Democratic candidate for governor Cinde Warmington told WMUR she opposes legislation banning sanctuary city policies in New Hampshire but, if elected governor, would push for a ban on so-called “assault weapons.”

In an interview on WMUR’s “Close Up” with Adam Sexton that aired Sunday, Warmington, 66, who serves as Executive Councilor in the Second District, also declared herself “the highest-ranking Democrat in New Hampshire” and repeated her support for the top of her party’s ticket.

“I am proud to stand with President Biden,” Warmington said. “I am very proud of the job that Joe Biden has done to help the Granite State.”

While there hasn’t been a public poll of New Hampshire voters since the First in the Nation presidential primary, Biden’s national polling shows he has the lowest approval rating at this point of his presidency in modern political history. And the Biden campaign recently added New Hampshire to its list of swing states to receive resources in the 2024 campaign, a sign it believes Biden is struggling in a state he won handily in 2020.

One reason for Biden’s poor polling is the public’s unhappiness with his handling of immigration and border security. Just 28 percent—a number smaller than the percent of Americans who identify as Democrats—approve of his immigration policy.

Warmington’s stance on illegal immigration and border security was nuanced.

“I have been a strong supporter of strong borders,” Warmington said. “My entire time on the council, I have voted in favor of border security.”

But last month, Warmington spoke out against Gov. Chris Sununu’s decision to send Granite State National Guardsmen to the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas to help with Gov. Greg Abbott’s efforts to stem the tide of illegal immigration.

Asked by WMUR’s Sexton if New Hampshire would be a sanctuary state under a Gov. Warmington she replied, “Absolutely not.”

But, she added that she also opposes a ban on sanctuary cities in the state, like the one currently being debated in the State House.

“I think that is a local issue to be decided by our local communities. We would not have a sanctuary state. We would also not tell or prohibit our cities and towns from making that decision for themselves,” Warmington said.

Asked about charges from some Democrats, including state party chair Ray Buckley, that opponents of sanctuary city policies like GOP gubernatorial candidate Kelly Ayotte are motivated by racism or bigotry, Warmington said, “I haven’t seen anything like that.”

“But I will say that we need to be careful around the rhetoric on this issue. To promote fear and hatred of any group of people is wrong.”

As for the flood of immigrants — some illegal, some on parole, and some seeking amnesty — who have flooded into communities like Boston, New York, and Chicago, Warmington declined to answer directly if she would “welcome them” if they came to New Hampshire.

Instead, she said New Hampshire has a rich history of welcoming immigrants and that her welcome to the current migrants would be contingent on the federal government passing an “orderly border security bill.”

At the same time, she noted there are already “refugee resettlement programs now in our state, which I very much support and would support into the future, of course.”

Ayotte says Warmington’s policy positions would lead to the same problems seen in Massachusetts.

“Just like Joyce Craig, Cinde Warmington would welcome the Massachusetts illegal immigrant crisis to our communities,” Ayotte told NHJournal. “Instead of doing the right thing and condemning sanctuary policies, they’d rather play politics. Both Craig and Warmington would take New Hampshire in the wrong direction.”

On the issue of gun control, Warmington was very direct, announcing her support for a series of what she called “commonsense gun regulations.” Among them are a three-day waiting period for gun purchases, “red flag rules,” and “the ban of assault weapons.”

While Warmington didn’t specify what guns she considered “assault weapons,” she has previously praised the federal assault weapons ban that included AR-15 rifles and has made it clear in the past that she would include the weapon — the most popular rifle in America — in any ban.

“I do not believe weapons of war belong on our streets,” Warmington said.