Ayotte Dumps Trump

New Hampshire senator says she will write in Mike Pence for president

Sen Kelly Ayotte had previously struggled with her support for Donald Trump. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

New Hampshire Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte said Saturday that she will not vote for her party's presidential nominee Donald Trump, in light of derogatory comments he made about assaulting women. 

Trump described his sexual advances — in graphic detail — in a video from 2005 obtained by The Washington Post.

“I wanted to be able to support my party’s nominee, chosen by the people, because I feel strongly that we need a change in direction for our country,” Ayotte said in a statement. “However, I’m a mom and an American first, and I cannot and will not support a candidate for president who brags about degrading and assaulting women.”

Ayotte said she will instead cast a write-in vote for Trump's running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

The freshman senator, who faces a tough re-election race against Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan, had grappled with how to deal with Trump in the Granite State. Ayotte had previously said she would vote for the real estate mogul but would not endorse him.

At a debate on Monday, Ayotte responded to a question about whether she would point to Trump as a role model by saying, “Absolutely, I would do that.”

Ayotte later said she misspoke but Hassan criticized her for the remark. 

The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rates the race a Tossup.

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