Kelly Ayotte in 2010 N.H. Senate Debates


On Government Reform: Praised Sen. Gregg for earmarks; but pledges against them

Ayotte and Hodes have both taken pledges against earmarks. As attorney general, Ayotte praised Sen. Gregg for earmarks that benefited law enforcement but has adamantly rejected that position after launching her campaign for U.S. Senate. Hodes and Ayotte accuse each other of adopting the anti-earmark position as a matter of political convenience.

"Congressman Hodes is having an election-year conversion on earmarks. He requested over 60 earmarks last year. He's voted for 9,000 earmarks just in 2009 alone," Ayotte said. Asked what she would say to the defense contractors and other businesses benefiting from Gregg's effort, Ayotte said: "What's happened with earmarks in this country is they've been used to buy and sell votes. We saw it so much with the health care bill, the buying and selling of votes and other examples in Washington. That type of corruption has to end. With respect to our businesses we should reform the process in Washington."

Source: Boston Globe coverage of 2010 N.H. Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

On Corporations: No tax increases on any business, including overseas jobs

Ayotte favors extension of all Bush tax cuts while Hodes says the tax cuts should end for those making more than $200,000 a year. "It's the wrong philosophy to raise taxes during these difficult, economic times and that's what he would like to do," Ayott said of Hodes.

Hodes said keeping tax cuts for the wealthiest would add $700 billion to the federal deficit.

Ayotte alluded to the comments from some NH economists who warned repealing tax cuts for the wealthy would cost individuals & small-business owners in the state $300 million a year.

Hodes has proposed to end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, and he accused Ayotte of opposing them by signing a no-tax increase pledge from Americans for Tax Reform. "My opponent, she believes that tax cuts for shipping jobs overseas will create jobs," Hodes said.

Ayotte said she's opposed to tax increases of any kind, "What congressman Hodes says is absolutely false," Ayotte declared. "What I have said is no tax increases on any business."

Source: Nashua Telegraph coverage of 2010 N.H. Senate debate Sep 23, 2010

On Environment: Highway spending priority over commuter rail

Hodes said he supports extending commuter rail from Boston through Nashua to Concord despite the up-front cost of more than $250 million.

Ayotte was non-committal about more money for the project in the future and strongly suggested getting additional highway dollars to complete the widening of Interstate 93 was more important. "I don't know if that is worth the amount of money we are putting in," Ayotte said of the commuter rail project. "I-93 might be a greater priority."

Source: Nashua Telegraph coverage of 2010 N.H. Senate debate Sep 23, 2010

On Government Reform: Ban earmarks; Hodes voted for 9,000 of them

Hodes defended his 2009 vote for the $800 billion stimulus package. "Nobody wanted to make those investments, but they had to be done; it was an emergency situation," Hodes said.

Ayotte said the stimulus only created "temporary or government" jobs and more taxpayer-paid spending hurt the economy as national unemployment increased by 2.5 million jobs. "It was a big government program, but it didn't allow the growth in the private sector," Ayotte said.

During the four years Hodes was in Congress, Ayotte said the federal deficit went up 525%, the debt increased $5 trillion to $13 trillion and Hodes voted for 9,000 earmarks last year. "Congressman Hodes is wanting to portray himself as a fiscal conservative," Ayotte said.

In this campaign, both candidates call for a ban on earmarks. Ayotte said Hodes had an election year conversion on earmarks. Hodes noted Ayotte earlier in this campaign had defended earmarks as long as they were transparent until after Hodes had endorsed the ban.

Source: Nashua Telegraph coverage of 2010 N.H. Senate debate Sep 23, 2010

On Government Reform: Make Congressional pay "performance-based"

To empathize with the struggle working families have had through this recession, Hodes supports cutting the pay of Congress and the president by 10 percent.

Ayotte said congressional pay should be "performance-based" and predicted Hodes would not fare well under such a system given his votes on taxes and spending. "I think that he owes the taxpayers of New Hampshire a refund," Ayotte concluded.

