Jun 1, 2016 6:12 PM
NH1 News Political Director
CONCORD – Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte says thanks to her experience in Congress, she’s “in a better position” than her Democratic challenger, Gov. Maggie Hassan, to deliver results for New Hampshire’s members of the armed services and veterans.
Hassan responded by saying she was “really appalled” that Ayotte would make such comments. The governor then tied Ayotte to the foreign policy proposals of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Ayotte made her comments Wednesday at the Secretary of State’s office in the State House, minutes after filing her candidacy for re-election to the U.S. Senate. She touted her ability to work with both Republicans and Democrats, saying “I have one of the most bipartisan records in the Senate and I’ve been able to work across the aisle to deliver results.”
And even though she’s spent six years on Capitol Hill, she sounded like an outsider, saying “I fight Washington. You want to send someone there who will fight for commonsense for New Hampshire and I’ve done that and I’ll continue to do that.”
Ayotte took aim at Hassan over taxes, saying “I certainly think she has a history of not only being heavily involved in the LLC (limited liability company) tax and supporting that, which was essentially an income tax on our small businesses, but other taxes and fees. Where I’ve been someone who’s been fighting actually to give our small businesses relief from taxes.”
And she touted her years of experience on the Senate Armed Services and Homeland Security committees, saying that when it comes to national security “I think there are significant differences not only between our understanding of those threats and what we need to do to address them but also I’m in a better position, I think, to deliver results for our men and women in uniform whether it’s at the Shipyard or whether it’s at Pease, and for our veterans.”
Hassan ties Ayotte to Trump
Hassan, answering a question from NH1 News a couple of hours later, fired back.
“I’ve been speaking up for the men and women in the New Hampshire National Guard and our veterans here in New Hampshire for my entire career, both in the state Senate and here as governor. I can continue to do that as a United States senator. What concerns me is that my opponent is supporting Donald Trump, who’s foreign policy and defense positions are dangerous and reckless and have been condemned by members of both political parties who have expertise in this field,” Hassan said.
“I am really appalled that my opponent would say that she has strength in this area when she is supporting somebody who’s foreign policy and defense positions are so uninformed and so reckless,” the governor added.
Before she filed, Ayotte held a rally with a couple of hundred supporters in the plaza outside the State House.
“Please join me in this fight. I’m really honored to have your support. We live in the greatest state in the greatest nation on earth,” she said.
She then walked into the building and through a noisy cauldron of supporters and protesters in the hallway outside the Secretary of State’s office. Demonstrators were holding signs tying Ayotte to Trump.
Ayotte’s been walking a fine line when it comes to Trump. She recently told NH1 News that she’d vote for Trump but not endorse him as her party’s presidential nominee.
“I think each person will make their own decision. I’ve said that I’m going to vote for our Republican nominee. But I don’t intend to endorse anyone in this race. I’m running for re-election and I’m really focusing on serving the people of New Hampshire and the work that I do for them,” Ayotte said on May 9.
Asked on Wednesday if she would campaign with Trump in the Granite State during the general election, Ayotte answered “I’ll be running my own campaign and certainly getting out in New Hampshire. I don’t know what his schedule is and I don’t have any current plans.”
Rubens: Base has ‘totally abandoned’ Ayotte
As Ayotte faces off against Hassan in what’s shaping up as the country’s most high profile, expensive and negative Senate showdown, she also faces a longshot primary challenge from Jim Rubens. The former state senator and 2014 congressional candidate filed his declaration of candidacy minutes after Ayotte left the Secretary of State’s office.
Rubens said that as he’s campaigned across New Hampshire, he’s sensed that “there is intense, intense, frustration, complete abandonment of the incumbent by the Republican base in this state.”
“The base has completely and totally abandoned her,” he added.
Rubens emphasized that “we’ve got to welcome conservatives back into the party. We’ve got to welcome libertarians into this party, because there a lot of them in this state. We’ve got to welcome Trump voters into this party.”
While Ayotte is extremely well known in the Granite State, Rubens suffers when it comes to name recognition. Asked by NH1 News if he’ll soon put up campaign commercials on television, Rubens admitted that “I’ve got to be lot more frugal with my spending. So you won’t see me putting up ads talking to my son. I don’t have money for that.”
Earlier, asked by NH1 News if the primary challenge by Rubens was a distraction, Ayotte said “I take the candidates as they come and I’ll certainly be getting out to Republican voters too to talk about what I’ve worked on for New Hampshire. And I certainly plan to run a very vigorous race in both the primary and the general election.”
Sen. Kelly Ayotte makes her way through a throng of supporters and protestors as she arrives at the Secretary of State's office in the State House to file her candidacy for re-election, on June 1, 2016
Sen. Kelly Ayotte files her candidacy for re-election at the Secretary of State's office in the State House on June 1, 2016
Sen. Kelly Ayotte holds a rally outside the State House before filing her candidacy for re-election, on June 1, 2016
11 hours 51 minutes agoA Stoddard woman who shot and killed her estranged husband in February 2017 will not face any charges. (More)
11 hours 27 minutes agoNew Hampshire transgender woman weighs in on President Trump reinstating ban on transgender people in the military. (More)
11 hours 7 minutes ago
Jul 25, 2017 5:28 PMThe AG's Office released videos, dispatch audio and photographs from a private citizen's cell phone of an officer-involved shooting on I-89 in May. (More)
Jul 25, 2017 2:27 PMA NH man was arrested by police Monday and charged with assault for the vicious attack in June on a Planet Fitness employee. (More)
Jul 25, 2017 2:00 PMNew signs put up around the Queen City aim to deter drivers from giving money to panhandlers and instead support resources for the homeless...
