Ayotte critical of Obama, Clinton in Nashua speech
U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. talks with reporters after speaking at the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference, Friday, March 14, 2014 in Nashua, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
CORRECTING BYLINE TO CBS NEWS TO REFLECT PROPER NEWS ORGANIZATION ATTRIBUTION ALREADY IN CAPTION BODY AND SOURCE - In this June 6, 2013 photo released by CBS News Sunday, June 9, 2013, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., talks on CBS's Face the Nation in Washington. Ayotte said she will back the bipartisan overhaul of the nation's immigration system, which she said is broken and needs to be fixed. (AP Photo/CBS News, Chris Usher)
U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte drummed up state Republicans’ energy yesterday by denouncing President Obama’s domestic and foreign policies, criticizing U.S. Senate Democrats and taking a jab at a potential Hillary Clinton presidential candidacy.
“How many of you would like to see the Republican Party become the governing party not only here in New Hampshire but across the nation?” she asked to applause.
Ayotte spoke at the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference in Nashua, a gathering of Republicans aimed at kicking off the midterm election. As the state’s senior Republican leader, Ayotte delivered a message that should resonate with her party in 2014.
Republicans have sensible solutions to fix the president’s health care law, known as Obamacare, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid won’t let them come to the floor, she said. Beyond Obamacare, Reid hasn’t allowed for debates on some of Ayotte’s proposals, including one that wouldn’t let people claim the child tax credit without providing the child’s Social Security number, which is aimed at stopping fraud among undocumented immigrants, she said.
“It seems to me that in a democracy, if you’ve come up with an idea that relates to the debate you’re having, you should be able to get a vote,” Ayotte said.
Democrats need to “come down to the real world” and talk to people who have been negatively affected by Obamacare, she said. The Republican Party wants to repeal Obamacare and replace it with “commonsense” solutions that would let people keep their doctors and have more choice, she said. She did not give more specifics.
She also criticized Obama’s response to Russia’s recent move to annex Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula. Obama sent a dangerous message in 2012 when he told then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have “more flexibility” on dealing with Russia after the U.S. election.
Obama has continually made concessions to Russia, Ayotte said, and now Russia is helping enemies such as Iran and Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria.
Russian President Vladimir “Putin is playing hardball, and Obama is playing T-ball,” she said.
She also linked Clinton, the former secretary of state, to the “reset” policy with Russia by referencing a photo of Clinton shaking hands with Russia’s foreign minister in 2009.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing that (picture) in the campaign commercials,” Ayotte said.
All of these actions by President Obama and Democrats show why Republicans must win in 2014, Ayotte said. But in order to win, Republicans will have to stop fighting with each other, she said. Going into the election, Republicans must focus on what unites them rather than what divides them.
“I think we all know who wins when we fight among ourselves,” she said. “The Democrats win, and the country loses.”
(Kathleen Ronayne can be reached at 369-3309 or firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @kronayne.)