The NRA helps Ayotte obscure her unpopular vote on background checks

Updated

Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire voted against the Manchin-Toomey legislation last month to expand background check on gun sales. Now the NRA is running an ad in New Hampshire saying that she voted for background checks. Wait–what?

“It is a standard Washington trick,” explained The Last Word’s Lawrence O’Donnell in the Rewrite segment Wednesday. “After Kelly Ayotte stood on the Senate floor as part of the minority that blocked the will of the majority of the Senate to legislate expanded background checks, she stood on the Senate floor and voted for a fake background check bill, so that later she could claim, if she needed to, that she voted for some king of background checks.”

Ayotte’s job approval rating dropped 15 points following her “no” vote on the Manchin-Toomey bill, and she took heat from constituents at a couple of caustic town hall meetings in the following weeks. It’s no surprise: a Public Policy Polling poll survey found that 75% of New Hampshire residents supported the legislation she helped to defeat.

Ayotte tried to stem the polling downturn by saying she did vote to “improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System,” and the new NRA ad makes the same claim.

“The bill that Senator Ayotte voted for was, in effect, written by the NRA and actually would have weakened the current law on background checks,” O’Donnell pointed out. “And would have made it easier for people with dangerous mental illness to get guns.”

Ayotte also received help from Marco Rubio’s Super PAC, Reclaim America, which released another ad touting her vote to “fix background checks.” The Rubio ad even claimed Ayotte bucked Washington to make that vote.

“Washington would have loved it if Kelly Ayotte actually did vote to expand background checks,” O’Donnell said. “She would have joined the majority of the United States Senate who voted to do that.”

The NRA helps Ayotte obscure her unpopular vote on background checks

Updated