DSCC - Ayotte Handler: "We're done with questions"

Are you afraid there might be a backlash for politicizing a police officer’s murder?

“No, I don’t think I was politicizing it, I was just informing ,talking about....

“She was talking about something that is important to her life experience.”

‘...and it’s an experience I’ve talked about in many contexts....”

“We’re done with questions.”

 

That voice interrupting Ayotte -- and attempting to cut off the press availability -- belongs to Brooks Kochvar, Ayotte’s campaign manager. Kochvar showed a lighter touch during Ayotte’s interactions with non-reporters, many of whom greeted her with warmly.

***

But not all Republicans came simply to praise. Ray Shakir lives in North Conway.

 

Shakir went back and forth with Ayotte for several minutes. Afterwards, he was blunt.

 

“Let’s hear about specifics. Let’s not hear about bs-politican- nonsense.”

 

Shakir concedes primary day is still a long way off, but he says for now, he’s most drawn to different potential candidate, Manchester attorney Ovide Lamontagne.

 

“I think that Ovide is a lot more schooled, a lot more stable, a lot more experienced. She is a politician; Ovide goes for the jugular, ok. Ovide is a conservative.”

 

New Hampshire Public Radio: Kelly Ayotte Steps Out At Wolfeboro GOP Event

Josh Rogers

8/12/09

http://www.nhpr.org/node/26450

 

Former AG presses flesh and takes positions on guns, abortion, gay marriage and spending. The likely Senate candidate draws mostly support but also a few questions.

 

Kelly Ayotte wasn’t flashy in her maiden speech to GOP loyalists. She opened humbly by joking that her voice required a microphone. She then struck a local note by saying she picked up her approach to politics while working as busgirl a Mame’s restaurant in Meredith.

 

“And at that restaurant I learned that listening is the most important thing to serving your customers well.”

 

But Ayotte also did some talking. Among other things, she said an individual’s right to bear arms keeps the nation safe. She also spoke with relish about seeking the death penalty for the killer of Manchester police officer Michael Briggs. Ayotte said the case became personal following a visit with Briggs’s parents.

 

“And that’s why I made the decision that I would personally try that case and ask for the strongest penalties available under our law, and that’s the leadership you will see from me. I’m going to roll up my sleeves, and I will read the bills.” (cheers)

 

By and large, Ayotte’s 15 minute speech stuck to fiscal themes. She took methodical aim at Washington’s bailout of banking and auto industries and the federal stimulus package.

 

“They are spending money we don’t have, they are placing a debt on our children they we cannot afford.”

 

Ayotte took no question from the podium, but did spell out her views on some key social issues when conservative beliefs when she spoke with reporters.

 

“Well, as the mother of a 22 month of son and a 4 year old daughter I’m pro-life.”

 

-Gay marriage?

 

“I have a belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.”

 

In response to a question, Ayotte later clarified her abortion stance --saying she supports it in cases of rape, incest or heath emergencies. A reporter from the Union Leader then asked if she’d been endorsed by the Briggs family, or sought permission to include them in her speech.

 

-Are you afraid there might be a backlash for politicizing a police officer’s murder?

 

“No, I don’t think I was politicizing it, I was just informing ,talking about....

 

“She was talking about something that is important to her life experience.”

 

‘...and it’s an experience I’ve talked about in many contexts....”

 

“We’re done with questions.”

 

That voice interrupting Ayotte -- and attempting to cut off the press availability -- belongs to Brooks Kochvar, Ayotte’s campaign manager. Kochvar showed a lighter touch during Ayotte’s interactions with non-reporters, many of whom greeted her with warmly.

 

“I’m very proud of your record as attorney general.”

 

“Thank you.”

 

That’s Carroll County GOP chairman Luke Freudenberg,

 

“You did a lot for our state.”

 

“Thank you. I appreciate it.”

 

But not all Republicans came simply to praise. Ray Shakir lives in North Conway.

 

“What is your view on cap and trade?”

 

Ayotte said the bill would drive up energy costs.

 

“What is your view on state r-g-g-i?”.

 

Ayotte said she wasn’t sure how the state’s regional greenhouse gas initiative would fit with federal legislation, or that it could solve what its supporters call a national problem.

 

“So I think that it’s a regional...”

 

Shakir went back and forth with Ayotte for several minutes. Afterwards, he was blunt.

 

“Let’s hear about specifics. Let’s not hear about bs-politican- nonsense.”

 

Shakir concedes primary day is still a long way off, but he says for now, he’s most drawn to different potential candidate, Manchester attorney Ovide Lamontagne.

 

“I think that Ovide is a lot more schooled, a lot more stable, a lot more experienced. She is a politician; Ovide goes for the jugular, ok. Ovide is a conservative.”

 

Kelly Ayotte, Ovide Lamontagne, and any other GOP candidates who get in the race will have many more changes to win over the core republican voters essential to mounting a winning primary campaign.