Don Bolduc is spreading anti-transgender conspiracy theories and lies about schools.
New Hampshire Republican Senate nominee Don Bolduc baselessly claimed on Oct. 27 that children in his state were "identifying as a cat" and that schools were accommodating their demands to use litter boxes instead of toilets.
In an interview on the right-wing radio network Real America's Voice, host Jeff Fredericks asked Bolduc, who is running against incumbent Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan, about allegations that students were identifying as cats.
Bolduc responded by attacking schools for supposedly affirming the children "identifying" as cats and schools for teaching "the wrong things," including what he called "transgenderism":
Well, it's absolutely crazy. And you know, tonight, we're gonna be meeting with parents and grandparents who are fed up with an education system that's letting them down, that is hurting their children — is not teaching them, we can see that in the test scores. Teaching them the wrong things: transgenderism, you know, CRT [critical race theory], all these things that are the purview of parents. And then they tell parents that they don't have their rights, that they're not, they should not be involved, that administrators and others know better about how to raise your children. And so I'm looking forward to listening and learning from them tonight.
But, you know, you're absolutely right: Identifying as a cat, hissing at other students, meowing during tests, licking themselves like cats do to clean themselves. Very, very disruptive behavior, very unnecessary behavior, and behavior that doesn't belong in the classroom. And nobody can do anything about it. The teachers can't do anything about it, everybody's hands tied and they have to facilitate this type of behavior which detracts from the discipline required in a classroom, the regimentation required in a classroom, and people's ability to learn. Very, very distracting.
The progressive research group American Bridge 21st Century first shared Bolduc's comments on Twitter.
Bolduc is the latest in a growing number of Republican politicians repeating a widely debunked claim, apparently originally made by right-wing shock jock Joe Rogan on his podcast, that schools were allowing kids who identified as "furries" to use litter boxes.
In an Oct. 14 report, NBC News noted that Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert and Minnesota gubernatorial nominee Scott Jensen were two of at least 20 elected officials and candidates who have made similar claims — even though every single school system named in their allegations has denied the claim is true.
"What's most provocative about this hoax is how it turns on two key wedge issues for conservatives: educational accommodations and gender nonconformity," Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy research director Joan Donovan told the network.
The sole example of kitty litter in schools that NBC News could find was the Jefferson County, Colorado, school system, where the 1999 Columbine High School mass shooting took place. Since 2017, the district has stocked "go buckets" with kitty litter and emergency supplies to be used in the event of an extended lockdown due to a shooting.
A Bolduc spokesperson did not immediately respond to an inquiry for this story.
Bolduc has a long history of opposing the rights of LGBTQ people and their legal protections.
In July, Bolduc told an audience in Londonderry, New Hampshire, that schools should not acknowledge that LGBTQ people exist, objecting to "the teaching of ideas and concepts that should never, ever enter a school — private, public or otherwise — about sexuality and about transgender [people] and about social emotional learning."
He also has opposed letting transgender kids play sports, mocked LGBTQ Pride month and the use of preferred pronouns, and used the homophobic slur "pansies" in an ad for his failed 2020 Senate bid.
Bolduc has pushed other false conspiracy theories as well.
He claimed earlier this month that COVID-19 vaccines had caused a "300% increase in miscarriages and stillbirths," though no data has confirmed any pregnancy-related problems linked to coronavirus vaccines.
He repeatedly spread the "big lie" that President Joe Biden was not the legitimate winner of the 2020 election and former President Donald Trump lost due to widespread fraud. Since winning the Senate nomination, he has waffled about whether he has changed his mind.
On Oct. 23, Bolduc's campaign reported taking a $2,800 donation from Orly Taitz, a purveyor of the racist "birther" conspiracy that former President Barack Obama was really born in Kenya and was thus ineligible to hold the office of president.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.