Jun 1, 2016 6:30 AM

First on NH1 News: NARAL targets Ayotte in new radio ads in NH

NH1 News Political Director

CONCORD – The leading national political advocacy group that fights for expanded access to abortion is up with a new radio ad in New Hampshire that targets Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte over her stance on the Supreme Court vacancy.

NH1 News has learned that NARAL Pro-Choice America launched radio spots that urge Ayotte to “do her job” and hold hearings and vote on federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s nominee to the high court.

Ayotte and nearly every other Senate Republican are lockstep in insisting that the next president, rather that Obama, choose the successor to the late conservative justice Antonin Scalia, who died un-expectantly in February.

“Sen. Kelly Ayotte refuses to do her job and fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. And now we learn that the Republican plan to block nominee was really about something else: Denying safe and legal access to abortion,” says the moderator in the radio commercial.

The ad also includes the voice of NARAL member and New Hampshire resident Deidre Reynolds.

“I’m Deidre Reynolds and every day I do my job as a school bus driver. But Senate Republicans are not doing their jobs because of their position on abortion, and that’s just wrong. If Sen. Ayotte doesn’t support holding hearings and a vote, she’ll be stopping the highest court in the land from protecting our rights, when it matters most,” Reynolds says in the spot.

With the future direction of the high court at stake, Ayotte recently told NH1 News that “it’s a four-four court. This position will have an impact on the American people and the court for decades and so in my opinion let the people of this county weigh in in the November elections by who they elect president.”

NARAL told NH1 News that they’re spending six figures to run the ads on radio and on-line for a week to target Ayotte and fellow GOP Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, and Rob Portman of Ohio, who along with Ayotte are running for re-election this year.

Ayotte’s being challenged by Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan in one of the most high profile, expensive, and negative Senate showdowns in the country.

“Governor Hassan's Washington allies are pouring more money into New Hampshire in a frantic attempt to distract from the fact that she’s not doing her job,” Ayotte re-election campaign spokeswoman Liz Johnson told NH1 News.

“Kelly will continue to stand up for the people of New Hampshire to have a voice in this nomination, unlike Governor Hassan who is doing the bidding of Harry Reid and Washington special interests who are flooding the airwaves right now with attack ads on her behalf," she added.

Outside groups such as Senate Majority PAC and Planned Parenthood Votes have spent big bucks to run TV spots the past three months critical of Ayotte’s stance on the Supreme Court vacancy, while groups like the Judicial Crisis Network have aired ads praising her stance.

Separately, Senate Majority PAC begins running a new commercial in New Hampshire starting Wednesday that criticizes Ayotte’s stance on raising the eligibility age for Medicare.

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