Trump criticizes Democrats’ effort to ‘cruelly’ change up primary calendar in New Hampshire speech

Donald Trump
FILE – Former President Donald Trump gestures as he announces he is running for president for the third time as he speaks at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Nov. 15, 2022. Trump is set to kick off his 2024 White House bid with visits to a pair of early voting states. The appearances on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, will mark Trump’s first campaign events since launching his bid more than two months ago. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Former President Trump criticized the Democratic Party’s efforts to change up their primary calendar and boot New Hampshire from its first-in-the-nation primary spot during an appearance in the Granite State on Saturday.

“From the very beginning, I’ve strongly defended New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary status,” Trump said at the New Hampshire Republican State Committee’s annual meeting in Salem, N.H. “I’ve been your defender, and I’ve refused to let any Republican … even think about taking that cherished status away.”

A Democratic National Committee (DNC) rulemaking panel voted last month to make South Carolina the first state to vote in the party’s presidential nominating calendar, moving it ahead of Iowa and New Hampshire.

The Iowa caucus has typically kicked off Democrats’ nominating calendar, closely followed by New Hampshire with the first primary. In the new calendar, Nevada and New Hampshire would share the second spot in the calendar, followed by Georgia and Michigan.

The shake-up, which has been endorsed by President Biden, has caused a rift with New Hampshire Democrats, who have warned it will “wreak havoc” in the state. New Hampshire Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D) and Maggie Hassan (D) sat out the White House congressional ball in December amid anger over the potential changes.

The DNC’s rules and bylaws committee will finalize the party’s calendar in June, after voting on Wednesday to delay the final decision.

Trump suggested on Saturday that Biden’s endorsement of the calendar shake-up stems from his disappointing fifth place finish in the New Hampshire Democratic primary in 2020.

“Joe Biden lost it badly, and it was a very tough time,” Trump said. “He had a humiliating fifth place defeat, and now he’s taking a revenge on the voters of your state by cruelly and disgracefully trashing this beloved political tradition.”

“I hope you’re going to remember that during the general election,” he added.

Trump also announced on Saturday that outgoing New Hampshire GOP Chairman Stephen Stepanek will oversee his campaign in the state.

The former president’s campaign has begun to ramp up, after getting off to an unusually slow start since he first announced in November. The former president will also make a trip to South Carolina on Saturday afternoon.

Tags 2024 presidential election Democratic Primary Donald Trump Donald Trump Joe Biden New Hampshire New Hampshire President Biden primary calendar Trump 2024 campaign

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