Oct 4, 2016 3:21 PM
NH1 News Political Director
HUDSON – Sen. Kelly Ayotte told NH1 News and other news organizations that she “misspoke” during the first prime-time general election debate in her re-election campaign when she said that she would “absolutely” point to Donald Trump as a role model for children.
“I misspoke and certainly I hope that all of our children aspire to run for president but I would not hold out either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton as good examples and I wouldn’t hold them out as examples of role models for my children,” Ayotte said on Tuesday.
Ayotte’s comment on Monday night was the most talked about moment in the Republican U.S. senator’s showdown with her Democratic challenger, Gov. Maggie Hassan.
Early in the hour long face-off between the two candidates at New England College that was hosted by NECN, Ayotte was asked if she would point children towards the GOP presidential nominee as a role model. Ayotte, who’s kept her distance from Trump and has repeatedly said for months that she’ll vote for him but is not endorsing him, answered “I would tell a child to absolutely aspire to be their best and aspire to be president.”
Asked again by the panelist, WKXL radio host Chris Ryan, if she specifically would point to Trump as a role model, Ayotte answered “I think that certainly there many role models that we have and I believe he can serve as president and so absolutely I would do that.”
The Hassan campaign, state and national Democrats, and pro-Democratic outside groups quickly attacked Ayotte over saying “absolutely.” On Tuesday morning the Hassan campaign released a web video that showcased the now infamous clip and highlighted some of Trump’s low-lights over the past couple of weeks.
And in a statement, Hassan said that Ayotte’s words speak “for itself and was a revealing moment that she cannot take back."
Asked by NH1 News if she’s comfortable voting for Trump as President even if she doesn’t consider him a role model for children, Ayotte said “just like voters here in New Hampshire, in this election there really are two choices of who could potentially become president. I’ve said that I plan to vote for him but I’ve had disagreements with him on a multitude of issues.
And asked by NH1 News if it’s frustrating to answer repeated questions about Trump, Ayotte answered “I have to tell you, you all like to ask these questions much than average voters do. And the people of New Hampshire want to know what are we going to do to get done on our heroin epidemic, on good jobs, on our national security challenges that are facing our state. But I have a lot of confidence that the people of New Hampshire are going to look at who’s the best person to serve as their voice in the Senate and who will stand up for them no matter who’s in the Oval Office.”
Ayotte took questions moments before touring a McDonalds in Hudson and working alongside the employees, including manning the drive-thru window. Her Senate office told reporters the visit gave Ayotte “a first-hand perspective as they work the lunchtime shift.”
Moments before Ayotte was asked about Trump as a role model during Monday night’s debate, she criticized Hassan as being in “lockstep” with the Democratic presidential nominee.
“This is a big difference between Gov. Hassan and I. First of all I plan to vote for Donald Trump but I have stood up to him on multiple occasions, whereas Gov. Hassan is lockstep with Secretary Clinton. And that’s not right for New Hampshire. We need someone who’s going to stand up no matter who’s in the Oval Office to fight on behalf of the people of New Hampshire,” Ayotte declared.
"Look at what Secretary Clinton did with her emails. We haven’t heard Gov. Hassan call her out on those issues at all," Ayotte added.
The NECN debate was the second of six between Ayotte and Hassan. The two candidates will face-off on Oct. 27th in an NH1 News debate.
The Ayotte-Hassan race is one of the most high profile, expensive, and negative U.S. Senate campaigns in the country.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte works the drive-thru window at a McDonalds in Hudson on Oct. 4, 2016
21 hours 19 minutes agoThe 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)
1 day 20 minutes agoA NH man was arrested by police Monday and charged with assault for the vicious attack in June on a Planet Fitness employee. (More)
1 day 47 minutes agoNew signs put up around the Queen City aim to deter drivers from giving money to panhandlers and instead support resources for the homeless...
21 hours 5 minutes ago
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)
Jul 17, 2017 9:54 AMSkywatchers were buzzing over the weekend about a potential sighting of the northern lights, but most missed out on the bright lights known as...
Jul 16, 2017 4:23 PMThe Veterans Affairs Office is launching a review of the Manchester Veterans Affairs Medical Center following allegations of poor conditions and patient care. (More)
Jul 17, 2017 7:48 AMPolice say the three occupants of a 1993 Mustang were not properly restrained. Injuries came after the car hit a boulder and rolled over....