Sen. Kelly Ayotte is an establishment Republican from New Hampshire. In fact, she’s about as establishment as you can get.
She supported the Gang of Eight immigration reform bill; she supports climate change measures like Obama’s Clean Power Plan. In more conservative states like Alabama or Georgia, she would never make it past the primaries as a Republican (in fact, she’d probably end up like Charlie Crist and become a Democrat–or move to a northern state).
Ayotte is up for election this year–a tough year to be running. And to make it harder, Senate Majority PAC, a Democrat super PAC is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars running television ads tying Ayotte to–of all people–Donald Trump, who if you remember assaulted New Hampshire like Patton took the Ardennes just a month ago.
The ad running in N.H., titled “Delay” ties Ayotte’s completely reasonable stance that the Senate should not take up any Supreme Court nomination by President Obama for the remainder of his lame duck term, to Trump. Ayotte didn’t endorse Trump; she didn’t endorse anyone in the presidential primary. That’s a smart move, given that she needs to be re-elected.
It doesn’t matter though: Democrats are going to paint every single senator and representative with a big fat brush loaded with Trump’s orange complexion. They’re all for Trump because Trump leads the GOP race. Even if Trump doesn’t win the nomination, his stain will be used to take down Republican candidates in down ballot elections.
This was very predictable, because I (not the most well-connected cog in the wheel) predicted it in early July 2015. I warned the GOP to take Trump seriously, and obviously went unheeded until now.
Perhaps the other Republican candidates shouldn’t be so quick to ignore and marginalize Trump. Instead maybe they should build him up a bit, because if the Democrats can successfully take down Trump with his cash, name, and message, it won’t be hard for them to tie the rest of the GOP field to that millstone.
I contacted Ayotte’s office for a response to this attack ad, which to any informed voter is simply absurd. At the time of this writing I have not received a response.