Back in November, New Hampshire Republican Party chairwoman Jennifer Horn suggested that businessman Donald Trump could not prevail in her state’s first-in-the-nation primary. On Tuesday, he won an enormous victory there — but his triumph was not followed by a mea culpa (or even a word of congratulations) from Horn.
Horn had told the Globe that Trump’s style was a poor fit for New Hampshire. “Shallow campaigns that depend on bombast and divisive rhetoric do not succeed in New Hampshire, and I don’t expect that they will now,” she said then. “Big rallies are a lot of fun, but in New Hampshire voters are looking to have that real conversation with a candidate,” she said.
The comment brought pushback from Trump supporters, who noted that the state party chief typically remains neutral during primary campaigns.
On Tuesday, Trump beat his nearest competitor, Ohio Governor John Kasich, by nearly 20 points. When the dust had settled, Horn put out a broad written statement about the race, without ever mentioning the name of the winner.
“I want to offer my congratulations and gratitude to all of our Republican candidates tonight,” Horn said. “The 2016 Republican primary has offered the American people the most qualified and diverse field of candidates our party has ever seen and I am fully confident that amongst those who are moving on to South Carolina is the next president of the United States.”
Felice Belman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.