WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Thursday promoted Corey Lewandowski’s plans to join him at a rally in New Hampshire later in the day, raising speculation that Trump could endorse a possible Senate bid by his former campaign manager.
Lewandowski said early this month that was looking “very seriously” at launching a Republican bid to try to dislodge Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire, in next year’s election.
Trump retweeted a message from Lewandowski linking to a news story about his plans to appear with Trump on his New Hampshire trip. Trump also shared a news story on Twitter about a poll that purportedly showed Lewandowski leading potential Republican challengers in a GOP primary.
In an interview with The Washington Post this month, Lewandowski said he had “no time frame yet” for making a decision on whether to move forward with a bid. He repeated that during an interview with The Hill on Wednesday but also noted that Trump could be “unpredictable” in his remarks.
“Having had the opportunity to serve next to him in several capacities, I’ll be prepared for any comments he makes,” Lewandowski said.
As Trump’s first presidential campaign manager, Lewandowski advocated a freewheeling style of letting “Trump be Trump” and guided the campaign through some crucial primary wins, including in New Hampshire, where he has lived.
Lewandowski was fired by the campaign in 2016 when Paul Manafort ascended to campaign chairman after an internal power struggle, but he still has close ties to Trump.
Republicans are eyeing New Hampshire as a possible pickup opportunity in the Senate next year.
Shaheen, a former New Hampshire governor, was reelected to a second Senate term in 2014 with 51 percent of the vote in a race against Scott Brown, a former Republican senator from Massachusetts who had moved to the state.
Democrat Hillary Clinton carried the Granite State over Trump in the 2016 presidential election by only 2,736 votes.