Citing Her Daughter, Ayotte Says She'd Support Trump Stepping Aside

Oct 9, 2016

Credit josh rogers/nhpr

Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte says 11-year old footage of Donald Trump talking crudely about groping women is “fundamentally different” than past statements by Trump, and that she'd  support Trump dropping out of the race. 

Ayotte's latest stance comes two days after the Washington Post reported on a videotape where Trump talks of groping women.

On Friday, Ayotte called Trump’s remarks "totally inappropriate and offensive."

Saturday morning, Ayotte issued a second statement where she noted she’s “a mom and an American first and cannot support a candidate for President who brags about degrading and assaulting women.” Ayotte said she’d be writing in vice presidential candidate Mike Pence for President.

Sunday, Ayotte called a press conference in Manchester where she stressed her new position was motivated by her daughter.

“I thought about it and I’m not going to be voting for him based on those actions and statements that are talked about in  those tapes and this is more important to me, that my daughter know when she is old enough to understand this, where I stood than winning any election.”

Ayotte’s stance towards Trump has been fraught for some time. In the spring, she drew national attention for saying she planned to support but not endorse Trump. Last week during a debate she said Trump could “absolutely” be a role model for children. She later said she misspoke.

Governor Maggie Hassan, who is challenging Ayotte re-election bid, has derided Ayotte for failing what she termed “a moral test” on Trump and says Ayotte’s shifting stances on Trump are driven only by political calculation.