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Feb 23, 2016 5:56 PM

Landrigan: Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, and Gov. Maggie Hassan both with qualms about closing Guanatanamo Bay prison


CONCORD - Closing Guantanamo Bay is a hot political potato that Sen. Kelly Ayotte has opposed since coming to the Senate in 2010. With a new plan to close the prison put forward by President Obama, both Ayotte and her challenger Gov. Maggie Hassan remain skeptical.

"I think to call it a plan is an overstatement because in this so-called plan he doesn’t even identify where in the United States he would send these dangerous terrorists,’’ says U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH.

Her Democratic rival for the Senate, Governor Maggie Hassan, has her own doubts.

"I will study the president’s plan but I am very skeptical that it is going to meet those goals,’’ Hassan said.

Hassan lays down her markers on the issue.

"I have long said that any plan to close Gitmo needs to ensure the safety of our citizens and that enemy combatants that are detained there won’t return to the battlefield," Hassan observed.

Ayotte is co-writing a bill to block Obama from transferring the base back to Cuba.

"It’s not only the detention facility there but also it is a very strategic base," Ayotte says.

But President Obama says the Cuban prison has become a motivational symbol for the enemy.

"It’s counterproductive to our fight against terrorists because they use it in their efforts to recruit," Obama said.

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