Oct 9, 2015 11:38 AM

NH1 News Political Pulse: Ayotte fires back at Hassan over Planned Parenthood opposition


MANCHESTER - US Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, fired back at Gov. Maggie Hassan’s criticism of Ayotte’s opposition to Planned Parenthood during her first interview with NH1 News since Hassan jumped into the race.

Hassan called "very, very concerning’’ Ayotte’s past votes to defund Planned Parenthood and made it clear she will make reproductive health for women a major issue in her challenge of Ayotte’s re-election in 2016.

Right after Hassan got into the race, Emily’s List, the largest political action committee supporting abortion rights, endorsed her candidacy.

After speaking to the manufacturing summit in Manchester, Ayotte stood firm on her opposition to Planned Parenthood.

"Actually what’s disturbing is unfortunately what was revealed in those videos about Planned Parenthood that showed no matter what your position on abortion really showed a disturbing discussion about the harvesting of unborn baby body parts,’’ Ayotte said.

National surveys have ranked Ayotte, a one-term Republican, as one of the 10 most bipartisan members of the US Senate.

The Howie Carr radio talk show did a listener poll this week on whether it matters if Ayotte or Hassan won after the host called Ayotte a "RINO’’ (Republican In Name Only) who too often sides with moderate Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain.

"There’s always a lot of talk on talk shows and oh by the way, Kevin I did win that poll overwhelmingly,’’ Ayotte said.

Fiscal and social conservatives remain supportive of her candidacy, Ayotte continued.

"I’m focused on results so to worry about talk shows or to worry about pundits misses the point and the point is getting things done for the people of this country,’’ Ayotte said.

While partisans in both camps fire their shots, Ayotte said she’s determined to not have what will be an expensive, negative campaign affect the work she does.

"I’ll be doing my day job the people of New Hampshire they deserve someone who is focused on worrying for them every day so that’s what I will be doing regardless of what happens in this campaign,’ Ayotte added.

On another issue, Ayotte said she’s committed to seeking tax reform but as yet has not embraced a detailed proposal such as those offered by Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush, Donald Trump and Rand Paul.

The three key principles are simplification, fairness and making the tax system more competitive for US businesses, Ayotte added.


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