Entries in Kelly Ayotte (6)


Susan Rice to Meet with Lawmakers on Capitol Hill, Including John McCain

TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice will be on Capitol Hill this week to meet with individual members of Congress to discuss the Benghazi attacks, aides on Capitol Hill confirm. She will come face-to-face with many senators who have opposed her possible nomination to be the next secretary of state.

She is scheduled for a Tuesday morning meeting with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who, though he has backed off recently, has been perhaps most vocal in saying he would oppose Rice if nominated by President Obama to succeed Hillary Clinton.

McCain had said in the past he’d be willing to filibuster Rice’s nomination and do “whatever is necessary to block the nomination” of Rice if it came to that because of how she handled the aftermath of the Libya attack.  This weekend McCain notably backed off on his threat, saying he’d “give everyone the benefit of explaining their position and the actions that they took.”

Rice will also meet with Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., who has also been critical of the administration’s handling of the immediate fallout the Benghazi attack.

Aides on Capitol Hill say that Rice is expected to meet with many other members of Congress this week.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


GOP Address: Sen. Ayotte Calls for Bipartisan Cooperation on Fiscal Cliff

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) --  With the threat of the fiscal cliff quickly approaching, both Democrat and Republican lawmakers have voiced ideas about how to avoid the Jan. 1 deadline, when automatic tax hikes for all Americans and deep government spending cuts are set to take effect. In this week's Republican address, New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte criticizes Washington for "ducking the tough decisions," but says the critical fiscal cliff represents a new opportunity for both parties to change the country's "irresponsible spending path."

"And one thing is clear: the American people expect Republicans and Democrats to work together to solve the difficult challenges we face," Ayotte says, referring to the "spirited debate" over the federal budget that played out over the last year by members of both parties.

"For too long, partisan bickering has paralyzed Washington -- preventing members of both parties from reaching across the aisle to find common ground," she says in the address. "That must stop. Power sharing is an opportunity -- not an obstacle."

Calling on bipartisan leadership to cooperate in reducing the deficit without harming the economy, Ayotte highlights ideas on which she says both parties can agree: 1) The current tax code is broken, and should be reformed to remove loopholes "that pick winners and losers." 2) There is a need to strengthen and preserve entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security for future beneficiaries.

"One thing is clear: doing nothing is not an option," she says. "And any effort to address our fiscal crisis without including entitlement reform can't be taken seriously."

Sen. Ayotte concluded the address with a tone of optimism similar to that of congressional leaders who participated in Friday's fiscal cliff summit at the White House.

"It will take courage to address the serious fiscal challenges our country faces. But Americans always come together to solve tough problems. And, for the good of the nation, now is the time for both parties to bring their best ideas to the table," she says.

“As we count our blessings this Thanksgiving, may we all remain mindful that we live in the greatest nation on Earth. What unites us will always be stronger than what divides us. We are Americans first. And as Americans we’ll rise to this challenge."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Sen. Kelly Ayotte to Join Romney in New Hampshire on July 4

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte plans to march with Mitt Romney in Wednesday’s Fourth of July parade in Wolfeboro, N.H., GOP sources tell ABC News.

Ayotte will be the first vice presidential short-lister to appear publicly with the presumptive Republican nominee during his week-long vacation at his Lake Winnipesaukee retreat.  And her appearance also gives Romney the chance to meet with Ayotte privately at his home.

Romney arrived at his lakefront home in the small New Hampshire town last week to begin his annual family vacation, which includes such activities as the ”Romney Olympics.”  But there has been heightened speculation about whether Romney would use the time away from the political spotlight to meet with potential vice presidential contenders.

Ayotte, the freshman New Hampshire senator, is said to be one of several potential running mates the Romney campaign search team may be considering.  Also on that list: Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who plans to visit New Hampshire later this week.

Ayotte campaigned with Romney in New Hampshire in June during his five-day, battleground state bus tour.

Last week, Romney sent Ayotte to address the pro-life, National Right to Life conference in Arlington, Va.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Sen. Ayotte Says She Has ‘Better Experience’ Than Obama in 2008

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., says that she’s focused on remaining a senator, not becoming the vice presidential nominee, but added that she’s more qualified to be president than President Obama was when he ran in 2008.

“I have, some would say, better experience than Barack Obama had when he was a senator and ran, having been the chief law enforcement officer of my state,” Ayotte said Sunday morning on NBC's Meet the Press.  “I serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee.  But again, what it comes down to for me, it’s serving New Hampshire.”

