Eddie Edwards landed a very high profile endorsement Wednesday, as well as a bunch of media attention.
Standing along the riverfront in downtown Portsmouth, the 1st Congressional District Republican candidate was formally backed by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who now serves as a top attorney and cable news surrogate for President Donald Trump.
Firing up the crowd, Giuliani warned that if the Democrats recapture the House of Representatives in November’s midterm elections, they’ll move to impeach the president.
“This election is going to be about impeachment or no impeachment,” he warned.
Giuliani touted Edwards, saying, “The best thing you can do in politics is bring in new people with energy, ideas, integrity, background and experience, and that’s exactly what Eddie has. I was immediately attracted to Eddie.”
Giuliani was in Portsmouth just hours after Trump, in a tweet, called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to shut down special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian tampering in the 2016 election and possible collusion between Moscow and Trump’s presidential campaign. The event attracted not just the state’s political press corps but also a gaggle of national and Boston reporters eager to speak with Giuliani.
Trump tweeted in part: “This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further.”
While the president has repeatedly slammed the investigation and Sessions’ move last year to recuse himself from overseeing the probe, Trump’s call for Sessions to end the investigation was notable.
Giuliani said Trump was merely expressing his opinion.
“It’s an opinion. And he used a medium that he uses for opinions – Twitter. One of the good things about using that is that he’s established a clear practice now that he expresses his opinions on Twitter,” Giuliani told reporters. “He used the word ‘should.’ He didn’t use the word ‘must.’ And there was no presidential directive that followed it. He didn’t direct him to do it and he’s not going to direct him to do it.”
Giuliani also pushed back against claims the tweet appeared to raise new questions over whether Trump was attempting to obstruct justice.
“He (Trump) wants the investigation to come to a conclusion and not interfere in it. That’s why this whole ‘obstruction of justice’ thing is nonsense. If he wanted to obstruct it, he would have obstructed it. He could just end it,” Giuliani argued.
“He’s not going to do it. He’s made it clear that he wants it to run its course,” he added. “But on the other hand, he is a person with a First Amendment right to defend himself, a First Amendment right to express his opinion and as president it is even more important that he express his opinion because these kind of allegations can do damage to the country.”
Earlier in the event, Giuliani highlighted that Edwards “served our country ably in the United States Navy, has been a police chief, has been in charge of liquor enforcement, and has a very strong law enforcement background, which to me that is always a good sign of somebody who will be a fine politician because they have that spirit of public service.”
He described Edwards as a “strong conservative who believes in low taxes and is a supporter of the ‘America First’ agenda of President Trump.”
“Eddie will be a supporter of his (Trump) when he gets into Congress,” he added.
Edwards praised Trump, saying “the president’s doing one hell of a job in Washington” and “it’s about time we had a president who understood the values of our country and stood up for our country.”
The 1st District is one of just 12 across the country won by Trump in the 2016 election that is currently held by Democrats.
“The president won CD1. This is his district,” Edwards argued. “The voters of CD1 want a congressperson who represents their values in Washington. Who’s proud to stand up and support an ‘America First’ agenda.”
And the Dover resident touted that “I am very proud to have the vast majority of President Trump’sNew Hampshire coalition with me.”
Standing behind Edwards at the endorsement ceremony were a number of Trump supporters, including the three top members of the president’s 2016 team in New Hampshire: campaign co-chairs Steve Stepanek and Fred Doucette and state Rep. Al Baldasaro.
Edwards’ main rival for the GOP nomination, Bedford businessman and conservative state Sen. Andy Sanborn, was endorsed early in his campaign by New Hampshire resident Corey Lewandowski, who served as Trump’s first campaign manager during the 2016 election and remains a close informal outside adviser to the president.
Asked if his support should be interpreted as an endorsement from Trump, Giuliani said, “It’s an endorsement from me.”
“I have no reason to believe he (Trump) wouldn’t find this gentleman to be a terrific candidate. He hasn’t made a decision about this race,” he added.
After the endorsement ceremony, which was held along the riverbank outside the State Street home of Susan Conway, Giuliani was set to headline a fundraiser for Edwards at the Portsmouth home of Wayne Semprini, a former state GOP chair who gave Edwards one of his first major Seacoast endorsements.
Semprini, a longtime friend of Giuliani, chaired his unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign in New Hampshire.
Giuliani joked about his unsuccessful White House bid and his poor showing in the first-in-the-nation primary, saying, “We finished.”
Eleven Democrats and one Libertarian are also running in the 1st District race to succeed retiring four-term Democratic Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter of Rochester.
This article provided by NewsEdge.