Sen. Tom Cotton’s 2022 mission to ‘put the brakes’ on Biden’s agenda may be prelude for potential 2024 run

Tuesday found the two-term senator from Arkansas and Army veteran who served in combat in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars in the key battleground state of New Hampshire, headlining a fundraiser for the state GOP.

“New Hampshire is ground zero this year, as is often the case. We’ve got a chance to win not just a Senate seat here but two House seats as well, both of which will help us take control of the House and the Senate,” Cotton emphasized in an interview with Fox News at the Wentworth by the Sea Country Club.

The senator also headlined a fundraiser in Manchester for Hillsborough County Sheriff Chris Connelly as well as a reception for the Salem GOP during his packed one-day swing through the Granite State.

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Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas speaks with an activist at a New Hampshire GOP fundraiser in Rye, N.H., on Aug. 16, 2022.

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas speaks with an activist at a New Hampshire GOP fundraiser in Rye, N.H., on Aug. 16, 2022. (Fox News)

Cotton, who was in New Hampshire four weeks ahead of the state’s GOP Senate and House primaries, said he was on a mission “to help put the party in a little bit stronger position. I look forward to coming back in a month or so once we have our nominees and campaigning for those nominees in the general election.”

“This election is really crucial to put the brakes on the Biden agenda, so we stop spending these trillions of dollars that is putting so much strain on families’ budgets due to the inflation it causes. So we can start conducting some of the investigations that need to be held in places like the Department of Justice or the FBI or other runaway agencies, Cotton argued.

After listing off a bunch of states he’s recently visited, Cotton noted that “I’ll be going to other states where we have new nominees, campaigning for them, so I can make sure that we win back the House and the Senate.”

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Cotton, who’s viewed as a potential contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, has made multiple stops over the past year and a half in New Hampshire as well as Iowa, the two states that for a half century have kicked off the presidential nominating calendar. 

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas (center) teams up with New Hampshire GOP chair Steve Stepanek and RNC committee member Juliana Bergeron at an NHGOP fundraiser in Rye, N.H. on Aug. 16, 2022.

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas (center) teams up with New Hampshire GOP chair Steve Stepanek and RNC committee member Juliana Bergeron at an NHGOP fundraiser in Rye, N.H. on Aug. 16, 2022. (Fox News)

Cotton publicly demurs when asked about 2024.

“Well, I had a drill sergeant used to tell us during basic rifle marksmanship, ‘privates, you got to hit the 25-meter target first. You got to hit the 300-meter target later, but the 25-meter target — it’s what’s right in front of you.’ And I would liken this election to the 25-meter target,” he said. “Once you’re done with that 25-meter target and we’re past this election, then I’ll start thinking about the next election.”

The senator met in June with top donors and advisers at the Hay Adams Hotel in downtown Washington, D.C. Sources attending that meeting confirmed to Fox News that Cotton said he wouldn’t defer to any other potential candidate — including former President Donald Trump — when it comes to his own decision about launching a national campaign. And Cotton said that decision on whether to run for president would come after November’s midterm elections.

Trump for a year and a half repeatedly flirted with making another White House run and in recent weeks has hinted a handful of times that an announcement would come soon.

Asked about his own decision-making process, Cotton told Fox News “it will be a decision that I made in consultation with Anna, my wife, about where we think we are in my service to the nation, and the way I can best serve, and also what’s best for our family.”

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