Lauren Batchelder, the woman who made media waves with her televised harsh questioning of Donald Trump during a Jon Huntsman “No Labels” campaign event in New Hampshire, was just outed as a paid political operative of the Republican Party and a campaign staffer for White House hopeful Jeb Bush.
As the Conservative Treehouse caught: “During a [campaign] appearance … a female audience member named Lauren Batchelder played the role of a female antagonist toward candidate Donald Trump. However, Ms. Batchelder is not just an average audience member. She’s a paid political operative of the GOP and a paid staff member of Team Jeb Bush.”
The news blog posted a screen grab of one of Batchelder’s Twitter posts that read: “@JebBush best boss ever! Go go governor!!!!!!!!! :D”
Her Twitter page has since been scrubbed. But a screen shot of her LinkedIn page shows similarly.
Under her bio, the 18-year-old Batchelder cites her current position as a “campaign intern” with “Jeb Bush for President 2016” and her former position as an intern with Sen. Kelly Ayotte. She also lists as a present position a “political blogger” with KMUR TV ABC 9.
Batchelder quizzed Trump at his campaign stop on his views of women, demanding he give an example of how exactly he respects the female gender.
Batchelder stood with her hands on her hips and told Trump, “I don’t think you’re a friend to women.”
She then asked, “If you become president, will a woman make the same as a man, and do I get to choose what I do with my body?”
“I knew I shouldn’t have picked her. I knew I shouldn’t have picked her,” Trump joked before saying he would “cherish” women as president.
“I had a woman who was in charge of the building of Trump Tower before anybody would have even thought of it and did a fantastic job,” he said. “My mother was one of the great people of the world, maybe the greatest ever.”
After Trump finished, Batchelder complained she didn’t get to ask her full question, which was about equal pay and abortion. Trump said women should be paid the same as men for doing the same job and that he was pro-life.
And as the Conservative Treehouse pointed, her questioning and Trump’s response went far beyond the walls of the event.
“Within minutes of her scripted performance at the event,” the news site wrote, “the producers of CNN were quickly editing soundbites and framing a narrative. That story was pushed into the media stream within hours. CNN’s Jeanne Moos was the delivery vehicle for the hit piece.”
“It should be clear by now that the Republican establishment will not fold without a fight. GOP may not put up much of a fight against Barack Obama but when their power base is threatened they will stop at nothing,” said Jim Hoft of the Gateway Pundit.
Following the event, Daniel Scavino, an adviser to the Trump campaign, accused the Bush campaign of sending Batchelder to the event to confront Trump.
Trump followed up with his own blast via Twitter.
“The arrogant young woman who questioned me in such a nasty fashion at No Labels yesterday was a Jeb staffer! HOW CAN HE BEAT RUSSIA & CHINA?” he exclaimed.
Bush’s campaign on Tuesday confirmed the woman is an unpaid volunteer with the campaign, but that the campaign did not approve her question or send her to the event.
The Bush campaign also poked at Trump for being “very sensitive about being challenged by women,” an apparent reference to Trump’s attacks on Fox News host Megyn Kelly and presidential rival Carly Fiorina.
“Like many in New Hampshire, Lauren is a student at St. Anselm’s who is passionate about and active in politics and attended this event on her own accord,” Bush spokeswoman Allie Brandenburger said, according to CNN. “While this question was not sanctioned by the campaign, we can’t help but notice Mr. Trump does seem to be very sensitive about being challenged by women.”
The outing of Batchelder was enough of a story to even shake leftist media.
The Daily Kos, for example, posted a bit on the political bust with the headline: “Jeb Bush staffer was the Trump gotcha girl at ‘No Labels.'”
Polls show Trump still with a commanding lead over the rest of the GOP primary field. The front-runner also has broad support among Republican voters in Connecticut, putting him far ahead of establishment candidates such as Bush, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday morning.
Trump netted 34 percent of the voters, marking his highest score in any of the pollsters’ state surveys yet.
“Connecticut Republicans apparently want an outsider, as Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina lead the field and get a combined total of 59 percent of the Republican primary vote,” Quinnipiac’s Douglas Schwartz said. “Establishment candidates such as Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio are in single digits.”
Bush, the former governor of Florida whose family has deep ties in Connecticut, received 6 percent, the same as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.