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Kelly Ayotte is launching her reelection campaign as one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the country. Granite Staters don’t trust Ayotte to put them first ahead of the special interests bankrolling her campaign, and it’s easy to see why after five years in D.C.
Ayotte’s resume reads like a who’s who of out-of-touch Republican positions:
- Ayotte supports raising the retirement age and cutting Social Security benefits.
- Ayotte voted to roll back Wall Street reforms, while her largest donors are Wall Street execs.
- Ayotte opposes equal pay measures and voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act.
- Ayotte voted to voucherize Medicare in the Ryan Budget.
- Ayotte is anti-choice and would overturn Roe v. Wade.
- Ayotte voted to defund Planned Parenthood.
- Ayotte would allow employers to make health care decisions for female employees by supporting the Blunt Amendment and Hobby Lobby decision.
- Ayotte opposes marriage equality and same-sex adoption.
- Ayotte voted against allowing people to refinance their college loan debt.
It’s no wonder that Republicans are already vowing to shatter previous New Hampshire spending and groups like Karl Rove’s are jumping into the race to prop up Kelly Ayotte. Special interests are doing everything they can to keep Ayotte in D.C. because she’s a rubber stamp for their priorities.
The Supreme Court last week did what the Republican Party refuses to: It respected the Affordable Care Act as the law of the land and deemed it unconstitutional to ban people the right to marry based on their sexual orientation.
The momentous decisions will continue to ripple into the campaigns of those running for the White House this week, putting in stark relief the GOP's inability to offer positions and policies that reflect the direction America is moving, not the way they hoped it was.
None of the GOP's leading presidential candidates celebrated the decision to legalize gay marriage. Their responses ranged from woefully tepid (see Jeb Bush's contradictory statement on preserving the freedom to discriminate based on sexual orientation) to the laughably extreme (see Bobby Jindal's suggestion to eliminate the court).
In the week ahead we can expect more of the same, as the GOP further reinforces their image as hopelessly out of touch. It's not just about Scott Walker proposing a constitutional amendment -- all it's going to take is one question for Chris Christie about Social Security and we'll see his announcement transform into an anchor for the whole party.
Now that the Supreme Court has recognized marriage equality nationwide, the race is on to stake out the far right fringes of the Republican Party. Scott Walker and Ted Cruz have an early lead with their support for a constitutional amendment to allow states to ban marriage equality.
Sure Marco Rubio called homosexuality a sin. Jeb Bush thinks the fight against marriage equality should continue because "we need to be stalwart supporters of traditional marriage." And Ben Carson thinks being gay is a choice because "a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight -- and when they come out, they’re gay."
But now that conservatives lost yet another Supreme Court case, GOP candidates are going to have to appease the Tea Party and support a constitutional amendment. Scott Walker saw the writing on the wall and took the extreme position before he needed to. Who will be next?
Jeb Bush is borrowing from his big brother's playbook again -- this time on same sex marriage. In an interview with "The Brody File" this weekend, Jeb said he doesn't believe in a constitutional right to marriage equality. He also doubled down on Indiana's discriminatory RFRA laws, arguing that businesses should be able to decline serving gay weddings. At the same time, George W. was giving a speech on the same topic at Southern Methodist University's graduation ceremony, sounding not so different from his little brother.
Jeb has already been under fire for his failure to distance himself from W. on the disastrous Iraq War. With the brothers' parallel rhetoric on allowing for discrimination based on sexual orientation, we have to wonder -- are George and Jeb just siblings, or are they twins?