Kelly Ayotte, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, thanked her supporters during a speech tonight at Ayotte for Senate campaign headquarters in Manchester. The following are her remarks as prepared for delivery:
Thank you. Today we begin the race to beat Paul Hodes. And with your help, that's exactly what we are going to do.
I am here today because of you, my staff and volunteers who went door-to-door and made thousands of phone calls. You have opened your homes and your businesses to me. You have also opened your hearts to me and my family. We will never forget it.
We must never forget that this election is about who will replace Senator Judd Gregg: A Senator who has set an example nationwide on fiscal responsibility and fighting for taxpayers. I want to finish what Senator Gregg has begun. And I want to thank he and his wife Kathy for their support and service to our country.
I certainly wouldn't be here today without the support of my family. That especially means my parents, who put up 4 x 8 signs across the state. And of course my husband Joe. He has been amazing. He hasn’t seen this much smoke and fire since he came back from Iraq!
This was an incredibly spirited and close primary. I would like to say a word about Ovide Lamontagne. Ovide is a principled conservative and I have great respect for him and the race he ran. Ovide was a gentleman in the race and a gentleman when he called to offer his support. It means a lot that I have also heard from Bill Binnie, Jim Bender, and Dennis Lamare. I have great respect for each of them. We will be united in this race and we will defeat Paul Hodes.
You may have seen Paul Hodes’ ad where he says Washington, DC is like a big hot dog eating contest. But if you look closely, you’ll see Congressman Hodes has plenty of ketchup and mustard on his chin.
Paul Hodes has voted for bailouts, failed stimulus spending, ever-increasing deficits, a trillion dollar government takeover of healthcare, and huge tax increases. In fact, Paul Hodes voted with Nancy Pelosi ninety-three percent of the time. Ninety-three percent.
I will vote with New Hampshire 100% of the time.
Put simply, this election is about two very different visions for the future of New Hampshire and our nation.
Paul Hodes’ vision is for increasing the size of government paid for with higher taxes, higher deficits, more spending and more Americans out of work.
I have a different vision for our future. It is a vision of individual opportunity and responsibility. It is one of less spending, lower taxes, and creating an environment in which our small businesses can grow and create jobs. I will work to stop the spending spree in Washington and to stop this Administration’s looming tax increases.
America faces great challenges. None greater than our economy and crushing national debt. And this election will determine whether we will meet this challenge.
My family is like most New Hampshire families. And we worry about the same things you do.
We want to help our small businesses by cutting taxes and eliminating burdensome federal paperwork.
We want to secure America’s economic future by stopping wasteful Washington spending. That means no more earmarks, no more midnight deals and no more putting off tough decisions.
We want to keep our country and its citizens safe in a dangerous world. We must remain steadfast and vigilant in the fight against terrorists. Coming from a military family, that’s a solemn duty I will keep.
We must return to the core principles that have made our country great. That means our national leaders must stop apologizing for the United States of America.
As Attorney General, I rolled up my sleeves to tackle the difficult challenges that faced our state.
Now I want to take that same tough leadership to Washington. I won’t back down from a fight in the Senate, just like I didn’t shy away from making tough decisions as Attorney General.
To my supporters: You have earned this victory. Thank you for all you have done. But our work isn’t finished. We have seven weeks to win this election. As hard as you’ve worked already, I’m asking you to work even harder.
Tomorrow is the first day of the general election.
I ask you to roll up your sleeves – as I will – to win this election. I am going to Washington to fight for you and take America back.