Democratic Senate Candidate Refuses 3 Times to Say If Hillary Clinton Is Honest

Democratic Senate Candidate Refuses 3 Times to Say If Hillary Clinton Is Honest
Source: AP
Source: AP

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan says Hillary Clinton should be the next president.

But Hassan is in no rush to say whether she thinks her party's presidential nominee is "honest and trustworthy." 

Hassan, who's challenging incumbent Republican Kelly Ayotte for the U.S. Senate in the Granite State, refused three times in a CNN interview to say whether she thinks Clinton, who's been embroiled in controversy over her use of a private email server as secretary of state, is forthright with the public.

The hesitation coincides with recent national polling that shows 64% of voters don't see Clinton as honest and trustworthy, CNN noted.

"I support Hillary Clinton for the presidency because her experience and her record demonstrate that she's qualified to hold the job," Hassan responded when CNN first asked Hassan's view on the matter.

CNN went back at Hassan again on Clinton's honesty. "She has a critical, critical plan among others for making college more affordable," Hassan began.

And attempt three elicited this from the New Hampshire executive: "I think she has demonstrated a commitment, always, to something beyond herself — bigger than herself."

According to CNN, "The Hassan campaign later clarified the governor's statement, saying she does indeed believe that Clinton is honest."

Maggie Hassan, left, and Hillary Clinton at a campaign rally.
Source: Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Despite doubts about her honesty and trustworthiness, Clinton holds marked leads over Republican nominee Donald Trump in polling ahead of the November election.

She's up by nearly seven percentage points in the latest RealClearPolitics average of presidential polls, and is outperforming Trump in critical swing states, including Virginia and Pennsylvania.

New Hampshire, well-known for its first-in-the-nation voting status, is a good example of how the top of the ticket is causing sticky situations further down.

Ayotte has said she'll vote for Trump — who has not always been supportive of her or other prominent GOP figures — but has made clear that she's not in lockstep with some of his policy planks. 

Recent polling suggests Ayotte and Hassan may be headed to a photo finish in their contest. The RealClearPolitics polling average gives Hassan a 45% to 44% lead over the incumbent.