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May 23, 2016 6:45 AM

First on NH1 News: New Ayotte video slams Hassan over lack of 'straight answers'

NH1 News Political Director

CONCORD – When it comes to foreign policy, a new video by Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s re-election campaign says Democratic challenger Gov. Maggie Hassan relies on “recycled talking points.”

The video, obtained by NH1 News early Monday morning, uses clips of opinion-editorial pieces from newspapers in New Hampshire, such as the New Hampshire Union Leader, the Concord Monitor and the Nashua Telegraph, that were critical of Hassan. The video also includes clips from a recent news conference by the Democratic governor that was covered by NH1 News and other media outlets.

The announcer in the video asks “will she finally give straight answers about what she knows and what she doesn’t?” And “will Hassan rely on recycled talking points and avoid tough questions?”

The video ends with the announcer saying “in a dangerous world, we need engaged leaders, not empty talking points.”

Foreign policy is considered a wheel house for Ayotte, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The race between Ayotte and Hassan is considered to be one of the most high profile, expensive and negative Senate showdowns in the country, and could be crucial in determining whether the Republicans keep control of the chamber. Public opinion polls suggest the race is all tied up.

“Not only is Governor Hassan increasingly absent from the State House, she’s also missing in action when it comes to telling voters her views on important national security issues,” Ayotte campaign spokeswoman Liz Johnson said. “Hassan’s repeated absences from the state and her continued failure to give straight answers on policy questions show that she’s increasingly out of touch on the issues voters care about.”?

While Ayotte and pro-Republican groups criticize Hassan for what they say is a reliance on talking points when it comes to foreign policy, the senator’s come under recent attack by the governors’ campaign and other Democratic groups for her answers on whether she would either support or endorse Donald Trump, who’s now the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee.

In an interview with NH1 News earlier this month, Ayotte said “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.”

The Hassan campaign responded to the new Ayotte video.

"This is just another attempt by Kelly Ayotte to distract from her decision to put her party before our national security by supporting Donald Trump for President," Hassan campaign press secretary Meira Bernstein wrote in a statement to NH1 News.

:National security and foreign policy experts from Ayotte's own party have been clear that Donald Trump lacks the judgment and temperament needed to be Commander in Chief and poses a risk to our national security. Members of both parties should question Ayotte's judgement in choosing to support a nominee that endangers our national security," she added.


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