Ayotte takes hits on left, right, over Trump
By Evan Lips | August 6, 2016, 9:38 EDT
CONCORD, NH — U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s quest for reelection took another turn Friday, as GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump ended his reluctance and finally endorsed the Nashua Republican, paving the way for searing statements from both her challengers on the left and the far right.
“Donald Trump has now made the Trump-Ayotte ticket official,” Gov. Maggie Hassan’s campaign thundered in a prepared statement. “After Ayotte stood by Trump while he attacked our veterans, Gold Star families, Americans with disabilities and more, Trump has returned the favor.”
Meanwhile, Ayotte’s challenger in the primary, Republican Jim Rubens, used Trump’s announcement to blast Ayotte’s conservative credentials.
“Donald Trump needs U.S. senators who will back his priority objectives: secure borders, trade and immigration policies that boost American wages and bring home jobs, and national security policies that do not spread terrorism and keep Americans safe,” Rubens said in a prepared statement. “Ayotte has not only voted against every one of Donald Trump’s priority national objectives, she made illegal alien amnesty a cornerstone of her political career.
“These endorsements will not help Donald Trump reach his stated goals and I think his supporters will agree.”
For Ayotte, her reelection bid could not have landed in a more difficult year — the former New Hampshire attorney general has been consistently hammered by Democratic challenger Hassan over any perceived connections Trump, even though Ayotte has tried to distance herself from the firebrand real estate mogul from Manhattan.
After receiving Trump’s endorsement, Ayotte issued a brief response.
“I appreciate his support, and I look forward to defeating Maggie Hassan and Hillary Clinton in November,” Ayotte said in a prepared statement.
Hassan has been quick to condemn any and all connections between Ayotte and Trump.
“While Ayotte has said she ‘appreciates’ Trump’s support, Granite Staters do not appreciate the backward Trump-Ayotte agenda of defunding Planned Parenthood, overturning Roe v. Wade and obstructing the Supreme Court confirmation process,” Hassan’s campaign stated.