The possibility of New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte becoming Donald Trump's vice president has generated quite the buzz among Granite State Democrats. With just two months left until the National Republican Convention, the presumptive GOP candidate has decided to keep the public guessing. Though Trump has not revealed which names are included in his list of possible veeps, he said that he's narrowed it down to just five or six people. Could Kelly Ayotte be one of them?
Ayotte has been the Senator of New Hampshire since 2010, and is currently the second youngest female Senator. Ranked as the nation's seventh most bipartisan Senator, she has treaded lightly when it comes to openly endorsing Trump. After Reince Priebus declared Trump the presumptive GOP nominee, the Senator's campaign released an official statement made by Liz Johnson, communications director for Ayotte's re-election campaign, regarding her not-quite-endorsement of him.
As she's said from the beginning, Kelly plans to support the nominee. As a candidate herself, she hasn't and isn't planning to endorse anyone this cycle.
In her eyes, a pledge to vote for Trump is not equivalent to an endorsement of him, indicating that she's concerned about appealing to moderate voters who have distanced themselves from Trump. The statement quickly drew the attention of New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan, who is currently running against Ayotte for the Senate seat. Hassan generated the initial buzz about a Trump/Ayotte ticket after Aaron Jacobs, her campaign communications director, issued a statement warning socially liberal Granite Staters of the implications.
Ayotte and Trump are clearly in agreement when it comes to critical issues such as their desire to defund Planned Parenthood, undermine Roe v. Wade, and obstruct the Supreme Court confirmation process.
In that arena, as Hassan suggested, Ayotte is more conservative. In April, Planned Parenthood invested money in a televised ad that discouraged women from re-electing her. Though she only supports abortion in the case of rape or incest, she also introduced the Allowing Greater Access to Safe and Effective Contraception Act, which would made birth control pills available without a prescription. However, Planned Parenthood opposed that plan because it could cause the price of birth control to spike, making it less affordable.
Fiscally, Ayotte also appeals to Trump's views on business and perhaps even immigration in the United States. In 2010, she said that corporate taxes should be decreased and has opposed tax increases on businesses, even those that host jobs overseas. In April 2011, she also voted to bar the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases. Furthermore, she is relatively tough on immigration and has shown support for Arizona's law on illegal immigration.
If Trump is looking for a woman who is pro-business, socially conservative, and able to appeal more successfully to the moderate establishment, Ayotte might just be one of the names on his list.