CONCORD, N.H. — Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s embrace of Donald Trump as a role model for children underscores the risks the Republican presidential candidate poses for many GOP senators facing tight re-election fights.
Ayotte is seeking a second Senate term from New Hampshire and is one of her party’s most endangered incumbents. She used a televised debate against Democratic challenger Gov. Maggie Hassan to say she “absolutely” would tell a child to aspire to be like Trump.
Her campaign distributed a statement afterward saying she “misspoke.” And Tuesday, Ayotte told reporters that “neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton have set a good example.”
Democrats say Ayotte wounded herself twice: by calling Trump a role model after his insults of women and the handicapped, and by a reversal that seemed political.