WASHINGTON (AP) — A Democratic super PAC began airing television ads Wednesday attacking New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte over her opposition to President Barack Obama picking the next Supreme Court justice and tying her to Donald Trump in an early illustration of Democrats' strategy for winning back Senate control.
The Senate Majority PAC ad targets Ayotte, a Republican, for holding firm in opposition to considering or even meeting with an Obama nominee despite political pressures at home. The ad also uses footage of Trump and argues that Ayotte is eagerly helping Trump in his calls to "delay, delay, delay."
The super PAC said it's spending $220,000 starting Wednesday on the ad, which claims Ayotte is "ignoring the Constitution" and "not doing her job." Ayotte faces a tough re-election battle against Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan in November and has picked up a Republican primary challenger along the way.
The Democratic Party and outside groups that support Democrats have signaled for weeks that they see GOP refusal to give Obama's nominee fair consideration a potent cudgel against Republicans, particularly in competitive states where moderate voters are key to winning. Vulnerable Republicans in Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and elsewhere have come under political attack on the Supreme Court issue.
Ayotte campaign manager Jon Kohan called on Hassan to "immediately condemn" the ads and demand that they be taken down, calling it an example of negative attacks from outside groups that he said Hassan has refused to reject.