MANCHESTER, N.H. — Corey Lewandowski, President Trump’s 2016 campaign manager and a frequent cable news surrogate who remains a close outside adviser to the president, rallied support for his former boss Monday in the face of Democrats’ impeachment inquiry — while feeding speculation he might eventually launch a bid for the Senate in his home state.
Taking aim at House Democrats behind the impeachment push, Lewandowski argued they “want to bring an impeachment against this president for doing nothing but putting America first. If that’s a crime, guilty as charged.”
Speaking into a megaphone to a crowd of boisterous Trump supporters gathered in New Hampshire’s largest city, Lewandowski declared: “The message is you can’t impeach and overturn the election results of 63 million people who wanted to send change to Washington, D.C. because you don’t like the way he delivers the message.”
The counter-impeachment rally was one of 60 “Stop the Madness” events across the country in recent days organized by the Republican National Committee and the Trump re-election team to push back on the impeachment investigation. The current campaign includes a $2 million TV and digital ad buy to target Democrats facing potentially difficult 2020 re-elections.
“I don’t know what he did that was illegal. He had a conversation with a foreign leader and it’s the job of the president to make sure no one’s meddling in our elections,” Lewandowski said as he defended the president.
Trump is under fire over his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which he urged Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter over their dealings in Ukraine. Fueled by whistleblower complaints and the White House read-out of the call, Democrats argue he was asking a foreign country to potentially interfere in a U.S. election.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing and has repeatedly described his phone call with the Ukrainian leader as “perfect.”
Following Trump’s lead, Lewandowski took aim at Biden, a political rival who’s hoping to face off against the president in next year’s election.
“What we have to do is hold the Biden family accountable for the wealth that they have achieved by doing business in the Ukraine,” he stressed.
Hunter Biden served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company while his father was vice president. Trump and fellow Republicans have questioned how Biden pushed in 2016 for the dismissal of a Ukrainian prosecutor who was looking into corruption at the company. The prosecutor – who had been widely accused by both Democrats and Republicans of overlooking corruption in his own office – was later dismissed.
Lewandowski criticized the freshman Democrat in the House who represents Manchester, Rep. Chris Pappas.
“We stand here in the First Congressional District with Congressman Pappas, who votes more with AOC than he does with people of the state of New Hampshire,” Lewandowski charged.
He also argued that “the far left wing of the Democratic Party, with AOC and Rashida Tlaib, they now run the Democratic Party. When Nancy Pelosi’s the moderate, that should scare the hell of out of the people of New Hampshire.” This was a reference to freshman Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Tlaib, D-Mich.
There was a powerful sub-plot to Monday’s rally.
The event was held outside directly outside the Manchester offices of Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who’s running for re-election next year.
Lewandowski, who’s thinking of jumping into the GOP primary race to challenge Shaheen, emphasized that “it’s time to make sure that Jeanne Shaheen is held accountable for her inability to deliver for the people of New Hampshire in Washington D.C. and send her back home.”
Lewandowski – who in recent media interviews has been all over the board on whether he’ll launch a campaign – told Fox News and other news organizations that “I am not under this illusion that I have to make a decision today or tomorrow. I think time is on our side.”
Pointing to New Hampshire’s late Senate primary, which will be held next September, he added: “I don’t feel any amount of pressure to have to make a decision to get into a Senate race which is 11 months away.”
Lewandowski also predicted that “the Democrats are going to overreach to impeach this president for crimes that were never committed and what that backlash is going to be in New Hampshire, Donald Trump is going to win in New Hampshire in 2020. And that means if I’m the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate, I’ll be the next senator from New Hampshire.”
The New Hampshire Democratic Party, taking aim at the political consultant and D.C. lobbyist often considered a polarizing figure, claimed that “Lewandowski is auditioning to join Trump’s impeachment team, which seems an appropriate job for Lewandowski, who admits he’s a liar and remains focused on selling White House access to his shady clients, including foreign interests.”