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With an approval rating in freefall and ads like the one at the top of this post running against her, New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte has been having trouble explaining her vote against expanding background checks for gun purchases. Last week, she defended herself by saying she feared the background check legislation would create a national registry:
I will tell you in terms of a universal background check, as it's been framed, I have a lot of concerns about that leading to a registry that will lead to a privacy situation for lawful firearms owners.
Of course, that argument didn't fly because the legislation explicitly banned the creation of such a registry. So now she's trying a new tactic: She's claiming that she actually voted for tougher background checks.
Ayotte: I Voted to Improve Background Checks

Out of state special interests are running false ads attacking me and even lying about my efforts to prevent gun-related violence. I want to set the record straight: I support effective background checks and in fact voted recently to improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Uh, okay. I guess this sort of falls under the category of "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em," but Ayotte's problem is that her voting record is publicly available, and she voted against the Manchin-Toomey proposal to expand background checks. So what's she referring to?

Well, it turns out she's referring to this vote on an NRA-endorsed proposal by Sens. Charles Grassley and Ted Cruz. Yeah, you read that right: Ted Cruz co-authored the amendment that Ayotte is now claiming would have strengthened background checks.

Unlike Manchin-Toomey, the Grassley-Cruz proposal didn't do anything to expand background checks. In fact, according to an analysis by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, it actually made it easier for individuals to pass background checks and made it tougher for the federal government to crack down on illegal gun sales.

Ayotte can say she supported tougher background checks all she wants, but it's just not true. The reality is she followed the NRA and Ted Cruz every step of the way. And despite her best efforts at spin, now she's paying the price.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Tue May 07, 2013 at 09:47 AM PDT.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), Shut Down the NRA, and Daily Kos.

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