The junior senator said that while it’s an “honor” to be mentioned as a potential vice presidential pick of Mitt Romney, her focus is on serving New Hampshire in the Senate.

“There’s so many good candidates out there that Gov. Romney has to choose from,” Ayotte said.  “Sen. Rubio, Sen. Portman in Ohio.  So he’s got a lot of great choices.”

Ayotte listed the most important qualifications she believes that Romney should take into consideration when he chooses a running mate.

“I think the message he has to send, first of all, is he comfortable with that individual?” she said.  “Is that person ready to serve as president of the United States?  And what does that person bring to the ticket in terms of not only geography, but in terms of their qualifications and their knowledge of the issues.”

Ayotte has campaigned twice with Romney -- most recently last week in New Hampshire -- increasing the fervor with which her name is mentioned as a contender for vice president.


Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Mitt Romney Stump in New Hampshire

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(PORTSMOUTH, N.H.) -- Last week it was Sen. Marco Rubio’s turn, this week it’s Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s chance at what may be Mitt Romney’s vice presidential tryouts, appearing with the presumptive GOP nominee at an event on a fishing pier in Portsmouth, N.H., as the campaign begins to compile a list of potential running mates.

Ayotte toured fishing boats with Romney then introduced the candidate to a crowd gathered nearby, hopping on and off boats and finagling her way down steep dock ramps with the former governor by her side. Stepping on to a boat, she stood and listened as Romney discussed the state of the economy with the boat captains.

Then, taking the stage ahead of the candidate, Ayotte stayed on message, suggesting that Obama’s regulations have hurt the economy nationwide as well as in the Granite State.

“If Washington isn’t broken, I don’t know what is,” said Ayotte, who hasn’t appeared with Romney since she campaigned with him ahead of the state’s primary in January. “And now more than ever we need Mitt Romney’s leadership in the White House.”

As the crowd broke into chants of “Mitt! Mitt! Mitt!” Ayotte responded, “Mitt, Mitt…yes.”

Romney vowed that if elected he would become a “pro-small business president” who will “fight for the rights of small business people.”

“I somehow think the president has this view of the country that big government, big companies and big banks could do a better job managing this economy than individuals free to choose their own course in life and free to choose their own enterprises,” said Romney.

Romney went on to accuse the president of diverting attention away from the main issues facing Americans with “silliness.”

“Over these last several days, we have seen this president go across the country and bring up all sorts of extraneous items,” said Romney. “Everything he can do to distract from the issue that people care about, which is a stronger economy, creating more enterprises, creating good jobs, and raising incomes.”

“I wish the president would start talking about the economy and stop trying to divert with all the silliness day in and day out of he and his team,” said Romney. “Let’s focus on what people care about. And the issue people care about is the one that is affecting us, which is their pocketbooks, their gasoline prices, the cost of higher education, the need for more jobs, the need for higher incomes. We are seeing a greater and greater gap between those that have the most and those that have the least. The president’s focused on taking away from those that have the least. I want to help everybody, particularly those that are being left behind. I want to help the poor. I want to help the middle class get the kind of jobs that raise their income. Let’s focus on helping the people who need the help the most.”

Lis Smith, a spokeswoman for Obama’s re-election campaign, accused Romney of distorting the president’s record.

“Mitt Romney continues to distort the truth about President Obama’s record of reducing burdensome business regulations,” said Smith. “While initiating an overhaul of the regulatory system that cuts red tape and will save businesses $10 billion over the next five years, President Obama has also approved fewer new regulations than President George W. Bush did during the same time period in his term.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Incoming New Hampshire Senator Sets Republican Agenda

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In the first Republican address of the new year, Senator-elect Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire laid out the GOP agenda for 2011.

“The American people sent us to Congress with clear instructions,” Ayotte said. “Make government smaller, not bigger, and stop spending money that we don't have on programs that aren't working.”

She said a top priority for the new Congress is to tackle the budget deficit.

"As the mother of two children, I'm like parents across the country who worry that our nearly $14 trillion debt threatens America's economic future and our children's future.”

Those in Washington have to get serious about meaningful debt reduction, she said, adding that it’s “an American problem that requires tough decision making from both parties.”

Another priority, Ayotte said in the GOP address, is to create conditions favorable for businesses to add jobs in the new year.

“With millions of Americans unemployed or underemployed, we must work quickly to jumpstart our economy.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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