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Bolduc says someone ‘tried to hit him’ before debate


New Hampshire Republican Don Bolduc, running for the U.S. Senate, said someone “tried to punch him” ahead of Wednesday’s debate at Saint Anselm College. He first referenced the incident with a vague remark included in his response to a question about political violence during the debate. “It’s a sign of the times. It’s a sign of political problems. Republicans and Democrats who fuel problems with people who get them to the point where they’re so mad at an individual that they punch them” said Bolduc, a retired US Army general. “(It) happened to me outside just before I got here. It’s wrong and it needs to be stopped.” On Thursday morning, Bolduc’s campaign provided an additional statement about the incident the candidate was referring to. “Prior to the debate, an individual in the crowd gathered outside attempted to strike the general and was quickly apprehended and arrested. We are grateful (for) the prompt response of law enforcement at the scene,” said said campaign spokeswoman Kate Constantini. wouldn’t call it ‘an assault,'” Bolduc said Thursday. “If the police hadn’t done their job, it probably would have been an assault, but I can’t speculate. I’m grateful the police were there, grateful that they did their job.” Bolduc is running against Democratic incumbent U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan and made the remark in response to a question about how responsible they think politicians have to prevent political violence. The question specifically referred to last week’s violent assault on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband at their San Francisco home. “I heard about it from the aftermath,” Hassan said. “Obviously, there is no place for political violence in New Hampshire or America and I’m glad he wasn’t hurt. “We’ve seen this same Libertarian Party activist get aggressive with our campaign volunteers in this debate and the last one,” Donohoe said. Joseph Hart, 37, of Greenville, Rhode Island, is charged with intrusion criminal and disorderly conduct in connection with the incident, according to Goffstown police. the debate, he was no longer welcome on their property and had to leave. Police said shortly after that a “trouble” occurred when Hart approached Bolduc as the candidate greeted his supporters. Officers converged on the area and all parties were separated, police wrote in a news release. Hart was arrested by Goffstown police following the unrest, police said. 497-4858, police said. Watch the two contestants’ full exchange in the video player above. WMUR contributed to this report.

New Hampshire Republican Don Bolduc, running for the U.S. Senate, said someone “tried to punch him” ahead of Wednesday’s debate at Saint Anselm College.

He first referenced the incident with a vague remark included in his response to a question about political violence during the debate.

“It’s a sign of the times. It’s a sign of political problems. Republicans and Democrats who fuel problems with people who get them to the point where they’re so mad at an individual that they punch them” said Bolduc, a retired US Army general. “(It) happened to me outside just before I got here. It’s wrong and it needs to be stopped.”

On Thursday morning, Bolduc’s campaign provided an additional statement about the incident the candidate was referring to.

“Prior to the debate, an individual in the crowd gathered outside attempted to strike the general and was quickly apprehended and arrested. We are grateful (for) the prompt response of law enforcement at the scene,” said said campaign spokeswoman Kate Constantini.

“I wouldn’t call it ‘assault’,” Bolduc said Thursday. “If the police hadn’t done their job, it probably would have been an assault, but I can’t speculate. I’m grateful the police were there, grateful they did their job.”

Bolduc is running against Democratic incumbent US Senator Maggie Hassan and made the remark in response to a question about how much responsibility they think politicians have to prevent political violence. The question specifically referred to last week’s violent assault on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband at their San Francisco home.

“I heard about it afterwards,” Hassan said. “Obviously there is no place for political violence in New Hampshire or America and I’m glad he wasn’t hurt.”

Hassan’s campaign communications director Kevin Donohoe called the incident “disgusting behavior” and alleged the individual involved had a history of aggressive behavior at political events.

“We saw this same Libertarian Party activist get aggressive with our campaign volunteers during this debate and the last one,” Donohoe said.

Joseph Hart, 37, of Greenville, Rhode Island, is charged with criminal trespass and disorderly conduct in connection with the incident, according to Goffstown police.

Gofftown Police

Joseph Hart, 37, of Greenville, RI

Police say Saint Anselm’s College officials told Hart, who was among dozens of supporters of both candidates outside the debate, that he was no longer welcome on their property and should leave.

Police say shortly thereafter a “disruption” occurred when Hart approached Bolduc as the candidate greeted his supporters. Officers converged on the area and all parties were separated, police wrote in a news release.

Hart was arrested by Goffstown police following the unrest, police said.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Kevin Laroche at 603-497-4858, police said.

Watch the two contestants’ full exchange in the video player above. WMUR contributed to this report.




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