Trump hangs over Democrats in New Hampshire campaign

Trump hangs over Democrats in New Hampshire campaign
Trump hangs over Democrats in New Hampshire campaign

From Exeter, New Hampshire — As President Donald Trump jetted into New Hampshire on Monday evening to hold a re-election rally in the midst of the primary campaign in the Granite State, his appearance came as Democrats continue to wrestle not only with who should lead the opposition to Mr. Trump in November, but also the general exasperation among many Democratic voters about his presidency.

"Who's ready to put the tweets behind us?" asked Pete Buttigieg to a rousing cheer from a crowd at Exeter High School on Monday, a line which draws routine strong approval from his campaign audiences.

No matter the candidate, no matter the type of event, from a simple rally to a town hall meeting, the issue of President Trump isn't far from the tongues of Democrats, as voters in the past week almost seemed to plead with Democrats to stop their infighting and join together to end the Trump Administration.

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"Job one is defeating Donald Trump," a man told Joe Biden at a rally in Hudson on Sunday. "I hate the man. I hate him."

And it's even reflected in the polls.

On the ground here in the Granite State, there were a number of examples at events in the past week of how Mr. Trump's election jolted ordinary Americans into getting involved in the 2020 campaign, against the President.

"I've always been interested in politics, but I've always stayed on the sidelines," a woman named Jan from Derry said at an Elizabeth Warren rally.

"And then Donald Trump got elected. And everything changed."

The story was similar on Sunday, as Becky Gilbert of Concord talked about how her father had made sure she registered as a Republican when she turned 18 years old, telling her, "You are a Republican."

"And then my party nominated Donald Trump," Gilbert said, adding that she left the GOP last summer.

"On the way here this morning I found out that my mother just did too," she added.

The final rallies of the Democratic campaign came as President Trump arrived in Manchester for a rally of his own - as there is also a Republican Primary in the Granite State on Tuesday.

The Associated Press reported Monday that part of the goal of the President's advisers was to use the rally to scramble the campaign plans of Democrats in the Manchester area - but most were wrapping up their campaigns in other New Hampshire towns.

At the same time President Trump was holding his rally, actor Kevin Costner took the stage to speak on behalf of Buttigieg in Exeter - but instead of a stirring stump speech, Costner spoke in hushed tones, almost like it was a group therapy session.

And much of it was about the President, though Costner never said his name.

"Normally, I would cast my vote and get back to work, and that's as far as I would go in this process," Costner said.

"But things don't really feel right to me. And they haven't felt right for a while. And maybe you're feeling the same thing," Costner said.

“It's impossible to not hear it, even for our children,” as Costner bemoaned that the political language has 'shifted dangerously.'

"We can't tolerate four more years of this presidency," said Melanie Levesque, a New Hampshire State Senator.

And that's certainly been on display in the Granite State.