Kelly Ayotte

Ayotte Will Guide SCOTUS Pick Through Senate

“The White House has assembled a team of political veterans with deep experience navigating the Senate to help shepherd President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court,” the Washington Post reports.

“Leading the effort will be former senator Kelly Ayotte, a relatively moderate Republican from New Hampshire… Ayotte will serve as the nominee’s so-called sherpa, personally introducing the pick to senators and escorting him or her to meetings and the confirmation hearing. Ayotte, who narrowly lost reelection last fall, is an unlikely selection by Trump considering she spoke out against his candidacy and was seen as having been on a blacklist for appointments to the new administration.”

Ayotte Backtracks After Calling Trump a Role Model

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) quickly backtracked after saying in a debate, “absolutely, I would do that,” when asked if she would point to Donald Trump as a role model, ABC News reports.

Said Ayotte: “I misspoke tonight. While I would hope all of our children would aspire to be president, neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton have set a good example and I wouldn’t hold up either of them as role models for my kids.”

Pence Won’t Endorse McCain or Ayotte Either

Gov. Mike Pence declined to endorse Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) or Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) in their re-election bids while talking to reporters en route to a campaign stop in Virginia, NBC News reports.

Said Pence: “I look forward to supporting Republican candidates in the days and weeks ahead all over the country, and so does Donald Trump. But the stakes in this election are so high. To restore our country and home and abroad, we need new leadership, and I’m looking forward to standing should to shoulder with Donald Trump to drive that new leadership forward.”

Pence also said that he sees “eye to eye” with Donald Trump on their views of the Khan family, the current iteration of the Muslim ban and Russia’s alleged role in the hacking of DNC emails.

Ayotte Drifts Away from the GOP

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) “is positioning herself as a Party of One,” the Washington Post reports.

“She has deliberately broken with Senate Republicans – most notably, by publicly calling out Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for insisting on defunding Planned Parenthood in the budget bill and by announcing her support for President Obama’s clean power plan. Her voting record in recent years has drifted further towards the center, much to the frustration of influential conservative outside groups.”

Ayotte Says GOP Is ‘Playing Games’ on Budget

Sen. Kelly Ayotte chided her fellow Republicans for pushing a budget fight over Planned Parenthood funding which is a “game of chicken,” the Huffington Post reports.

Said Ayotte: “I’m tired of the political games. I’m tired of the president’s game on this. I’m tired of the people on my side of the aisle who are pushing this strategy even though they know they don’t have the votes to pass the U.S. Senate, and they certainly don’t have the votes to override a presidential veto.”

GOP Launches Campaign Against Non-Candidate

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) still hasn’t decided whether she’ll run for Senate, National Journal reports.

“But that hasn’t stopped New Hampshire Republicans from already spending over a million early dollars against” her. That’s because the “biggest boost Republicans could give” Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s (R) “reelection campaign at this point would be to either damage the popular Hassan ahead of her campaign or maybe even dissuade her from running at all.”

Ayotte Aide Resigns in Prostitution Sting

A senior aide to Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) resigned his position after he was arrested and charged with soliciting a prostitute, the Boston Globe reports.

Said Ayotte: “I am shocked and deeply saddened that David Wihby, my state director and a friend for many years, has been arrested under these circumstances. David obviously cannot continue his duties, and I have accepted his resignation. This is a very difficult time, and my thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved.”

Republicans Mobilize to Save Kelly Ayotte

“New Hampshire Republicans have begun a pre-emptive strike this month against the strongest prospective challenger to Sen. Kelly Ayotte, targeting Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan months before she’s even set to decide whether she’ll enter the race,” National Journal reports.

“The early and aggressive campaign against Hassan demonstrates how seriously they take her as a challenger. Republicans already have filed a legal request to reveal her out-of-state travel and even have gotten prospective presidential candidates to criticize her stewardship of the state. This is unusual because Hassan has yet to determine whether she’ll run for Senate at alland won’t be deciding until the summer.”

Ayotte Holds Small Early Lead in New Hampshire

A new New England College Polling Institute poll in New Hampshire finds Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) has a small lead over Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) in a possible U.S. Senate match up for 2016, 48% to 43%.

“The poll gives an early indication of what many would expect from a match-up of these two major players on the New Hampshire political scene — it would be a close, hard-fought contest.”