Political Hay

Kelly Ayotte’s Lynch Mob

Base vs. Establishment battle erupts in Senate GOP.

By 10.8.13

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Kelly Ayotte was furious. One media account after another (as here) has the Republican and theoretically conservative New Hampshire senator angrily attacking Senator Ted Cruz in a recent closed-door Senate GOP Caucus. Behaving as follows, this much cited and notably un-refuted coming from the New York Times, bold print supplied here for emphasis: And on Wednesday at a private luncheon, several Senate Republicans — Dan Coats of Indiana, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire — assailed Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who has led the movement to block funding for the health law. Ms. Ayotte was especially furious, according to two people present, and waved a printout from a conservative group friendly to Mr. Cruz attacking 25 of his fellow Republican senators for supporting a procedural vote that the group counted as support of the health law. Ms. Ayotte asked Mr. Cruz to disavow the group’s effort and demanded he explain his strategy. When he did not, several other senators — including Mr. Johnson, Mr. Coats and even Mitch McConnell, the minority leader — joined in the criticism of Mr. Cruz.

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About the Author
Jeffrey Lord is a former Reagan White House political director and author. He writes from Pennsylvania at jlpa1@aol.com.