CONCORD — In a response to former Manchester Republican Committee chairman Jerry Thibodeau’s criticisms of him in the adjacent opinion piece, Sen. Bob Smith has submitted the following comments to NHJournal:
“What is laughable is Thibodeau’s comments about me and Scott Brown’s ‘conservative’ record. The latest polls show otherwise. I am doing better than Brown in a head-to-head matchup against Jeanne Shaheen.”
Smith wrote: “Thibodeau writes that Brown ‘is committed to conservative causes.’ Did he demonstrate his commitment to conservative causes when he welcomes and accepts support from Mayor Bloomberg who has committed $50 million to take down the NRA? Did he demonstrate that commitment when he was one of only three U.S. Senators to vote for Dodd-Frank (a bill that has crippled community banks and small businesses)?”
Regarding Thibodeau’s comments about Smith leaving the party in 1999 and endorsing John Kerry in 2004, Smith wrote, “It was a mistake for which I have apologized. I had been promised the help of President Bush by Karl Rove and I didn’t get it. I got angry and sent a letter of endorsement to John Kerry. I didn’t vote for him. I didn’t work for him. It was a stupid mistake and I’ve apologized. If you can’t get beyond that, I understand. When I briefly left the Republican Party it was because the Establishment had already abandoned the party’s platform and I was disgusted by that.”
To Thibodeau’s labeling of him as “disloyal,” Smith wrote: “How can I be called disloyal when I voted with the Republicans 98 percent of the time during my 18 year career? How can Brown be called a conservative when he voted with Democrats 62 percent of the time?”
To Thibodeau’s comment that Brown will “stand up for gun owners,” Smith wrote: “The gun owners themselves in New Hampshire have told Brown to stand down because he voted for the assault weapons ban and against reciprocity concerning the concealed carry permit. I had an A+ rating from the NRA and the Gun Owners of America. If you think it was easy standing on the Senate floor defending the rights of gun owners after Columbine, you are wrong.”
Smith added, “Please show me with facts how Brown’s record is in contrast with Shaheen. He is the definition of Shaheen-lite. At the very least, Shaheen is committed to her principles.
“In short,” Smith wrote, “Thibodeau makes personal attacks against me and gets his facts wrong when writing about Scott Brown. That is what is laughable. I think Thibodeau is the one who is flailing! If you support the Republican Party platform you have to support Bob Smith.”