CONCORD — State Sen. David Boutin on Wednesday apologized for using “poor judgment” at a local bar more than a year ago when he was captured on video making offensive remarks to other male patrons.
The Hooksett Republican, who is seeking reelection in District 16 and is facing primary opposition on Sept. 9, said he was coming to the defense of a female patron who was sitting across the bar from him at The Asian Breeze in his home town. He said he did not know the woman and said the incident occurred “over a year ago.”
Videos of Boutin’s outburst have been posted on the conservative web site GraniteGrok.com. The men he is arguing with and the woman he said he was defending are not in the videos but the male voices can be heard.
“I got into an argument with a couple of men who bothered the woman,” Boutin told the New Hampshire Journal. “My natural reaction was to defend the women from the two men who were badgering her and I expressed my thoughts about their disrespectful behavior.
“But I should have known better,” he said. “I exercised poor judgment and I apologize to my constituents and I continue to work hard every day for my constituents to earn their respect and confidence.”
In one video, Boutin repeatedly yells at a man across the bar, “All you want to do is get —-.” In another he says to someone at the bar, “Pick on a man instead of a woman.”
Boutin said he had consumed “a few drinks” but could not say whether he was intoxicated at the time.
Regardless, he said, “It was improper and probably illegal for them to tape our conversation.” He said he did not know who taped it.
“That being said this is an opportunity for me to get my side out,” he said. “Whoever is behind this obviously wants to discredit me and impact my reelection.”
But, “I did not exercise good judgment,” Boutin said.
Boutin is being opposed in a GOP primary by state Rep. Jane Cormier, also of Hooksett. Democrat Maureen Raiche Manning today announced her candidacy for the seat.
Boutin said he is working hard to earn another term in the Senate by having knocked on more than 4,000 door and speaking with constituents in their living rooms.
“Their concerns are about the economy and jobs,” Boutin said.
District 16 includes Bow, Candia, Dunbarton, Hooksett and Manchester Wards 1, 2 and 12.