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GOFFSTOWN, N.H. – Sen. Tom Cotton’s on a mission, and he’s not wasting a moment.
“I try to keep busy when I’m on the road,” the conservative senator from Arkansas told Fox News ahead of his first stop Friday during a jam-packed one-day swing through New Hampshire, a key general election battleground in the 2022 midterm elections but also the state which for a century has held the first presidential primary.
“I’ve been across the country from states like New Hampshire all the way out to Nevada, recruiting candidates, campaigning with candidates, trying to help them win. Obviously, I can do my job for Arkansans much better if we have a Republican majority in the Congress,” Cotton highlighted.
And with the GOP hoping to defeat Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan in the 2022 midterms, as well as flip a blue House seat red, Cotton emphasized that “New Hampshire is once again going to be in the center of the political universe next year.”
Cotton predicted Republican success next year “because we’re going to put the brakes on the Biden agenda.” He argued that the GOP’s “going to stop the madness. We’re going to stop the reckless taxing and spending, we’re going to stop the lockdowns. We’re going to stop these Democrats from trying to impose an extreme ideology on the American people.”
And pointing Republican victories in last month’s elections, the senator claimed that “a lot of Americans obviously do want to stop the Biden agenda. You can see that just from the polling. You can see that from the results of the (2021) elections from places like Virginia to Long Island all the way out to Seattle.”
Cotton said his current campaign mission is “to make sure we have the best and most talented candidates we have on the field. It takes a lot of work. That’s what’s taking up my time when I’m not in the United States Senate”
Cotton was interviewed by Fox News minutes before sharing pizza while meeting with the Saint Anselm College Young Republicans. The senator then headlined a law enforcement roundtable in Goffstown, followed by a small business forum in Bedford, and a visit to the Hitchiner Manufacturing Company in Milford. Cotton was set to cap his New Hampshire itinerary by keynoting a Cheshire County Republican fundraising event in Keene. Cotton was also paying a visit longtime New Hampshire GOP activist and donor Augusta Petrone.
Republican National Committee (RNC) member from New Hampshire Chris Ager told Fox News that Cotton’s visit is “very important for our fundraising.”
But Ager spotlighted that just as important is “the message coming from Washington on how the Republicans are fighting the Biden agenda that’s harmful to the people of New Hampshire, it’s important for us to hear that message as well.”
Cotton’s no stranger to New Hampshire. Friday’s trip was his second visit this year. And he made two stops in the Granite State last year as he campaigned in the 2020 elections for then-President Donald Trump and down ballot Republicans.
The senator’s also made two trips this year to Iowa, the state whose caucuses for half a century have kicked off the presidential nominating calendar – and one to Nevada, which votes fourth in the GOP’s presidential primary and caucus schedule.
Pundits consider Cotton, an Iraq War veteran, a potential 2024 GOP presidential contender. And friends the senator makes in the early voting states this year and next year could pay dividends down the road if Cotton decides to run for the White House.
Cotton, as he’s done in the past, demurred on such talk, telling Fox News that “I’m not making any decision right now about the future. The election that’s looking at us right in our windshield is the 2022 election and it’s still almost a year away.”
But Ager, who as a RNC committee member, stays neutral in GOP primaries, said he could see Cotton resonating with Granite State Republicans should he decide run for the White House in the 2024 cycle. “Sen. Cotton has been at the forefront of articulating the Republican message nationwide,” he said.
State Rep. Fred Doucette, who co-chaired Trump’s 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns in New Hampshire, would likely back the former president again if he runs again in 2024, as he’s teased. But asked what he thought of Cotton’s chances if Trump doesn’t launch another presidential bid, Doucette said the senator “articulates the message of the Republican Party and more importantly the America First agenda.”
“Sen. Cotton gets it and he gets us here in New Hampshire. We’ll take a hard look at all of them,” Doucette noted.