TAMPA – Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire) rose to national and regional prominence during the 2010 wave elections when she won a tough primary by less than 2,000 votes. Ayotte defeated a tough field that featured a millionaire businessman and a well known statewide social conservative who had backing from the Tea Party. Ayotte, not exactly a social liberal, does have some libertarian tendencies.
"I really consider myself 'me,' and just evaluate every issue by asking if it is the proper role of government and if it is consistent with the Constitution," she said, when asked if she considers herself a libertarian. "Should this be something that should be handled by the federal government or the states?"
Ayotte entered the United States Senate at the same time as Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and said she enjoys working with him.
"I respect him and I think there are a lot of terrific ideas that he certainly has on the fiscal state of the country and to get our fiscal house in order and with limited and accountable government," she said.