Kelly Ayotte, Fake Background Checks Guinea Pig

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 13 2013 12:48 PM

Kelly Ayotte, Fake Background Checks Guinea Pig

Marco Rubio's PAC is on the air in New Hampshire with an ad defending Sen. Kelly Ayotte from the slings and arrows of outrageous bloggers.

This would rate a minor eyebrow-raise if it happened in a vaccuum. But it's been only five days since the NRA went on the air with a less campaign-esque, more issue-focused ad insisting that Ayotte voted the way any fan of background checks might have wanted.


Conservatives are admitting, with their ad dollars, that the throttling of Manchin-Toomey really did hurt a few Republicans. Ayotte isn't even up for re-election until 2016! In a state like New Hampshire, which regularly elects Republicans statewide but has trended towards the Democrats, they need to pretend that Ayotte really did support a background checks bill. Only the NRA ad attempts to source that claim, citing Ayotte's aye for the Grassley amendment. But gun control advocates opposed the Grassley amendment; it loosened the prohibition on sales to people "adjudicated mentally ill," it didn't close the private sales loophole, and it was basically thrown down at the last minute to give Republicans something to vote for. And it worked—here are the TV ads allowing Ayotte to be portrayed not as someone who went along with the GOP plan to kill Manchin-Toomey, but as a moderate who voted for something.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 


Sports Nut

Grandmaster Clash

One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company


The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.


How to Order Chinese Food

First, stop thinking of it as “Chinese food.”

Scotland Is Inspiring Secessionists Across America

You Shouldn’t Spank Anyone but Your Consensual Sex Partner

Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Sept. 18 2014 10:42 AM Scalia’s Liberal Streak The conservative justice’s most brilliant—and surprisingly progressive—moments on the bench.
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
Sept. 18 2014 11:25 AM Gays on TV: From National Freakout to Modern Family Fun
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 12:03 PM The NFL Opines on “the Role of the Female”
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 11:48 AM Watch the Hilarious First Sketch From Season 4 of Key & Peele
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 10:07 AM “The Day It All Ended” A short story from Hieroglyph, a new science fiction anthology.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 18 2014 7:30 AM Red and Green Ghosts Haunt the Stormy Night
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.