Ayotte Says She 'Misspoke' After Calling Trump a Role Model for Kids

"While I hope that all children aspire to run for president, neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton have set a good example and I would not hold out either of them out as a role model for my children", she told reporters.

Kelly Ayotte and Maggie Hassan shared a stage last night at New England College.

Ayotte later said she "misspoke".

During the second debate in the critical New Hampshire Senate race, Ayotte, who faces a tough challenge from New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan (D), was asked whether she sees Trump as a role model.

NOTE: Ayotte and Hassan will next debate Oct. 14 on WGIR-AM with Jack Heath, Oct. 25 on New Hampshire Public Radio, Oct. 27 on NH1 TV, and November 2 on WMUR-TV, a debate co-sponsored by the New Hampshire Union Leader. Democrats seized on the Republican lawmaker's tortured response and pressed her to explain what about Trump children should emulate.

"Because I've has some disagreements with him and I've been quite clear about those disagreements".

The 58-second ad criticizes the New Hampshire Republican's since-recanted remarks, highlighting Trump's most recent controversies concerning his criticism of a former Miss Universe's gaining weight and his mocking of Hillary Clinton's case of pneumonia.

Asked again by the panelist, WKXL radio host Chris Ryan, if she specifically would point to Trump as a role model, Ayotte answered "I think that certainly there many role models that we have and I believe he can serve as president and so absolutely I would do that". After initially sidestepping the question, she said "absolutely, I would do that".

During Monday's debate, someone off-screen asked Ayotte: "If you think he can serve as president, why won't you endorse him?"

"You can't really walk something like that back", Sullivan said.

Donald Trump unleashed a firestorm of criticism from liberals, conservatives and those in between when he called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States.

Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan's (HAS'-uhnz) campaign on Tuesday released a digital ad highlighting Trump's recent criticism of a former Miss Universe who gained weight, his mocking imitation of Clinton's health-related stumble after a September 11 memorial and other distasteful remarks on women and the disabled.

But perhaps because Ayotte's reelection is one of the marquee Senate races in the nation right now, she has appeared to struggle more than other Republican senators with how to handle Trump.

Hassan quickly jump in, saying "this is a Washington two step if I ever heard it. the idea that Secretary Clinton is supporting is Sen".

"This is an idea to allow women to access birth control, with FDA approval and with safety and security in mind, over the counter", she said.

The candidates' track records on women's health issues came into the spotlight after Ayotte's campaign got noticed Monday afternoon for handing out free condoms at the University of New Hampshire. "There's a lot of unhappiness about young people and this is an issue that we must address".

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