At a debate in New Hampshire Monday night, the freshman senator did a huge favor for her opponent, Democrat Governor Maggie Hassan, when she spoke highly of Trump’s character. “I think that certainly there are many role models that we have, and I believe he can serve as president,” she said of Trump.
Only a few hours later, she admitted that she misspoke and attempted to backpedal:
Like many of her Republican colleagues, she is trying to appeal to her nominee’s base while distancing herself from his bombastic and provocative rhetoric. Ayotte has refused to endorse Trump, but she has said that she will vote for him—even though there is no tangible difference between voting for the candidate and an endorsement. Ayotte is attempting to walk a very difficult tightrope and, last night, she face-planted.