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GOP Rep. Crenshaw pushes back against 2024 speculation during swing through New Hampshire

Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas, a rising star in the GOP, is currently on a three-day swing through New Hampshire, the state that for a century has held the first primary in the presidential nominating calendar.

“What we’re seeing right now from the Biden administration, it’s not good for American families, it’s not good for American workers, businesses, it’s not good for our border, none of it,” Crenshaw said as he took aim at President Biden on Thursday night while headlining a New Hampshire Republican Party fundraiser that was held in the state capital city of Concord.

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 “The era of putting America first is apparently over,” Crenshaw, who served as a U.S. Navy SEAL officer in Afghanistan, added.

The fundraising dinner was the first stop for Crenshaw in New Hampshire during his trip. Also on his itinerary — he will be the special guest Friday evening at the Gold Star Family Dinner. Gold Star families consist of the spouses, children, parents, siblings or others whose loved ones died fighting during U.S. military service, and are considered a vital part of the country’s military community.

On Saturday he will speak at the Swim with a Mission (SWAM) Veteran Festival at a minor league baseball stadium in Manchester, which is a day of military-themed activities for families in support of veterans.

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Crenshaw was propelled into the national spotlight on the eve of his election to Congress from a Houston area district, when his appearance – he lost his right eye in combat in Afghanistan – was mocked on “Saturday Night Live.” Crenshaw appeared on the next episode of the popular program to accept an apology.

But the controversy surrounding the incident boosted his profile among conservatives, and during his tenure in Congress he’s become a frequent guest on the cable news networks.

Political pundits see 37-year-old Crenshaw as a possible contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, and the swing through New Hampshire will only fuel more speculation.

But Crenshaw is putting cold water on such talk.

Asked in March about any national ambitions in 2024, Crenshaw told well-known radio host Hugh Hewitt: “I would say pretty much, pretty much ruled it out.” 

And on Thursday he told television station WMUR in New Hampshire “not anytime soon,” when asked about running for president.

“I originally came to New Hampshire because I’m also doing events with a non-profit related to the SEAL teams. So, don’t read too much into it. I love being up here, though. It’s great to see the people of New Hampshire.” he added.

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But a well-known observer of presidential politics says even if the purpose of Crenshaw’s trip to the Granite State isn’t related to 2024, it will still feed the frenzy.

“Every time he comes to New Hampshire, any other early state, or any big state like Florida, I think he sparks speculation, including going on national news networks,” New Hampshire Institute of Politics executive director Neil Levesque told Fox News. “And the more he does that, the more his profile his raised and the more people have an interest in him, and the more people are going to say ‘he should run for president.’”