Buckle up for Maggie Hassan’s latest flip-flop on individual liberty

Democrat Maggie Hassan’s now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t answer on a question about instituting a seatbelt law during Thursday’s WMUR-TV gubernatorial debate is enough to make you wonder if she’s ever heard the Granite State’s ‘Live Free or Die’ motto.

During the debate’s lightening round – where candidates were asked to keep answers to a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ Hassan stumbled when asked whether she would support a mandatory seatbelt law:

“I think, uh, as a matter of public safety it is worth considering, but I know how important it is to the people of New Hampshire that they have some personal freedoms like not having to wear a seat belt, so I think it is a hard decision for them,” was Hassan’s rambling answer.  This stood in stark contrast to opponent Ovide Lamontagne’s simple “no.”

Hassan’s squishiness on seatbelts is yet another instance of a candidate trying to have it both ways on every issue and constantly running up against her liberal record.

As a State Senator – before NH voters had enough of record budget deficits and sent her packing in 2010 – Hassan co-sponsored a bill in 2007 that would have mandated passenger restraint (aka seatbelts) for all motor vehicle operators.

But its not just a simple case of Hassan trying to be all things to all Granite Staters in her bid to get elected.  In her very next answer she gave an unequivocal “no” to a potential helmet law.  In fact, her response was such a 180 from her answer 30 seconds prior that Lamontagne was visibly surprised and asked to clarify the question.

Ovide’s confusion is understandable, because how could someone believe that drivers wearing seatbelts is a matter of “public safety” but motorcyclists wearing helmets isn’t?  The answer is simple: Hassan had never cast a vote on a helmet law, so she knew she had carte blanche to say whatever she thought the audience wanted to hear, and she knows those pesky “people of New Hampshire” like their silly “personal freedoms.”

All this goes to show that when you know your far-left ideology is out of step with the voters you need to elect you, it becomes very challenging to keep your story straight.

Hassan should quit equivocating about having a “discussion” about raising taxes and saying stamping out personal freedom is “worth considering” and just come clean with Granite Staters about where she really stands on the issues – and let the voters make their choice.

Author: Andrew Hemingway

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