NHDP - In Midst of Public Opinion Crisis, Kelly Ayotte Fails Damage Control 101

Ayotte doubles down on same failed NRA talking points that led to massive backlash


Concord - In her first public interview since opposing commonsense bipartisan background check legislation, Ayotte doubled down on the same failed NRA talking points that led to massive local and national backlash and resulted in a 15 point free fall in her public approval numbers. [WMUR, 4/25/2013]


On WMUR last night, Ayotte repeated her disproven fear that background checks would be burdensome on gun shop owners.  Ayotte added that she voted against the bipartisan measure because 'it might have proven counterproductive,' but refused to identify any background check legislation she actually would support.  The Manchin-Twoomey compromise would have actually expedited the background check process [ThinkProgress, 4/18/2013]. 


"Does Kelly Ayotte really expect New Hampshire voters to believe she voted against implementing expanded background checks to protect background checks?" asked New Hampshire Democratic Party Communications Director Harrell Kirstein.  "Ayotte doubled down on the same failed NRA talking points that New Hampshire has already rejected.  She owes New Hampshire families an explanation as to why she voted against this commonsense gun violence prevention legislation."


The Concord Monitor called her statement opposing the bipartisan Manchin-Toomey compromise "utter nonsense," the Keene Sentinel said it "doesn't cut it," and the Valley News wrote her "non-explanation was so vague it raised a number of questions" adding that it wasn't "one anybody would mistake for convincing." 


Since her vote, Ayotte's explanation has also been questioned by victims of gun violence, thousands of New Hampshire citizens in letters to the editor and on social media, and was even lampooned by former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough on MSNBC.


"Kelly Ayotte need not look beyond her bathroom mirror to discover why New Hampshire voters have a negative opinion of her.  She votes more like a Tea Partier than a Granite Stater and opposes bipartisan legislation supported by nearly 90% of her constituents," added Kirstein.  "Until she changes her irresponsible position on commonsense gun violence prevention measures, no amount of political spin or NRA talking points will reverse her free falling approval numbers."