DSCC - Ayotte's Debut: more than a few stumbles

In addition to Ayotte completely contradicting her own position on stimulus dollars (she loved spending them before she was against them – more on this later), some more gems from Ayotte’s debut:

 

Watch video of Ayotte fumbling and stammering in response to question Sotomayor: http://granitegrok.com/blog/2009/08/prospective_gop_senate_candidate_ayotte.html

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"We need to do everything we can to keep our streets, our community and our nation safe, and that's going to be a top priority for me," Ayotte said.

 

When a reporter asked how to improve public safety on a federal level, Ayotte talked about supporting members of the military when they returned from overseas, ensuring they have proper health care.

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Ayotte talked about sitting at a kitchen table with her husband, prioritizing where to spend money. Government, she said, should do the same: "We can't spend money we don't have."

 

The criticism angered state Democrats, who pointed out that Ayotte previously supported aspects of the economic stimulus bill. Ayotte, for example, worked with Gov. John Lynch to use federal stimulus money to open a cold case unit within the state police.

 

 

 

Concord Monitor: Ayotte stresses security

SHIRA SCHOENBERG 8/12/09

http://www.concordmonitor.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090812/FRONTPAGE/908120375/1037/NEWS04&Template=printart

 

 

In her first public speaking appearance as a potential U.S. Senate candidate, former state attorney general Kelly Ayotte presented herself as a law-and-order Republican.

 

"We need to do everything we can to keep our streets, our community and our nation safe, and that's going to be a top priority for me," Ayotte said.

 

The first policy statement she made in her 15-minute address at a Winnipesaukee Republican social in Wolfeboro last night affirmed the right to gun ownership. "One of the important ways we're going to keep our nation safe is by vigilantly protecting the individual right to bear arms so that we can protect ourselves," Ayotte said.

 

Ayotte cited her record as attorney general and talked about prosecuting Michael Addison, the killer of Manchester police Officer Michael Briggs.

 

"I came to appreciate in a very personal way the sacrifice our law enforcement, and I would add military officers, make every day for us, to keep the streets safe," Ayotte said. That is why, she said, she asked for the death penalty for Addison - "the strongest penalty available under law."

 

Ayotte, who is still deciding whether to run for Senate, described herself as part of a middle-class family. She is a mother of two young children and the wife of a man who serves in the National Guard, who fought in the Iraq war, and who founded a small landscaping and snowplowing business.

 

Many were looking to last night's speech as an indication of where Ayotte stands on a variety of issues. She has spent the past five years serving as state attorney general - a nonpartisan position to which she was appointed by both a Republican and a Democratic governor.

 

In interviews with the press, she gave some indications: When asked by the Monitor, Ayotte said she is pro-life. She later clarified that she would support abortion in limited cases, such as rape, incest or medical emergency. Ayotte said she is against same-sex marriage and believes marriage is between a man and a woman.

 

When a reporter asked how to improve public safety on a federal level, Ayotte talked about supporting members of the military when they returned from overseas, ensuring they have proper health care.

 

And when a reporter asked whether she would have voted to confirm Sonia Sotomayor, an Obama nominee recently sworn in as a Supreme Court justice, Ayotte responded that although there are areas where she disagrees with Sotomayor, the U.S. Senate must look at a person's qualifications. "I think I would have approved her," Ayotte said.

 

On fiscal policy, Ayotte said she supported small business and small government. "It's not government that creates jobs, it's small businesses," she said.

 

She criticized government's bailouts of the banks and the auto industry as well as the fiscal stimulus package. "They spent nearly $1 trillion of our money and said this is something that will stimulate our economy," Ayotte said. "You look at that bill, some of that spending doesn't even occur until 2019. You tell me how that's going to stimulate the economy right now."

Ayotte criticized Congressional Democrats for raising the country's deficit. "They are placing a debt on our children that we cannot afford," she said. "They are mortgaging our children's future."

 

Ayotte talked about sitting at a kitchen table with her husband, prioritizing where to spend money. Government, she said, should do the same: "We can't spend money we don't have."

 

The criticism angered state Democrats, who pointed out that Ayotte previously supported aspects of the economic stimulus bill. Ayotte, for example, worked with Gov. John Lynch to use federal stimulus money to open a cold case unit within the state police.

 

"Did her D.C. handlers tell her that she now has to be against the bill she previously endorsed?" said Victoria Bonney, communications director for the New Hampshire Democratic Party. "Is she just taking orders from Washington insiders who would rather play politics than ensure our country's economic recovery?"

 

Critics from both parties have recently criticized Ayotte for trying to curry favor in Washington, D.C., before her campaign is official.

 

On the day President Obama visited New Hampshire to advocate for health care reform, Ayotte also jumped into that debate. She said something must be done to stop the rising costs of health care and to reduce the number of uninsured Americans. But she criticized the Democrats' current plan as a way to raise taxes on small businesses and increase the deficit while paving the way for "government-run health care."

 

"Can you imagine going to a government bureaucrat and asking that person to make decisions about medical care for you or your children?" Ayotte said.

 

Before and after her talk, Ayotte spent more than an hour shaking hands with the 60 or so attendees and taking questions. When one questioner asked about energy use and oil, Ayotte advocated "responsible drilling" in reserves in the U.S. She expressed concerns about the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, in which several states have launched a cap-and-trade market for carbon allowances, as a regional solution that will not solve a global problem.

 

In answering a question about climate change, Ayotte said that global warming is a "real issue" and that scientific evidence has shown human activity could have contributed to higher temperatures. But at the same time, she warned against addressing climate change in a way that costs jobs, results in higher energy bills or puts the United States at a competitive disadvantage to countries such as China and India.