POLITICS
05/08/2013 02:20 pm ET

NRA Launches Ad Backing Kelly Ayotte

The National Rifle Association is running a new television spot in support of Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), who recently voted against bipartisan legislation that would strengthen and expand background checks for gun sales.

The 30-second spot, titled "Stand with Ayotte," is a direct response to an ad criticizing the senator being run by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's organization, Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

"Seen this TV ad by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg? Don't believe it," the NRA ad opens. The spot then chronicles Ayotte's votes in favor of other bills, including, the ad claims, one on "effective background checks."

The NRA is spending $25,000 on the ad buy, which will run on New Hampshire television news station WMUR for at least a week and will compliment a radio ad already being run by the group.

Ayotte has come under fire from gun control groups since voting against the amendment offered by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). In addition to the ad by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Americans For Responsible Solutions, a group launched by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), announced in April that it would run radio ads against Ayotte.

In a town hall meeting in Warren, N.H., last week, Erica Lafferty, the daughter of slain Sandy Hook Elementary School principal Dawn Hochsprung, confronted Ayotte over her vote against the amendment.

The freshman senator has also taken a hit at the polls; a survey conducted after Ayotte voted against the Manchin-Toomey amendment showed her approval rating had dropped 15 percent.

In a recent op-ed for Seacoast Online, Ayotte defended her vote on background checks, writing, "Out-of-state special interests are running false ads attacking me and even lying about my efforts to prevent gun-related violence."

Ayotte did vote for an alternative background checks amendment offered by Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). The alternate amendment included provisions that would have made it easier to transport and purchase firearms across state lines.

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