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Kelly Ayotte Fights Ted Cruz on Planned Parenthood Strategy

Ayotte was critical of Cruz during the 2013 government shutdown. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The top Republican statewide office-holder in the first in the nation primary state has some questions for Sen. Ted Cruz about his plan to block federal funding of Planned Parenthood.  

"Given the challenges and threats we face at home and abroad, I oppose risking a government shutdown, particularly when it appears there is no chance of achieving a successful result," Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., wrote to the GOP presidential hopeful from Texas. "Nevertheless, as I understand it, you have been circulating a letter to our colleagues asking them to oppose any government funding bill that continues to authorize funding for Planned Parenthood."  

Ayotte, who is one of the more vulnerable GOP incumbents on the ballot in 2016, makes clear in the letter that she concurs with Cruz on the disturbing nature of secret video recordings about Planned Parenthood, but she offers serious doubts about his tactics.  

"How do we get 60 votes? And if for some reason there were 60 votes, how do we get 67 votes in the Senate to overcome a Presidential veto?" Ayotte asks in the missive sent Thursday, which was first obtained by New Hampshire's influential ABC affiliate WMUR .  

WMUR has also reported that the Planned Parenthood organization has cut an ad against Ayotte.  

In the letter, Ayotte recalls her questioning of Cruz's strategy during the 2013 standoff that ultimately led to a lapse in appropriations — when the GOP attempted to hold a firm line against funding for implementation of the 2010 health care overhaul law despised by Republicans of all stripes.  

"During the last government shutdown, I repeatedly asked you what your strategy for success was when we did not have the votes to achieve the goal of defunding Obamacare, but I did not receive an answer," Ayotte wrote.

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