Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski sent mixed messages Tuesday about whether he’s likely to run for Senate in New Hampshire next year.
Lewandowski seemed to express second thoughts during a local radio interview before telling the Washington Examiner he’s still waiting to see third-quarter fundraising reports from declared GOP candidates. Those reports are expected to be published within two weeks.
“Look, I’m going to wait and see. Yesterday was the FEC deadline for the announced candidates to raise money [in the third quarter]. I will be interested to see how much money they have in the bank. That will be a driving factor,” Lewandowski told the Washington Examiner.
“If they have raised a commensurate amount where they can be competitive with [Democratic Sen.] Jeanne Shaheen, I won’t feel as compelled to get into the race. But if they haven’t, it will only further cement my desire to get into the Senate race,” he said.
The leading declared GOP candidates are retired Gen. Don Bolduc and former state House Speaker Bill O’Brien, neither of whom have the national profile that Lewandowski would bring to the race.
Earlier in the day, Lewandowski told New Hampshire Today radio host Jack Heath that “it’s fair” to say he was reconsidering a Senate run so that he could focus on defending President Trump from impeachment and helping with his re-election.
“As much as I think I would be a great fighter for the people of New Hampshire, and one U.S. senator can make a difference, it is my priority to make sure the president of United States is reelected,” Lewandowski said on the radio. “That’s a top priority.”
If he enters the race, polls suggest Lewandowski would win the Republican primary. But it’s unclear if the aggressive Trump backer could win the purple state, which Hillary Clinton won in 2016, in a general election.
Trump fired Lewandowski in 2016 after a power struggle with now-jailed lobbyist Paul Manafort, but Lewandowski and Trump have remained close. Trump has said he would back Lewandowski.
Lewandowski commanded headlines recently for citing executive privilege repeatedly during a House Judiciary Committee hearing last month focused on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. There, he was pressed about giving reporters inaccurate information and declared, “I have no obligation to be honest with the media because they’re just as dishonest as anyone else.”
Lewandowski also was the subject of a CNN report last week that said he was in discussions with the White House to formally join the administration to fight back against impeachment.
But Lewandowski told the Washington Examiner he has “no desire” to join the White House.
“I have not been asked and have no desire to join the White House,” Lewandowski said.
Several White House officials denied a “war room” would be created after the initial CNN report. Kellyanne Conway told reporters that “you’re getting that from people who want to create an impeachment war room, to either try and get back in or get in the front door in the first place.
Lewandowski downplayed the possibility last week, but told The Hill he “will do anything I can to support the president in the capacity that I’m allowed to do,” before more pointedly expressing disinterest Tuesday. Lewandowski told the Washington Examiner he didn’t want to “Monday morning quarterback” the decision not to create a war room after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., endorsed an impeachment inquiry last week.
But he also offered a warning for Republicans considering abandoning Trump amid a political crisis over his request that Ukraine investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
“If the Republicans don’t support this president for the change he has brought to Washington, they will pay for it at the ballot box,” he said. Lewandowski on Twitter called for a primary challenge against Nevada Rep. Mark Amodei, the first Republican to support an impeachment inquiry.
— Corey R. Lewandowski (@CLewandowski_) September 28, 2019
The post Lewandowski says Senate run still on table after appearing to back away from it appeared first on Washington Examiner.