Nov 17, 2016 2:45 PM
NH1 News Political Director
LONDONDERRY – Al Baldasaro says he’s open to a job dealing with veterans affairs in Donald Trump’s administration.
And in a one-on-one interview with NH1 News on Thursday, the Republican state representative from Londonderry announced he’s backing Frank Sapareto of Derry in the four-way fight for speaker of the state House of Representatives.
Baldsaro, who served two decades in the U.S. Marines, was a top Granite State supporter of Trump’s GOP bid for the White House. He served as a surrogate and a top adviser on veterans affairs.
Asked if he would take a position if offered, Baldasaro told NH1 News “if the opportunity arrives to speak out and have a position, while I have a say in veterans, then I really have to rethink whether I want to go to Washington or not. I’m married to an angel. I’d hate to leave her all week long, and be in Washington and her here. Time will tell. I will make my decision when the right time comes if I’m asked.”
“I’d definitely like to be part of the solution because I helped write Donald Trump’s veterans plan. And I was honored that he had trust in me,” he added.
The often outspoken and controversial Baldasaro made headlines this summer for repeatedly saying that then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton should be put in front of a firing squad for treason. Baldasaro was referring to Clinton’s conduct as Secretary of State during the terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, which left America’s ambassador to Libya and three others dead, and for her use of a private email server and address as America’s top diplomat, which could have compromised some classified emails.
With the election now over, I asked Baldsaro if he thinks Clinton should still face prosecution.
“She should be held accountable for national security, for putting classified material on a private server. And if they’re going to let her go, let every other veteran go for minor infractions that they had against them for classified material and give them a pardon,” he said.
Baldasaro and fellow state representative Fred Doucette, a co-chair of the Trump campaign in New Hampshire, flew down to New York City on Election Night to attend the Trump campaign headquarters at the Hilton Hotel in Manhattan.
“We were right up front. We were in the VIP area with all the staff. They were thanking me over and over on my speeches and my other stuff I did for Trump. Some of them said that I turned the race around, when I gave a speech on the veterans foundation, you know, on the money that went to the veterans,” Baldasaro shared.
He added that after no sleep, he and Doucette flew back to New Hampshire at 6am on that next morning.
Baldasaro takes sides on Speaker battle
In the battle for state House speaker, current Speaker Shawn Jasper faces challenges from state Reps. Laurie Sanborn of Bedford and Carol McGuire of Epsom, as well as former state lawmaker Frank Sapareto of Derry.
Asked who he’s backing, Baldasaro said “I’m going to go with the loud voice. I’m going to go with the conservative, with the ways and means guy. The one who’s a numbers guy who will be the benefit to make sure that we do a real conservative budget, and that’s Frank Sapareto. As you know I was going to run, I just didn’t have time. I was involved in the Trump campaign. But I think that Carol and Laurie are good people, but they’re not fighters like Frank Sapareto.
Jasper won the speakership two years ago, defeating former Speaker Bill O’Brien. Even though O’Brien had the support of the majority of the GOP caucus following the 2014 elections, when the party won back the chamber, his confrontational style was enough to convince some Republicans to team up with the chamber’s Democrats to give Jasper the gavel.
Asked about the Speaker, Baldasaro told NH1 News “Shawn Jasper, I think he did a pretty good job as the speaker, but I can never forgive him what he did there, going outside the caucus and have the Democrats vote him in.”
But he added that if Jasper wins, “yeah. I can work with him. I’ve worked with Shawn before on issues.”
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