New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan, in a debate with Republican challenger Don Bolduc on Wednesday, criticized President Joe Biden’s administration over its handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Distancing herself from the President, she said she supported an investigation “to hold the administration accountable.”
Bolduc said the US under Biden has “no diplomatic leadership; no political leadership” in international affairs as a result of the Afghanistan withdrawal.
He predicted that China would invade Taiwan, “and we won’t do anything about it – because we can’t, because we’re weak.”
Hassan, a former governor who is seeking a second Senate term, and Bolduc debated for the third and final time Wednesday night.
Here are two more takeaways from their debate, in addition to an early clash over abortion rights.
“Stoking the big lie”: Hassan attempted to highlight Bolduc’s history of embracing and parroting former President Donald Trump’s lies about widespread fraud in the 2020 election.
She said the retired Army brigadier general spent a year “stoking the big lie, saying it was stolen.”
“He then has begun to cast doubt on the 2022 election, now saying that there will be ballot dumps in the middle of the night,” he said.
Bolduc, though, attempted to avoid revisiting or repeating his false claims about election fraud, accusing Hassan of “grandstanding” and saying that “we need to focus on the future.”
He also criticized the debate’s moderators, calling the question about election denialism a softball.
“That’s exactly what she needed, right, because she can’t hit a fastball,” he said.
Combatting fentanyl: Hassan sought to demonstrate her bipartisan bona fides in a discussion of slowing the flow of fentanyl into the US, saying she “stood with President Trump as he signed a bill into law that gave our border patrol better technology” to detect the synthetic opioid in 2018.
She said she supports “much stronger security at our border, including personnel, including advanced technology.”
Bolduc, meanwhile, said the US has left its border with Mexico “wide open” for drugs and human trafficking.
“This is a problem that the Biden administration and Maggie Hassan has created,” he said.