Will Colorado Republicans Get the “Ayotte Question?”

Can Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Obfuscation) avoid the "Ayotte Question?"

Can Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Obfuscation) avoid the “Ayotte Question?”

New Hampshire Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte is in the midst of a tough re-election fight. She faces Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan in one of the handful of remaining states that will ultimately decide which party controls the majority in 2017.

On Monday, Ayotte made a high-profile verbal gaffe — which her campaign later clarified — about whether or not Donald Trump should be considered a “role model.” As the New York Times reports:

Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire wanted to be clear late Monday: There are no role models in this year’s presidential race.

Earlier in the evening, Ms. Ayotte — a freshman Republican in a tight re-election race — seemed less sure on that point.

“I think that certainly there are many role models that we have, and I believe he can serve as president,” she said of Donald J. Trump during a debate with her Democratic challenger, Gov. Maggie Hassan.

That led to jeers on social media, and a bit of confusion — Ms. Ayotte has yet to officially endorse Mr. Trump, although she has said she would vote for him.

“I misspoke tonight,” Ms. Ayotte said in a statements several hours later. “While I would hope all of our children would aspire to be president, neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton have set a good example, and I wouldn’t hold up either of them as role models for my kids.”

Her attempt to walk back her debate comments did not quiet her Twitter critics.

“Trump just spent a week fat-shaming a woman and bragging about not paying taxes,” one wrote. “Kelly Ayotte calls him a role model.”

Obviously this is not good for Ayotte, but it’s possible that these comments could ricochet and catch other Republicans in the political crossfire. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) jumped quickly on the topic with a press release this morning targeting Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora).

Does Mike Coffman agree that his standard-bearer – who spent the last week fat-shaming a Latina, discrediting the strength of veterans with PTSD, and late-night maniacal tweeting – should be a role model for our children?

“To be honest, we ruled out asking Congressman Coffman if Donald Trump is a role model for our children because the answer seemed too obvious. But, Kelly Ayotte has proven that there is no question too simple for Mike Coffman who is desperately trying to walk the line between Donald Trump supporters and the voters who are repelled by him.

“In upcoming debates, Coffman must answer the ‘Ayotte Question,’ which will be just one test of his judgement – or lack thereof,” said Tyler Law of the DCCC.

Coffman and Democrat Morgan Carroll face off in their first debate today (hosted by Univision, though it won’t air publicly until Saturday), and these are exactly the sort of questions that Coffman would really rather not discuss — unless you’re willing to listen to his weak song-and-dance about how he doesn’t love Trump but won’t say he isn’t supporting Trump…and nevermind about his spokesperson saying he would support the Republican nominee for President.

Unfortunately for Coffman, his past statements about the Presidential race are quite similar to the words that got Ayotte in trouble in the first place.

Here’s Ayotte from Monday:

“I’ve had some disagreements with him and I’ve been quite clear about those disagreements. This is an area where Governor Hassan has been lockstep with Secretary Clinton. I haven’t heard major disagreements that she’s had with Secretary Clinton, so who’s going to stand up on behalf of the people of New Hampshire?”

Now, here’s Coffman from earlier this year:

“I’ve made it clear where I disagree with Donald Trump. State Senator Morgan Carroll in in such lock step (sic) with Hillary Clinton that you’d think they were running mates.”


Talking about Trump in anything other than negative terms will not play well to Univision’s primarily-Hispanic audience in today’s debate. But Coffman remains reluctant to go full dismissal on the GOP nominee, so he’s in quite the quagmire.

7 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. notaskinnycook says:

    So Ayotte "misspoke", did she? Is there anyone left who doesn't know “misspoke” is Republican-ese for "I put my foot in my mouth"?

  2. mamajama55 says:

    Role model" is a real function of the Presidency. How he or she will fill this role manifests late in the campaign when things get intense. When Barack Obama was running in '07, I was working at a predominantly African-American Denver high school.

    I observed subtle, but real, changes in how young black men and women carried themselves and behaved- more so in their ambitions and the dreams they felt they were allowed to have.

    From a world which saw youth of color and immediately thought "thug", from police which saw them and too often thought "criminal" or "threat", to the prison industry which saw them and saw only $$$$$ and future revenue, we have also seen shifts in these attitudes over the last 8 years, and in policies which are based on these attitudes. Slowly and with much pain and confusion, perceptions are changing.

    I think I'm seeing the same dynamic at work with young women from Hillary Clinton's candidacy; much as I distrust that she will be a truly progressive President, she does and will continue to open up space for young women's leadership possibilities.

    From the candidacy of Donald Trump, the "role model" effect has been immediate and horrifying. It is now socially acceptable to voice bigotry and prejudice. People who object are considered to be “politically correct” repressives. I now teach in a rural, predominantly Caucasian, high school. There is a small, but newly empowered and vocal, group of young men who feel fine about expressing the ideas of White Pride and superiority, as well as repeating some of Trump’s more bigoted statements.This is even though they have gone to school and live in the same small town with 40% Latino families for generations.

    The person we elect will show young people who they can be.


  3. Zappatero says:

    R's own Trump. All his illegal dealings are going to be coming to resolution over the next 4 years: make Republicans own Trump and his hate for women, his Russian connections (maybe we'll never hear about Benghazi again from those morons), his 3AM porn recommendations, his $916,000 Million tax break:

    “Trump goes around and says ‘Hey, I’m worth billions, I’m a successful businessman, but I don’t pay any taxes. But you, you make 15 bucks an hour, you pay the taxes, not me,’” said Sanders, who supports Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. “That is why people are angry and want real change in this country.”

    Trump’s campaign surrogates defended his tax practices on other Sunday shows, saying that what the candidate did was smart ― “genius” even, according to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani on ABC’s “This Week.”

    Don't let them say he was the exception. Donald Trump is the direct result of Republican anti-tax, anti-government, anti-democratic rhetoric and strategy of the last 40-50 years.

    Don't let them say that was politics, now we have to lead. They won't lead, they'll throw sand in the gears like they've been doing the last 8 years of Obama's presidency. It's so bad he blogged it!!!

    Leader McConnell argues that with an election looming, the Supreme Court should remain short staffed, and he certainly knows his way around DC. But the last time a Supreme Court seat was kept vacant through Election Day was in 1864. At the height of the Civil War. So, this isn’t about precedent. This is about the obstruction of a broken Republican-led Congress.

    Every day that GOP Senate leaders block this nomination, they hamstring the entire third branch of government. The Supreme Court is the final destination in a federal judiciary that routinely weighs some of society’s biggest questions. Already this past June, we saw a deadlocked Supreme Court, with no tie-breaking vote, unable to reach a majority on a major immigration case – leaving our Nation’s immigrants in limbo.

    F*** them like they did to all of us these last 8 years.


    • FrankUnderwood says:

      If HRC wins, watch McConnell say that because of divided government, the Scalia seat should remain vacant until 2020 when a president and 60 senators are members of the same party.

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