Source: Nashua Telegraph coverage of 2010 N.H. Senate debate Sep 23, 2010

On Jobs: Government won't create jobs; it's our small businesses

As for the controversial stimulus spending that supporters argue kept a recession from becoming a depression, Ayotte believes the government's role should be one of support through pro-growth policies and lower taxes. "It's not the government that's going to create jobs in this country, it's our small businesses. It's the private sector," said Ayotte. "Many of the so-called jobs that were created under the stimulus were essentially temporary jobs, government jobs, not private sector growth."

Hodes defended the spending and argued the stimulus funds created needed jobs for teachers, fire fighters and police officers. "It was certainly necessary to stabilize our economy that was in absolute free fall," said Hodes. "At the time the recovery act was passed we'd lost almost 4 million jobs, the financial markets were locked, the economy was in a free fall."

Source: Fox News coverage of 2010 N.H. Senate debate Sep 23, 2010

On Jobs: No minimum wage increase; no card-check; no mandatory leave

Hodes endorsed raising the minimum wage to include increases in cost-of-living, giving unions the option of organizing by collecting names of supporters rather than through a secret ballot vote and mandating employers offer paid sick leave to their workers.

Ayotte opposed all three proposed changes in federal labor laws.

Source: Nashua Telegraph coverage of 2010 N.H. Senate debate Sep 23, 2010

On Social Security: Open to raising the retirement age for younger workers

On Social Security, Ayotte said she was open to raising the retirement age for younger workers while Hodes was against changes to the entitlement.
Source: Nashua Telegraph coverage of 2010 N.H. Senate debate Sep 23, 2010

On Tax Reform: Wrong philosophy to raise taxes during difficult economy

Ayotte and Hodes show stark differences in their approach to taxes, business development and spending. Hodes believes the Bush tax cuts should be repealed for the wealthiest Americans, applying the influx of cash to the country's increasing deficit. " It is simply reckless. It's fiscally irresponsible to allow the tax breaks for the top 2%, where all the wealth has gone, while the middle class has been clobbered, to continue. That's $700 billion," said Hodes who argued an opposing strategy would double the deficit. "That's not fiscally conservative. That's not fiscally responsible," Hodes said.

Ayotte argued a repeal of the tax cuts amounts to a tax increase that would hurt the Granite State small businesses and cost $300 million. Ayotte argued it is simply the "wrong philosophy to raise taxes during difficult economic times" as she believes her opponent is trying to do."We're a small business state and these tax increases are going to hit our small business owners," said Ayotte.

Source: Fox News coverage of 2010 N.H. Senate debate Sep 23, 2010

On Tax Reform: Keep zero federal estate tax; don't return to 50%

Ayotte would keep the zero federal tax on estates that will jump back up to more than 50 percent if Congress doesn't extend that Bush tax cut.

Hodes instead wants to exempt from the tax $5 million for an individual and up to $10 million for families with a 35 percent tax applied to estate income above those caps.

Source: Nashua Telegraph coverage of 2010 N.H. Senate debate Sep 23, 2010

On Abortion: Pro-life important for Supreme Court nominee, but not litmus

Q: Where do you stand on the issue of abortion and how much weight would this issue carry in confirming a Supreme Court nominee?

A: I'm pro-life. I argued a case before the US Supreme Court defending our parental notification law at the time that the Governor disagreed with our decision. On a Supreme Court nominee, that's something I'd want to know their stance, but my standard for upholding a Supreme Court nominee I'd look at their whole record, and whether they'd uphold the Constitution.

Source: Americans for Prosperity/Cornerstone 2010 N.H. Senate Debate Jun 5, 2010

On Civil Rights: Repeal state gay marriage law; don't repeal DOMA

Q: As you know, NH legalized gay marriage. Can you tell us your position on gay marriage?

A: I absolutely support and believe in marriage as between a man and a woman and I do think it's unfortunate that our state has made a different decision on that. Many of you who are out there who are out there working at the state level, or running for state office, I commend your efforts to repeal that law here in the state of N.H. and I think that's very important. I wish you all well and I would love to help with any effort to get our law back in the right place on this.

Q: If elected US Senator, would you support or oppose the Federal Defense of Marriage Act?

