Ayotte’s lies on immigration prompt fact checks by reporters

Leading Republican candidate for New Hampshire Governor Kelly Ayotte was called out by multiple New England reporters for lying about immigration issues in Massachusetts on social media. (2016 Ayotte ad)

By Colin Booth

April 1, 2024

Over the weekend, leading Republican candidate for New Hampshire Governor Kelly Ayotte was called out by multiple New England reporters for lying about immigration issues in Massachusetts on social media.

In her post, Ayotte, citing a Fox News article, suggested that a facility in Massachusetts pushed out veterans to allow housing for migrants in the region, saying “Sad state of affairs that Mass. cares more about housing for illegal immigrants than for our veterans who have defended our freedom.”

This claim was quickly fact checked by top regional reporters 

“To clarify what’s actually happening here: Migrant and homeless families are being placed in the FORMER Chelsea Soldiers’ Home, which is vacant and slated for demolition. Veterans have already moved into the new facility on the campus,” wrote POLITICO Mass Playbook author and politics reporter Lisa Kashinsky.

RELATED: Kelly Ayotte endorses Donald Trump amidst bipartisan criticism for political about-face

NBC10 Boston reporter Sue O’Connell also jumped in, writing: “Fact check: FORMER Soldiers’ Home. The building had been empty, residents moved to new home. This building is scheduled to be torn down. No veterans have been removed, displaced, or refused due to the housing of legal migrants, in the U.S. with permission.”

Influential online political commentator Drew Savicki said the dishonest move was a strong indicator of how Ayotte was positioning herself in the race.

“Underdiscussed is how Kelly Ayotte is running well to the right of Sununu, who himself won by an underwhelming margin in 2022. Doesn’t project confidence of her odds in the primary.”

The incident also provoked a reaction from the Democratic Governors Association, who has named New Hampshire as one of their top-targets for a Democratic pick up this cycle.

“Craven Kelly’s latest political stunt isn’t surprising, but it is disappointing,” said DGA States Press Secretary Emma O’Brien. “We know Kelly Ayotte will do and say anything to get elected – including lying to the people of New Hampshire. When given the chance to support a bipartisan solution, Ayotte refused, proving she’s not interested in solving this crisis but only in using it for her political gain. She should delete her post and issue an apology for spreading false information.” 

Ayotte has made far-right attacks on migrants, immigration, and Massachusetts the central pillars of her campaign, emulating the tone and rhetoric of Donald Trump while ignoring issues which poll as top concerns among New Hampshire voters, like the state’s ongoing housing crisis, which has ballooned under current Governor Chris Sununu.

Author

  • Colin Booth

    Based in Epsom, Colin Booth is Granite Post's political correspondent. A Granite State native and veteran political professional with a deep background in journalism, he's worked on campaigns and programs in battleground states across the country, ranging from New Hampshire, Texas, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C.

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