While other hopefuls for the Republican presidential nomination have ebbed and flowed in the national polls, former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts has remained on top in New Hampshire, home of the first presidential primary. Romney looked to expand on that advantage this week when he unveiled the endorsements of two members of the Granite States congressional delegation -- U.S. Rep. Charlie Bass and U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte.
At an event in Nashua on Monday, Bass campaigned with Romney at BAE Systems. Romney announced that Bass is on board his campaign as a co-chairman of his state organization and as a member of his National Steering Committee.
Congressman Bass and his family have served New Hampshire with honor and distinction for generations, Romney said in a statement on Monday. He has stood up for the traditional New Hampshire principles of limited taxation and smaller government. In addition, Congressman Bass understands that the current overtaxation and overspending in Washington will only continue to hurt job creators. With his support, I hope to reverse the failed Obama fiscal policies that have hampered job creation and put a halt to economic growth.
Voters in New Hampshire and across our country are looking for a candidate that understands what our economy needs to recover and grow, that has the experience of creating jobs and has the leadership qualities needed to bring the citizens of our nation back together in these challenging times, Bass said. I firmly believe that Mitt Romney is the candidate that will renew our country's faith in the American Dream. I am proud to endorse Governor Romney today for president of the United States.
Romney's opponents pointed to the fact that Bass had been a supporter of the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction, which failed to find meaningful cuts to the federal government. An email from Jim Merrill, a Romney strategist, obtained by National Journal, indicated that the Romney camp had concerns that Bass' stance on taxes may not play well with conservatives.
This is one more indication that Mitt Romney is more interested in getting a perfect score on the tea partys litmus test than he is in putting country before party to do whats necessary to create jobs and reduce the deficit," Ben LaBolt, the press secretary for President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign, said in a statement. "Romney wont ask millionaires and billionaires for a dime to get our finances back on track -- he would instead give them additional tax cuts and force the middle class and seniors to bear the entire burden of deficit reduction.
On Sunday in Nashua, Ayotte announced she is backing Romney, who named her as a co-chairwoman of hisNational Advisory Council.
In her short time in the U.S. Senate, Senator Ayotte has emerged as a conservative leader in the fight to cut spending and create a government that is more accountable to the taxpayers, said Romney. Throughout her career as a public servant, Senator Ayotte has displayed the virtues that Granite Staters expect from their leaders. She is a tireless worker who understands that she serves the New Hampshire taxpayers -- not the other way around -- and keeps a watchful eye on how their money is spent. I am honored to have her support and look forward to working with her to put an end to Washingtons spending addiction so that our children and grandchildren will not be burdened by irresponsible policies and endless debt.
Ayotte, who was elected to the Senate in 2010 after serving as the state attorney general, said Romney can defeat President Barack Obama in the general election.
"I have been impressed by the amount of time Mitt Romney has spent in New Hampshire, holding open town hall meetings, answering the tough questions and listening to voters," Ayotte said in a statement. "Mitt Romney has proven through his experience as a successful businessman, effective governor, and by his excellent presidential debate performances that he is best prepared to lead our country and ensure Barack Obama is a one-term president."
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (850) 727-0859.