Aug 27, 2015 10:24 PM
NH1 Political Director - NH1.com
HAMPTON – Sen. Kelly Ayotte says “under no circumstances” would she support a federal government shutdown over a push to defund Planned Parenthood.
And New Hampshire’s Republican senator, in a one-on-one interview with NH1 News, added that she doesn’t see eye-to-eye with GOP presidential front runner Donald Trump over the issue of illegal immigration.
Ayotte spoke with NH1 News on Thursday, prior to touring Mikrolar, a Hampton based technology start-up that builds robots for industrial use. The stop was the senator’s second of four Seacoast region businesses she toured during the day as she touted her moves in Congress to promote business, manufacturing and trade in the Granite State.
While Ayotte supports the defunding of Planned Parenthood, she said that “under no circumstances do I support shutting the government down. I think that would be wrong and I certainly be a strong voice to say that is not the right way to approach this issue.”
But Ayotte, who could face a challenging Senate re-election campaign next year, declined to weigh in on the recent decision by the GOP led state Executive Council to reject state funding for Planned Parenthood.
Ayotte gave a “thumbs down” on the controversial deal that the U.S. and five other nations have struck with Iran to rid the Tehran regime of its nuclear ambitions.
“I’m very concerned that this agreement will not protect our national security interests and we’re giving the a legitimate path to have the nuclear infrastructure to have a bomb and they’re getting billions of dollars of relief and there’s no assurances they won’t use that money to support more terrorism,” Ayotte said.
Asked whether Trump’s controversial comments this summer regarding illegal immigration could impact her own re-election bid, Ayotte said “I’m focusing on my re-election. I’m running my campaign, and Donald Trump can run his campaign. I don’t share his views on immigration,” she declared.
“I supported the immigration reform bill in the United States Senate that would have focused on border security but also improving our legal immigration system to make sure that we grow our economy and really strengthen America. And I think that needs to be done but we have to work together to get that done,” Ayotte added.
But with five and a half months still to go until the Feb. 9th first-in-the-nation primary, Ayotte said it’s too early to back any of the 17 Republicans running for the GOP nomination.
“I think I feel like many of my constituents. It’s too soon. I want to see how these candidates do. I’m watching how they answer the questions of the voters of New Hampshire, the town halls, how accessible they are, and what’s their vision for this country that is going to be positive to bring people together so that we can create more jobs in America, keep those jobs here, and make sure that America stays safe,” she said.
Ayotte spoke with NH1 News during the same week that embattled GOP Rep. Frank Guinta continued to insist that he’s running for re-election for his seat in the 1st Congressional District. Ayotte was the most prominent of a number of top Granite State Republicans who urged Guinta to resign in the late spring, after news broke that Guinta violated Federal Election Commission rules in his 2010 election to Congress for accepting an illegal $350,000 loan from his parents. Guinta was fined $15,000 and ordered to return the money. He continues to insist that he did nothing wrong.
Asked if she’s talked with Guinta recently and whether she’d back one of Guinta’s primary challengers if he decides to run for re-election, Ayotte said “I have not spoken to congressman Guinta. My view has not changed on this issue. I don’t believe he should seek re-election and obviously depending on what decision he makes, I’ll look at the race then.”
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