A: I do not think we should overturn DOMA, because it's absolutely for states to decide marriage. We don't want one state's decision impacting another state. So I would vote against any repeal of DOMA because of that.

Source: Americans for Prosperity/Cornerstone 2010 N.H. Senate Debate Jun 5, 2010

On Foreign Policy: There are still terrorists who want to kill us

When it comes to our national security, I have a fundamental disagreement with the Administration right now. They are failing to stand with our allies and they are trying to appease our enemies. It is the wrong policy. I don't think we should ever apologize for the United States of America.

When it comes to foreign policy, we need to stand up for democracy and freedom. When the people of Iran were protesting in the streets, we should have said "We are with you. We believe in democracy and freedo and we know that all you want is the freedom that we have."

This president and this administration have a very different tack when it comes to national security. I'm going to ask the hard questions when it comes to terrorists. There are still terrorist who want to kill us. Unfortunately, there are enemies of our country; it's not a manmade disaster. We need to be in a position where we can protect against terrorist attacks, and make sure we have the best information to prevent future attacks.

Source: Americans for Prosperity/Cornerstone 2010 N.H. Senate Debate Jun 5, 2010

On Immigration: I support English as the language of our country

Q: What more should Federal Government be doing in the area of immigration?

A: The federal government is falling down in its fundamental duty, add that includes securing our borders. It's penny-wise and pound-foolish that we aren't doing it. When you think about the strain on our education system and our healthcare system, as a result of our failure to enforce our immigration laws, it's not only wrong for our safety, but it's wrong in terms of the strain on our system and wrong for the peopl who are here to play by the rules. We are all the sons and daughters of immigrants. But when our ancestors came here, they came here to play by our rules. Our ancestors came here and they learned English. I support English as the language of our country. For the people who are here illegally, I don't support amnesty; it's wrong to the people who are waiting in line. We need to stop that because I think that's where the Administration is heading next.

Source: Americans for Prosperity/Cornerstone 2010 N.H. Senate Debate Jun 5, 2010

On Immigration: Supports Arizona law against illegal immigration

Q: Do you support the actions taken by the State of Arizona by enacting their illegal immigration law?

A: Unlike our Attorney General and our Director of Homeland Security, I have read the AZ law. It's only about 10 pages, but it's a very important law. I absolutely support what Arizona has done here. Anyone who reads it would know it's a very fair law as well. We should absolutely be passing the same law here in N.H.

Source: Americans for Prosperity/Cornerstone 2010 N.H. Senate Debate Jun 5, 2010

On War & Peace: Israel has right to defend itself, even with Gaza flotilla

Q: The UN quickly condemned Israel for the acts leading to the loss of life in international waters in the recent Gaza flotilla incident. If you are elected US Senator, will Israel always be right?

A: Israel, like other countries, has the right to defend itself. It's always unfortunate when there's any loss of life. But in that circumstance, they were stopping arms coming from Hamas into Gaza. Hamas has continued to shoot rockets into Israel and they were defending themselves.

Q: So will Israel always be right?

A: I will absolutely evaluate every situation on its facts and on its merits. Whenever there's a loss of life, it's very tragic, but we have to respect Israel's right to defend itself.

Source: Americans for Prosperity/Cornerstone 2010 N.H. Senate Debate Jun 5, 2010

The above quotations are from 2010 New Hampshire Senate Debates.
Click here for other excerpts from 2010 New Hampshire Senate Debates.
Click here for other excerpts by Kelly Ayotte.
Click here for a profile of Kelly Ayotte.
Kelly Ayotte on other issues:
Abortion
Budget/Economy
Civil Rights
Corporations
Crime
Drugs
Education
Energy/Oil
Environment
Families
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Immigration
Jobs
Principles
Social Security
Tax Reform
Technology
War/Peace
Welfare
Please consider a donation to OnTheIssues.org!
Click for details -- or send donations to:
1770 Mass Ave. #630, Cambridge MA 02140
E-mail: submit@OnTheIssues.org
(We rely on your support!)

Page last updated: Sep 27, 2012