trump himself has voiced since Election Day in an effort to keep his presidency alive despite losing to Biden.

At a rolling car rally that began Saturday morning in Londonderry and journeyed across the border to Cape Cod, drivers flew American and Trump campaign flags from their cars and took selfies with cardboard cutouts of the president.

Signs reading “Peaceful Protester” and “Make Liberals Cry Again” adorned some cars. Organizer Kristin LaSchoto of Boston wore a red, white and blue sequined cowboy hat.

Credit Annie Ropeik / NHPR
Kristin LaSchoto of Boston helped organize Saturday's pro-Trump car rally that started in Londonderry, N.H.

“Trump has done so much for us,” she said. “We have to make a stand for him and continue our fight.”

Rally participant Francis Marion taped a sign to her car with the acronym for “where we go one, we go all” – a slogan from the conspiracy theory QAnon, which the FBI considers a domestic terror threat.

Marion said she believes Biden’s win is based on widespread vote tampering. Election officials across the country have said there is no evidence of that. But Marion said she hopes Trump’s efforts to contest the results will prevail.

“This is not Trump vs Biden; this is the Republic of the United States versus a socialist takeover,” she said. “It’s America versus globalism, and it’s good versus evil.”

Al Baldasaro, a New Hampshire state representative from Londonderry and local Trump campaign co-chair, said he thinks the president could succeed in his efforts to overturn Biden's victory. And if not?

"We'll support whoever is the president -- that's just the way we Republicans are,” Baldasaro said. “You notice there's no riots going on. … We're not going to be happy about it, but we're not going to fight him for four years. To me, it's going to be an illegal presidency.”

In remarks to the crowd, Baldasaro also drew cheers as he repeated controversial comments from 2016, in which he said Hillary Clinton should be shot by a firing squad.

The car rally was followed by another pro-Trump protest that drew roughly 200 people to the State House in Concord. Some lined Main Street, holding pro-Trump signs and flags and encouraging drivers to honk in support.

A lineup of speakers delivered remarks through a bullhorn. They attacked the media; suggested Democratic politicians like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton should be jailed; and criticized Republicans they described as insufficiently dedicated to fighting corruption.

Jack Kimball, former director of the New Hampshire Republcian Party, told attendees they need to keep up the effort to overturn the results of last week’s election.

“You’ve got to be blind not to see what’s going on,” Kimball shouted, in response to cheers. “All of you’ve got to be vigilant, you’ve got to fight back, get on social media, raise holy hell, and make sure that we bring [Trump] over the finish line.”

Many of the speakers repeated the same unfounded and debunked claims of conspiracy and fraud that Trump and his top supporters have repeated since Election Day. Eli Clemmer, who ran in the Republican primary for the state’s 2nd Congressional District this year, blamed the press for meddling in the outcome of the election.

“They have mastered the art of propaganda, and they have experience in frauding elections,” Clemmer said. “We will not win another election as the American people if we let them get away with this. They think this is some conspiracy thing here. But we need to present them with the facts, and make sure the American people know that the media is the enemy of the people.”

Anne Copp of Derry said she’s been demonstrating most weekends over the course of the campaign to support Trump. On Saturday, she drove to the State House with pro-Trump flags attached to a pair of fishing rods poking from her car windows.

Like many others gathered at the State House, she said she was convinced that Trump’s opponents were part of a long-standing effort to steal elections from Republicans.

“There’s an organized group with this as their mission. And these people here have had enough,” she said, gesturing to the crowd on the sidewalk.

Election officials have, for years, almost universally dismissed suggestions of widespread voter fraud.

A man handing out flyers for the organizer of the rally - a group calling itself the Patriot Party Rocks - said the group would host similar demonstrations at the State House every Saturday until Trump is confirmed for a second term.

Dan is NHPR's news director.
Annie has covered the environment, energy, climate change and the Seacoast region for NHPR since 2017. She leads the newsroom's climate reporting project, By Degrees.
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