By Alice Giordano
CLAREMONT, N.H.—Former U.S. president and 2024 presidential candidate Donald Trump earned new key endorsements at a packed New Hampshire rally on Nov. 11, as his supporters spoke about feeling abandoned by the national Republican Party leadership.
Among them was Rayla Campbell, the first black woman to win a Republican primary in Massachusetts for Secretary of State. She ultimately lost her bid to a Democrat incumbent and said she got “zero” support from national Republican leaders for her campaign.
“One hundred percent I feel ignored,” Mrs. Campbell, who was at the rally to represent Black Voices for Trump, told The Epoch Times. “They aren’t interested in grassroots candidates or rising candidates.”
The topic was related to comments made by candidate Vivek Ramaswamy during last week’s GOP debate, accusing Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel of failing the party and calling for her resignation.
Bobby McCarthy, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who was among the droves of active and former military service members in attendance at the Veterans Day event, told The Epoch Times that although he didn’t think it was fair to blame one person, “like any captain, she has to go down with the ship.”
“I do think it’s time for her to step aside for a new leader,” he said.
Earlier that day at The Barn—a popular eatery in Claremont, a somewhat blue-collar town that sits on the New Hampshire and Vermont border—U.S. veterans and Trump supporters such as Ron Barbour, who served 12 years in the U.S. Army, also were eager to talk about the subject.
“The question is, Is it a blessing in disguise?” he said, referring to President Trump’s recent comment, “Anytime I get indicted, I go up in the polls.”
John Trapp, another U.S. Army veteran who dined at The Barn, told The Epoch Times that he believes President Trump’s popularity is having “an outing” effect on the national party’s lack of support for traditional conservatives.
Regarding Ms. McDaniel’s post-debate response to Mr. Ramaswamy for his comments, Mr. Trapp said, “The truth hurts.”
Josh Savage, owner of The Barn, added that the “RNC needs to focus on putting their efforts on America-first candidates.
Ms. McDaniel has since appeared on national TV defending herself against Mr. Ramaswamy’s call for her resignation. She told Fox News that Republican voters are tired of the “circular firing squad” within the party and that candidates should focus on key issues such as the border and crime in the United States instead of making inter-party attacks.
Highlighting President Trump’s Veterans Day appearance in New Hampshire was the introduction of his new campaign “Peace in Strength” initiative, which he outlined as his promise to prevent “a World War III.”
President Trump introduced several Gold Star families in the crowd, including the parents of some of the 13 service members who died in the 2021 attack on the Kabul International Airport while the U.S. was withdrawing from Afghanistan two years ago.
President Trump laid direct blame for their deaths on a chaotic withdrawal by the Biden administration, drawing an emotional response from the crowd when he mentioned the U.S. military weaponry that had been left behind.
“We gave up $85 billion worth of equipment and these 13 great lives,” President Trump said.
President Trump promised to implement a policy that would enable veterans to go to private hospitals without having to pay out of pocket. They currently have to go to VA hospitals.
He also called for a national plan that would give homeless veterans priority for public housing—criticizing the Biden administration that currently prioritizes foreign immigrants over U.S. veterans.
He vowed to shut off what he called ” the spigot of money” that President Joe Biden is pouring into housing for immigrant families while thousands of U.S. veterans remain homeless.
“We have $1 billion to put up illegal aliens in hotels. Meanwhile, we have 33,000 homeless veterans,” President Trump said.
President Trump also picked up an endorsement at the start of the New Hampshire rally from 603 Alliance, a nonprofit organization with a mission to “restore Constitutional principles of all levels of our government.”
President Trump also discussed his pending indictments but said surprisingly little about the pool of GOP election contenders fighting to catch up to him.
At one point, he even praised them, saying, “Say what you want about the other candidates, it takes courage to run.”
He did, however, attack New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, saying he “couldn’t be elected dog catcher” and was not “presidential material,” while ridiculing him for dropping out of the race for U.S. Senate against Democrat Maggie Hassan.
Gov. Sununu, who isn’t seeking reelection as governor, has been campaigning with GOP contender former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. Ms. Haley was appointed by President Trump as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations during his administration.
She is gaining in popularity, and although she’s still well behind President Trump, many of his supporters at the New Hampshire rally pointed to her as their second choice to take over the White House.