Former Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig told WMUR TV that Gov. Chris Sununu’s $850,000 plan to send New Hampshire National Guard volunteers to help secure the U.S. southern border is “wrong.” Instead, she supports the $118 billion U.S. Senate spending package that includes changes to immigration law along with some $95 billion in aid to Ukraine, Israel, and other foreign policy priorities.

For months, Craig — a longtime supporter of sanctuary policies — has refused to answer reporters’ questions about her current stance on immigration enforcement. But that changed after Sununu announced plans to send troops to Eagle Pass, Texas, to join Gov. Greg Abbott’s border security efforts.

“It’s unreal to me that Kelly Ayotte and Chuck Morse just last week opposed the bipartisan border security deal, and now they want to send our Guard to the border and have New Hampshire taxpayers foot the bill,” Craig told WMUR Wednesday. “That’s wrong.”

Her comments echo a statement she released as the massive Senate spending package was coming up for a vote last week.

“The Senate’s bipartisan border deal takes important steps to secure our borders, prevent illegal drugs like fentanyl from entering our country, provides a pathway for those seeking asylum, and allows those granted asylum to receive work visas faster. I urge Congress to pass this bill and continue working on comprehensive compassionate immigration reform that recognizes the important contributions that immigrants make to our communities,” Craig said.

Interestingly, when reporter Adam Sexton asked her directly if she would or would not send troops to the border if she were governor, Craig refused to answer directly.

“I would work with the federal government to do what we need to do to make sure that we are securing the border,” she said.

Political professionals were unimpressed by Craig’s strategy.

“If she doesn’t get the border in this election — she doesn’t get it!” said longtime New England GOP strategist Patrick Griffin. “This is classic tone-deaf elitism which is a harbinger of Craig’s inability to win a general election in New Hampshire.”

Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington, Craig’s competition in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, has also been unwilling to clearly state her immigration policy views, repeatedly declining to respond to reporters’ queries. She declined to make a statement to either NHJournal or WMUR on Wednesday, telling the TV station she wants more information about Sununu’s plan.

Ayotte and Morse, however, have been vocal in their support for both Sununu’s action and increased border security across the board.

“My priority is making sure we close that border,” Morse told radio host Jack Heath on Wednesday. “I think Gov. Sununu is doing the right thing right now. And I think we’ve just got to keep going on this [issue] because the states are going to have to take over where the federal government is failing.”

And Ayotte released a statement Tuesday. “The Biden administration’s disastrous open-border policies are dangerous and have allowed more deadly fentanyl to flow into New Hampshire. While Joe Biden fails, governors are stepping up to secure our country. I fully support Gov. Sununu’s efforts and will always oppose sanctuary policies and fight to secure our borders,” Ayotte said.