MANCHESTER, N.H. – Hours before President Biden returns to New Hampshire for the first time in nearly two years, Steve Shurtleff says he forgives – but will not forget.

“I forgive, but I haven’t forgotten how New Hampshire was treated,” the longtime Democratic state representative and former state House speaker told Fox News on Monday.

Shurtleff, a strong Biden supporter dating back to the president’s first White House run in 1988, broke with him last year over the move by the Democratic National Committee – following Biden’s lead – to bump New Hampshire from its traditional role as the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state.

New Hampshire, adhering to a state law that mandates its presidential primary goes first, did just that – which meant the state’s Jan. 23 nominating contest was unsanctioned on the Democratic side.


Supporters of the “Write-In Joe Biden” effort in the New Hampshire primary stand for a photo on Jan. 19, 2024 in Concord, New Hampshire. (Fox News – Clare O’Connor)

Biden kept his name off the ballot and steered clear of the state, but thanks to a write-in effort by New Hampshire’s Democratic establishment leaders, the president easily won the primary over his long-shot challengers.

Shurtleff endorsed and campaigned on behalf of one of those challengers, Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota.

However, with New Hampshire’s primary in the rearview mirror and the general election rematch between Biden and former President Trump underway, Shurtleff appears to be leaning toward backing Biden again.


“We’ve got to move on, and we’ve got an election coming up, and I’m concerned about the Trump candidacy, so I’ll most likely be voting for Joe Biden,” he told Fox News. “In a comparison between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, it scares me to think what would happen to our country under another Trump presidency.”

Besides being the state that for a century has held the first presidential primary, New Hampshire for a couple of decades has also been one of around a dozen competitive states in general elections.

Additonally, it is on the president’s itinerary as he tours a handful of swing states following last week’s State of the Union address.

Joe Biden campaigns post State of the Union Address

President Biden speaks at a campaign rally on Saturday, March 9, 2024 at Pullman Yards in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

He is scheduled to spotlight how his administration has been lowering the costs for American families amid the soaring inflation that plagued the nation during his first two years in the White House. 

At his stop in Goffstown, New Hampshire, he is also expected to propose extending Medicare’s $2,000 annual cap on out-of-pocket drug costs to people with commercial insurance. A White House official said the president will also ask lawmakers to extend a $35-per-month cost cap for insulin to the commercial market. 

Biden will also call on Congress to allow Medicare to negotiate prices for at least 50 drugs per year and will urge federal lawmakers to make permanent Affordable Care Act improvements that are set to expire next year.

The president highlighted the specific actions last week during his State of the Union address.

Biden in New Hampshire

President Biden, left, speaks to Geno Marconi, port director of the New Hampshire State Port Authority, during a tour of the New Hampshire Port Authority in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on April 19, 2022. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

The trip is Biden’s first time back in New Hampshire since an April 2022 stop in Portsmouth.

Following his official event, Biden will meet with New Hampshire Democrats during a campaign event in nearby Manchester, the state’s largest city.

It appears to be part of the president’s political mission of patching up hard feelings from the primary season.

Kathy Sullivan, a former longtime New Hampshire Democratic Party chair and former DNC committee member from the Granite State who steered a super PAC that supported the Biden write-in effort, told Fox News that “it was pretty apparent in the primary results that the combination of support for President Biden’s polices and accomplishments combined with the need to defeat Donald Trump and his authoritarian leanings were enough to have Democrats come out and vote for Joe Biden in the primaries.”

Additionally, Sullivan predicted that “I think it will be even better in November.”

Trump after New Hampshire win

Republican presidential candidate former President Trump speaks at a primary election night party in Nashua, New Hampshire, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Trump narrowly lost New Hampshire to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 general election, but four years ago, it was not as close, as Biden carried the state by over seven points.

While Biden stayed away from New Hampshire the past couple of years, Trump made regular visits, which culminated in his 11-point GOP presidential primary victory in the state in January.


A progressive activist in New Hampshire, who asked to remain anonymous to speak more freely, argued that Biden “is the weakest candidate” and predicted that Trump would make the state extremely competitive in November.

However, Mo Baxley, another progressive activist and former strong supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ two presidential campaigns in the state, said “I think the base is with [Biden].

Baxley, a former New Hampshire Democratic Party vice-chair, emphasized that “people aren’t going to not vote for the president because of the [primary controversy]. Our base is a little smarter than that. The stakes are just too high.”

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

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