Ayotte to jot down in Pence for president
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) said Saturday that they will not prefer Donald Trump for president, becoming the very first GOP senator in a very tough reelection race to revoke her support for any GOP nominee since newly-released audio showed him making crude comments toward women in 2005.
"I want every single child support my party’s nominee, chosen by the people, because I feel strongly that individuals need a improvements on direction for your country,” Ayotte said in the statement Saturday. “However, I’m a mom and a American first, i cannot and does not support an applicant for president who brags about degrading and assaulting women.”
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Ayotte said she will not vote for either Trump nor Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Instead, she’ll write within the party’s vice-presidential nominee, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, for president. Ayotte is running against Democrat Maggie Hassan, the state’s current governor, and currently leads Hassan by 2.3 points, as per the Real Clear Politics polling average.
Hassan quickly replied to Ayotte’s announcement they won’t vote for Trump, calling the decision an "attempt for craven political self-preservation."
"For months, Kelly Ayotte stood by Trump because he demeaned women, minorities, those that have disabilities, Gold Star families, and was deemed a danger to our national security, even going so far as saying he should ‘absolutely’ be a role model for the children," Hassan said. "What Kelly Ayotte doesn’t find a way to seem to comprehend is to be able to show courage has long over, and her hollow words today reveal equally as much about her own character as they simply do Donald Trump’s. Her language is very little and a lot too late.”
Most Senate Republicans in competitive reelection bids have long done a delicate dance with Trump, declining to renounce him altogether as they required to drive support within the GOP base but distancing themselves from Trump’s inflammatory comments.
For much of the campaign, Ayotte struggled to walk that fine line, saying she had support Trump as the nominee but refusing to endorse him, like she did using the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee, Mitt Romney. In the Nh Senate debate the 2009 week, Ayotte said she had “absolutely” call Trump a task model for the children C comments that she immediately walked back yet prompted times correct.