New Hampshire GOP chooses Senate candidate with history of racist comments

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Corky Messner has also been a staunch defender of Trump's botched pandemic response.

New Hampshire Republicans selected Bryant "Corky" Messner, a "lifelong conservative" with a history of racist statements, as their nominee for Senate on Tuesday.

With the majority of precincts reporting, Messner, a vocal defender of Donald Trump and his botched pandemic response, is the projected winner of the Republican Senate primary, with a 50.5% to 42.5% margin over retired Army Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc.

During his primary campaign, Messner made multiple offensive comments about race.

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In May, he demanded anti-Chinese discrimination in higher education. "We also have to, I think, not allow Chinese students to attend American universities, because they come here and they become educated, and they go back with our intellectual property," he said during a virtual town hall. "The United States can no longer be the research and development arm for the Chinese Communist Party. It’s just not acceptable."

In June, Messner urged "smart African American folks" to stand up to Black Lives Matter. "It's very clear that Black Lives Matter has a leftist agenda and it's very clear it's a revolutionary agenda and sadly, the African American community will suffer because of it," he said.

That same month, he railed against "multiculturalism and political correctness" as the cause of "tribalism."

Last week, in a GOP debate, Messner also claimed that there is no systemic racism in the United States.

"There are issues affecting people of color in the inner city that need to be dealt with, the carnage that goes on in Chicago every weekend, with people of color getting shot — and shot by other people of color," he claimed.

His campaign website lists an endorsement from Citizens United president and former Trump deputy campaign manager David Bossie. Bossie was reportedly suspended from his role as a Fox News contributor in 2018 after he told a Black political strategist "you're out of your cotton-picking mind" on the air. Bossie initially defended the comment, but eventually apologized.

The Messner campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.

Messner, who also boasts of endorsements from Trump and Donald Trump Jr., has made his support for Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has hit Black and Latinx communities particularly hard, a campaign issue.

In March, he ran Facebook ads attacking Democrats for not supporting Trump's response to COVID-19. "We need to be supportive of him at this critical time, unlike the Democrats who continually criticize the President no matter what he does," he argued, even as national Senate GOP leaders were urging against politicization of the virus.

In April, Messner also defended Trump's dangerous suggestion that injecting bleach could cure COVID-19. After praising Trump for "doing a great job during this crisis," he told a radio station, "I think that, you know, as we know, President Trump sometimes talks in aspirational ways that, you know, that — to give hope, perhaps, and that’s who he is. And it’s, and I think that all of us can — as consumers of that information, and we can get educated and understand what exactly he’s talking about."

Messner will now face Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) in November's general election.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.