Al Baldasaro said what he meant and meant what he said.
The retired Marine sergeant and Republican state representative for Londonderry is standing by remarks he made during a radio interview with WRKO Radio’s Jeff Kuhner on Wednesday, July 20. In the interview, Baldasaro criticized Democratic Presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s handling of the terrorist attack on the compound in Benghazi, Libya.
He told Kuhner that Clinton should be “put in front of a firing squad” for her response and the eventual death of four Americans.
His comments did not sit well with the New Hampshire Republican Party.
Jennifer Horn, chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party, said in a statement, “Representative Baldasaro’s comments are appalling and have no place in public discourse. Calls for violence in politics are never appropriate.”
Horn concluded, “I condemn his statement in the strongest possible terms and urge him to immediately apologize.”
New Hampshire Speaker of the House Shawn Jasper, a Republican, said in a statement, “I believe strongly that free speech is a fundamental constitutional principle that we enjoy as Americans. However, with those rights come certain responsibilities. To suggest that a candidate for President of the United States is guilty of treason and should be ‘lined up and shot’ crosses the line between political rhetoric and irresponsible speech.”
Jasper added, “I am deeply troubled that the line has been crossed by a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Make no mistake about it; I am not defending that candidate for President. However, given the events of the past few weeks, where we have witnessed protesters calling for the killing of police officers, followed by the subsequent murder of eight officers and the wounding of others, it is stunning to me that anyone would make similar comments involving a candidate for President.”
Jasper concluded, “I condemn the comments made by Representative Baldasaro and I call upon him to think about the implications of those comments, renounce them, and apologize for them.”
The House’s Communications Director, James Rivers, said that he doesn’t believe the House has any further plans to censure or discipline Baldasaro.
“If the residents of Londonderry are unhappy with Mr. Baldasaro, they can make their views known at the ballot box in September,” Rivers said.
The current Speaker’s philosophy, Rivers said, is, “We work with the people that are sent to us.”
The Secret Service has said it is investigating Baldasaro’s comments.
Baldasaro said he was speaking as a veteran, a patriot and a parent.
Baldasaro said Clinton deserved the firing squad because of the Benghazi fiasco and also because of her use of a private e-mail server on which she fielded classified information while serving as Secretary of State. “Anyone who has a private server, who has information that could get out to the enemy, is committing treason,” Baldasaro said in a phone interview July 21.
The firing squad is an accepted form of military justice, according to Baldasaro.
Baldasaro has been touring the country with Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump as co-chair of Trump’s New Hampshire veterans coalition, and spoke with the Londonderry Times from the Republican convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Like his candidate, he shoots from the metaphorical hip. “I don’t work from a prepared speech,” Baldasaro said.
Both Benghazi and the misuse of classified material are personal to Baldasaro, who, in addition to being retired military, has a son who is serving now. Clinton’s candidacy worries Baldasaro, who alleged, “She committed treason. Should she be Commander in Chief?”
“This is personal to me,” he reiterated.
Baldasaro also told Kuhner that Clinton was “a piece of garbage.
“She is a disgrace . . . for the lies that she told those mothers about their children that got killed over there in Benghazi,” Baldasaro said of Clinton. “She dropped the ball on over 400 e-mails requesting backup security. Something’s wrong there.
“The liberal media ran with this,” Baldasaro added. “They’ll get over it.”
Baldasaro said he has spoken with the Trump campaign’s head of security, who “told me not to worry.”
In addition, he said, he has received telephone calls from all over the country from veterans thanking him for his stance. “They are saying, ‘You’re right, she’s not above the law,’” Baldasaro said.
“I said the truth as a veteran,” Baldasaro said, adding, “The firing squad is still on the books.”