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PRESS Pass: Senator Kelly Ayotte on the New Hampshire primary


As the GOP race gets down to the wire ahead of Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, David Gregory talked to the state’s Republican Senator, Kelly Ayotte,  from the campaign trail in Manchester. The influential Senator has thrown her support behind Mitt Romney, who she believes is “well positioned to win” the famously unpredicatable first-in-the-nation primary election.

New Hampshire’s Republican voters, Ayotte said, are focused on one thing: government spending. Though social and foreign policy messages have buoyed candidates like Rick Santorum and Ron Paul in other states, “those are not the primary issues that are going to decide this election.” Instead, Ayotte’s vision is a primary race and a general election fought over cutting spending and keeping government small – which she believes Mitt Romney is best equipped to handle. She also criticized Rick Santorum, the newest member of the field’s top tier, for focusing his campaign on Iowa, and questioned whether he could "bring this out nationally?”

Romney, after squeaking out a very close win over Santorum in the Iowa caucuses, still has trouble connecting with conservatives nationwide. But Ayotte claims that she has seen him connect with voters throughout New Hampshire, adding that he has a secret weapon on the campaign trail: “you know what the other thing that he's got goin' for him?  Ann Romney.”

Watch PRESS Pass above to hear more about Ayotte’s experiences on the trail with Romney, as well as her thoughts on women and minorities in the Republican party.