O'Brien gives thumbs up to Trump speech; NHGOP chair pow-wows with Trump campaign co-chair
GOFFSTOWN – Former state House Speaker Bill O’Brien says that Donald Trump’s address following Sunday’s mass killings in Orlando “laid a foundation for an evolving candidacy that I hoped would develop.”
The Republican state representative from Mont Vernon was in the audience Monday afternoon at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College, where the presumptive GOP presidential nominee gave a speech laying out his ideas in battling terrorism.
O’Brien was a Granite State co-chairman for the presidential campaign of Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. Cruz suspended his campaign five weeks ago, after battling Trump deep into the primary calendar.
Asked if the speech made him more likely to support Trump, O’Brien told NH1 News “if he can keep this up he’s going to find another supporter here in New Hampshire.”
“The speech draws a very important distinction between a candidate who is a failed leader, and a candidate to could offer some important changes,” O’Brien added.
O’Brien manages a cyber security firm he purchased with his State House ally and friend, state Rep. Steve Stepanek of Amherst. Stepanek also happens to be the state chairman for the Trump campaign.
Trump campaign, NHGOP, mend fences
New Hampshire GOP chair Jennifer Horn was also in the audience at the NHIOP. Horn, who during the primaries was at times critical of Trump, said she found the speech interesting.
Horn said that there’s no doubt that “our immigration system’s broken and that we need to do more to prevent the radicalization of American citizens.”
But she added that she remains at odds with her party’s presumptive nominee over his proposed temporary ban on Muslims entering the country. Trump used part of his address to once again push for such a ban.
Horn was the personal guest of state Rep. Fred Doucette of Salem, who’s a co-chairman of the Trump campaign in New Hampshire. It was just over a month ago that Stepanek, Doucette and other top members of Trump’s campaign in the Granite State were once again calling on Horn to resign, over what they said was her bias against their candidate.
Doucette told NH1 News that Horn “accepted very graciously” his invitation to attend the Trump speech.
Doucette said that he and Horn had recently talked on the phone “and agreed that it’s time to come together in all sincerity. I got a great vibe from Jennifer. She’s a great person, did some great work for the party here in the state.”
“We agreed that bygones are bygones,” Doucette added. “What happened yesterday is yesterday. We’ve both put our big pants on and gone forward.”
Doucette said that the Trump campaign and the state party are now working as a team.
“We’re going to continue as a team,” Doucette asserted. “We’re going to meet at least once a week on a regular schedule and we’re going to progress forward. We’re going to share data, we’re going to share assets, and we’re going to go to work for everybody on the ballot.”
Horn told NH1 News that “the party’s organized and ready to do its job. Fred and I had a very conversation and the party’s organized and ready to do its job.”
“We’re going to do what we’ve always done. We’re going to unite behind our shared principles. We’re going to execute our largest and most well coordinate, well-funded ground game in history of our state and we’re going to win,’ Horn added.
NHGOP Chair Jennifer Horn talks with state Rep. Fred Doucette, a ch-chair of Donald Trump's campaign in New Hampshire.