Oct 8, 2015 11:31 AM
Steinhauser-First on NH1 News: NRSC targets Hassan over budget and taxes in new video
NH1 Political Director - NH1.com
CONCORD – National Republicans Thursday put up a web video criticizing Gov. Maggie Hassan as “governor gridlock,” charging that the Democratic Senate candidate used her “veto ability to dangerously block a state budget.”
The video, put together by the National Republican Senatorial Committee, is a mock radio traffic report.
“I-93 just outside of Concord is bumper to bumper with gridlock. Tom how does it look from the sky,” says the radio announcer.
“Hey Jen, no one can get through since Maggie Hassan became governor. Governor gridlock held up the State House, cutting off everyone, and putting her partisan ambitions ahead of New Hampshire families,” continues the helicopter traffic reporter.
“I’m now getting word that with her newly announced Senate run traffic may extend all the way to Washington DC and we can’t let that happen,” adds the radio announcer.
National and Granite State Republican committees as well as pro-GOP outside groups have been slamming Hassan for months as a tax and spend” Democrat and criticized her over her veto this summer of a budget passed by the Republican led State House and Senate.
Those attacks have only intensified since Hassan announced on Monday that she would challenge GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte in 2016 rather than run for a third term in the Corner Office. Hassan launched her Senate campaign a couple of weeks after she and Republican State House leaders agreed to a compromise budget, ending a three month standoff.
In an interview with NH1 News, Hassan also highlighted that during her two terms as governor “we’ve passed two bipartisan compromise budgets without and income or sales tax.”
And she defended her role in vetoing the original GOP budget, saying “my primary concern with the budget I vetoed in June was that it had large unpaid for tax cuts that would have blown big holes in future budgets.”
“The compromise that we came up with, a fiscally responsible compromise budget had two critical changes. One was a timing change that allowed us to make sure that future budget writers will be able to come together and assess new information before the second stage of these tax cuts goes into effect. So that means that if they would create an imbalance future budget writers would be able to address those and ensure fiscal responsibility. And it also made sure that revenues would be at a certain level before those tax cuts would go in place,” she added.
Hassan said that special interests in Washington are “fueling those attack ads and I don’t expect them to stop.”
The New Hampshire Democratic Party responded to the NRSC video.
“Given that Kelly Ayotte was the only member of New Hampshire’s congressional delegation to vote against securing funding for the long-overdue completion of I-93, this desperate attack from national Republicans is sure to backfire," said NHDP Chairman Ray Buckley, in a statement to NH1 News.
"While Kelly Ayotte has been looking out for her special interest backers in Washington, Governor Maggie Hassan actually brought together members of both parties and the business community to pass a transportation bill that is beginning to fix highways, roads and bridges across our state, including finishing the expansion of I-93," he added.
As the NRSC was putting out their video, the New Hampshire GOP released a new Tumblr account cataloging what it calls "Governor Gridlock Hassan’s history of bringing Washington-style politics to Concord."
“Governor ‘Gridlock’ Hassan’s disastrous record of politically-motivated brinkmanship and extremism runs completely counter to the New Hampshire commonsense values of bipartisanship and compromise,” said NHGOP Chair Jennifer Horn, in a statement.
Hassan and Ayotte, a former state attorney general who was elected to the Senate in 2010, are deadlocked in the polls. The matchup will be one of the most high profile and expensive showdowns in the 2016 cycle, and may ultimately decide whether the Republicans keep control of the Senate.