Ayotte in New Ad: I'm Not Perfect, and Neither is Trump

Oct 6, 2016

Kelly Ayotte in a new campaign ad released Wednesday.

New Hampshire Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte released a new ad Wednesday in which she continues to try and distance herself from comments she made Monday about Donald Trump being a role model for children.

"Let's be honest: both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are far from perfect, and I'm not perfect, either," Ayotte says as she strolls along the campus of Saint Anselm College, speaking directly to the camera. 

She then goes on to tout her bipartisan credentials in the ad.

"Whether I'm working with Republicans, Democrats, or independents, I'm standing up for New Hampshire," she says.

Ayotte has been playing clean up since Monday's debate at New England College in Henniker, where she was asked whether she believed Trump was someone children should look up to.

"Well, certainly, there are many role models that we have," Ayotte said Monday. "And I believe he can serve as president, and so absolutely, I would do that."

The comment immediately went viral, and Ayotte's campaign released a statement shortly after the debate, saying she misspoke, and that neither Trump nor Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton are people children should look up.

But the damage was already done. Democratic opponent Maggie Hassan's campaign had an ready to go the next day, in which Ayotte's comment is followed by a series of controversial comments Trump has made on the campaign trail.

Ayotte has tried to walk a fine line with Trump, saying she's voting for him, but refuses to endorse him because of what she says are a multitude of issues on which she disagrees with him.

"I don't think there's anything confusing about it," Ayotte told NHPR's Morning Edition Wednesday about her position on Trump. "We've got two choices in this election for president, and like all the voters, I've got to vote for one of them. I want change. I think we've been fundamentally going in the wrong direction."