Giffords and Kelly hold Ayotte accountable… or not

When they announced their New Hampshire Rights and Responsibilities Tour events, former congresswoman Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly declared their intent to pressure Sen. Kelly Ayotte over her vote opposing expanded background checks for gun purchases.

"Both Sen. Ayotte and the people of New Hampshire have spoken" said Kelly, "but when it comes to protecting the safety and upholding the gun rights of Granite Staters, they’re saying different things. Sen. Ayotte has the capacity to lead. Gabby, the people of New Hampshire, and I are waiting."

The organization they founded to push for gun safety legislation, Americans for Responsible Solutions, had launched an “accountability campaign” in April with ads blasting Ayotte for her vote.

“Senator McConnell and Senator Ayotte turned their backs on their constituents at home in order to do the bidding in Washington of the corporate gun lobby” explained executive director Pia Carusone. “We’re going to make sure their constituents know that, effective immediately.”

But then a funny thing happened on the way to the Granite State.

Kelly and Giffords said their New Hampshire tour stop was not related to Ayotte’s vote against expanded background checks, reported NHPR’s Michael Brindley. “Kelly and Giffords were careful not to criticize Ayotte directly,” wrote AP reporter Steve Peoples.