Former president Bill Clinton will make his first stops on the campaign trail for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire in January, her campaign announced on Monday.
Weeks before the state's Feb. 9 primary, Bill Clinton's stops in the Granite State mark the beginning of his formal campaigning on behalf of his wife, who recently called him her "not-so-secret weapon."
"We’re going to cover as much ground in New Hampshire as we possibly can, see as many people, thank everyone who’s going to turn out and vote for me to try to get some more to join them," Hillary Clinton told her supporters as she announced that Bill Clinton would stump on her behalf in Manchester after the Dec. 20 Democratic debate. "Bill and I know we really cannot do this without all of you and everybody that can be part of this campaign."
According to the Clinton campaign, Bill Clinton will rally supporters in Exeter and Nashua on Jan. 4.
The announcement comes as the Republican presidential front-runner, businessman Donald Trump began to escalate his attacks against both Clintons. He has focused his latest string of accusations on Bill Clinton's "terrible record of women's abuse."
"If Hillary thinks she can unleash her husband, with his terrible record of women abuse, while playing the women's card on me, she's wrong!" Trump tweeted on Monday morning. The back and forth between the two candidates has escalated in recent days, as Hillary Clinton has accused Trump of spouting "dangerous" national security rhetoric and has denounced him for his personal attacks against her and other political opponents.
Meanwhile, in New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton trails Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders by as many as 10 points in some polls. But at least some of Sanders's strength there can be attributed to the fact that as the U.S. senator of a neighboring state, Sanders is a familiar figure for many New Hampshirites.
That scenario is something that Bill Clinton is all too familiar with. In 1992, he lost in New Hampshire to former Massachusetts senator Paul Tsongas, who also benefitted from high-name recognition in the neighboring state. Clinton viewed his relatively narrow loss to Tsongas there as a victory that had earned him the moniker "Comeback Kid." He went on to sweep "Super Tuesday" states with a show of strength in Southern states.
The former secretary of state is no stranger to New Hampshire either; she won there — albeit narrowly — in 2008 after losing to Barack Obama in Iowa. But she went on to lose the Democratic nomination.
In January, both Clintons are expected to hit the campaign trail aggressively ahead of both the New Hampshire primary and the Iowa caucuses, where Sanders trails Clinton. Fending off a challenge from Sanders in both early states would make it more difficult for him to compete in the later primaries like South Carolina and Nevada, where he has spent considerably less time and has not garnered as much support.