It didn’t take long for Kelly Ayotte to get into her wheelhouse Tuesday morning, Speaking on behalf of Mitt Romney to a group of 80 supporters, the New Hampshire Senator blasted Obama administration “politics of deference” in the Middle East and beyond.
“We are in a situation where the politics of deference and apologies and walking back are putting us in a situation where we are not standing up, strong. And what we see is we are empowering the bullies in the world,” she declared, such as Iran.
Afterward, she talked about recently published video of Mitt Romney speaking at a private fundraiser.
The Tuesday event was billed as a “Victory Rally,” and Ayotte emphasized how important Pennsylvania was in the scheme of the national election.
“Yes, Pennsylvania is in play, or they wouldn’t have sent a Senator from New Hampshire. I have to tell you because New Hampshire is in play as well,” said Ayotte, who graduated with a BA from Penn State and a law degree from Villanova. “Pennsylvania matters so much in this election. If you win Pennsylvania, we win the Presidency.”
Recently, national Republicans have grown increasingly skeptical that Pa. is winnable for Romney as the state GOP and Romney campaign insist that it is on the table.
She is scheduled to rally supporters at a “Women for Romney” event in Montgomery County later in the afternoon.
“The question that keeps being posed, ‘are better off?’” she asked rhetorically. “Well, we’ve just gone through the jobs report, we’re not better off there. The amount that we’ve added to the debt, we’re certainly not better off there. And are we safer? Look what’s happening around the world. It’s deeply, deeply troubling.”
The 47 Percent
New broke Monday that left-leaning publication Mother Jones had obtained footage from a private fundraiser in May. In the video, Romney describes Obama voters as the 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay federal income tax and impossible to win over because they’re “dependent upon government” — among other things.
Romney subsequently admitted that his phrasing was inartful, but stood by the underlying sentiment.
“There’s nothing particularly enlightening about it,” Ayotte said of the video.
“I think the video is a distraction, in the sense that, the Governor has talked about — I’ve been there on the campaign trail with him — that we are in a situation in this country where too many people have to rely on unemployment benefits rather than a good job,” she explained.
Democrats have seized on the remarks; shortly after noon Tuesday, the Obama campaign held a press call with Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Lackawanna County Commissioner Corey O’Brien and a retired Reading-area surgeon. All criticized the Republican and noted that many people don’t pay federal income tax including retirees, college students and those serving in the military.
“It plays into the narrative of what Mitt Romney’s been saying all along, and how feels about average Americans, working class Americans, our military, our seniors, et cetera,” Fitzgerald blasted. “I think there’s an elitism that comes across loud and clear”.
“This is a window. We were allowed to see a view into his mind and his soul,” added Nutter. “Remember the context here. It’s with a group of wealthy donors. He obviously feels very comfortable. He says thing that… you just don’t say!”
Ayotte said that Democrats were pushing the story to divert attention from the President’s record and high unemployment.
“It’s the politics of division. Let’s go back to what the President said when he campaigned. Remember he said that people who disagreed with him were clinging to their guns and their religion. Now that’s a divisive comment,” she said, referring to one of Obama’s biggest 2008 gaffes.