Jul 25, 2017 5:42 PM
Jul 24, 2017 4:05 PMA woman accused of trying to steal a 21-month-old girl out of a moving car lost custody of her own 6-month-old son because of...
Jul 24, 2017 3:29 PMRochester police have arrested a man accused of brutally attacking a Planet Fitness employee as she left work for the night. (More)
Jul 24, 2017 12:50 PMA 10-year-old girl has been struck and killed by a vehicle after getting out of a car that had pulled over on the Massachusetts...
Jul 24, 2017 2:36 PMJoe Sharron from Windham was involved in an accident while in Mexico last December. He stopped breathing for 24 minutes and suffered a spinal...
Jul 24, 2017 9:37 AMPolice say Martin De Los Santos was charged with sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child. (More)
Jul 24, 2017 7:53 AMA Haverhill, Mass., man is facing charges after police say he shoved the boy while in a ball pit at a party rental space...
Jul 24, 2017 7:26 AMThe home's cluttered interior caused problems for firefighters responding to the early-morning blaze Monday. (More)
Jul 23, 2017 10:53 AMA New Hampshire teen crashed into a tree sending both himself and his passenger to the hospital. (More)
Jul 22, 2017 8:34 PMAccording to Fish and Game officials, one New Hampshire man has been pronounced dead after kayakers find him in the Upper Ammonoosuc River. (More)
Jul 22, 2017 6:20 PMA police officer in New Hampshire was assisted by one local resident when trying to apprehend a fleeing suspect. (More)
Jul 21, 2017 3:56 PMIf you want to make a splash, you should look (at this story) before you leap. (More)
Jul 22, 2017 7:41 PMAuthorities in Massachusetts say a woman has been charged in connection with the death of her boyfriend. (More)
Jul 22, 2017 9:42 AMThe New Hampshire Fish and Game Department says emergency responders have removed the body of a hiker whose body was found in the Dry...
Jul 21, 2017 2:59 PMWhen the next car pulled up to the traffic detail, she frantically told police that a cat was trapped on the roof of the...
Jul 20, 2017 2:34 PMWork has begun on the property that will soon house New Hampshire's newest indoor gun range. (More)
Jul 21, 2017 8:41 AMThunderstorms hit quickly in parts of central and southern NHThursday afternoon, producing wind gusts powerful enough to knock down trees and power lines. (More)
Jul 20, 2017 9:53 AMThe Salem man's suit seeks $5.5 million for punitive damages after his car was towed and stored by a Methuen, Mass., company after an...
Jul 21, 2017 7:37 AMThe body of a New Jersey man who went missing in the White Mountains was found Thursday. (More)
Jul 20, 2017 5:11 PMNearly 4,000 customers are without power. (More)
Jul 20, 2017 4:27 PMAn investigation has determined that a gas-powered generator is to blame for the carbon monoxide poisoning death of a man in Litchfield earlier this...
Jul 20, 2017 11:16 AMThe owner of a truck may be facing charges after leaving his dog in a truck Wednesday afternoon when the temperature was in the...
Jul 19, 2017 11:15 AMChester police officer conducts adorable "traffic stop" on Edwards Mill Road Tuesday night. (More)
Jul 19, 2017 3:56 PMThe neighborhood where a 6-year-old boy apparently overdosed is familiar with the opioid crisis. (More)
Jul 19, 2017 5:38 PMThe community is mourning Ciara Brill who passed away Tuesday after battling a rare brain cancer. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 2:27 PMA Maine woman who fled to safety amid a deadly rampage says her boyfriend's father promised not to hurt her as he killed his...
Jul 20, 2017 7:11 AMArizona Sen. McCain tells Sen. Lindsey Graham, "I'll be back" following treatments after cancer discovered cancerous tumor last week. (More)
Jul 19, 2017 10:27 AMNew Hampshire is likely to get the second heat wave of the summer the next few days. Some tips on how to beat the...
Jul 19, 2017 11:22 AMAMR personnel revived a 6-year-old boy with Narcan after they found him unresponsive in Manchester. (More)
Jul 19, 2017 9:38 AMThe Manchester Veterans Administration hospital reported a "catastrophic mechanical failure" at about 4 a.m. which flooded parts of the facility. (More)
Jul 19, 2017 7:19 AMSeveral area fire departments help fight the afternoon fire. (More)
Jul 19, 2017 7:49 AMA New Hampshire lobsterman has joined an elite club after catching a rare blue lobster. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 3:22 PMA new study shows boxed macaroni and cheese has more than 4 times the amount of harmful chemical than other cheeses. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 8:13 PMNH will become the 22nd state in the nation to decriminalize simple marijuana possession thanks to a bill Governor Sununu signed into law Tuesday....
Jul 18, 2017 12:45 PMA Troy man faces 20 charges after he allegedly fled from police while drunken driving. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 12:18 PMA former dean of students at Pembroke Academy was in court Tuesday following two previous missed appearances. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 3:10 PMRochester Police had previously gotten reports that the wanted man would 'not be taken alive' and 'would shoot any officer that tried arresting him.'...
Jul 17, 2017 4:04 PMEight-month-old baby Colton recently diagnosed with a fatal genetic disease. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 12:16 PMSununu ranked towards the middle of the pack, coming in as the 19th most approved governor with a 57 percent approval rating. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 1:05 PMNew Hampshire's attorney general says a search is being conducted at a home where the bodies of two women were found in January. (More)
Jul 17, 2017 3:32 PMPolice arrest a New Hampshire man after witnesses say he dragged a woman out of his vehicle, punched her, and left her unconscious in...
Jul 17, 2017 2:06 PMA boating accident that killed a 12-year-old girl happened after her father's hat blew from his head. (More)
Jul 17, 2017 3:49 PMThose who visited Hampton Beach during the afternoon on July 9 should monitor themselves for measles symptoms. (More)