In a radio debate Tuesday, both Republicans running for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire criticized incumbent Jeanne Shaheen over businesses tied to her family that took part in the federal Paycheck Protection Program.
In all, five businesses with ties to Shaheen collected almost $3 million in loans. Shaheen had no part in awarding the money.
Republican candidate Corky Messner, in particular, criticized the loan that went to a law firm founded by Shaheen's husband.
But Messner also defended a similar, multimillion dollar loan that flowed to the Denver-based law firm he founded.
"You know I stepped away from the law firm over a year ago. I handed off my responsibilities. The business took a PPP loan to preserve jobs, which was the intent of those loans."
Retired Brigadier General Don Bolduc claimed it was wrong for Shaheen-affiliated businesses to get federal loans. And, Bolduc said, if Messner can self-finance his campaign, he could use his own money to help his law firm.
In the debate on WGIR, Messner and Bolduc both defended their campaign tactics. Messner said he was proud to be endorsed by President Trump.
Bolduc, meanwhile, stood by a campaign ad in which he decried “liberal socialist pansies."
"The use of pansy was to refer to weak people that are representing New Hampshire at this time,” Bolduc said, “that aren't serving the people of New Hampshire, that aren't serving Americans. And standing up for the values and rights in our declaration of independence."
Messner declined to comment on the Bolduc ad, which has been called homophobic by LGBTQ-advocacy groups.