Ayotte pays tribute to New Hampshire “grit” in farewell remarks
By Kelly Thomas | December 8, 2016, 6:44 EDT
Washington DC – Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) took the Senate floor this morning, to deliver her farewell remarks after losing her seat last month to Democratic opponent, Maggie Hassan in one of the nation’s closest political races of the 2016 election season.
Ayotte reserved most of her speech for thanking her family for their support, her staff for their “tireless efforts” and the people of New Hampshire. Speaking of her former constituents, she said: “True to the nature of our great state, they have never been shy about letting me know what’s on their minds, in a town hall or in the aisle of the grocery store. They sent me to the Senate with a sense of purpose, and it has been an honor to work for them and their families.”
Amid her heartfelt words of gratitude, however, Ayotte managed to allude to her legacy on the Senate’s Armed Services Committee, and to her consistent urging of the Obama administration to “be transparent with the American people” about Guantanamo Bay. She went on to enjoin the incoming administration to adopt a “common sense policy” to prevent terrorists from returning to the battlefields.
Ayotte had frequently butted heads with the administration of Obama’s foreign policy, specifically regarding the Iranian nuclear deal and the releasing of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. In this, her two great allies on the Senate floor were Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsay Graham (R-SC), both of whom worked with Ayotte on the Armed Services Committee and who served as mentors for the junior senator. Bidding farewell to her colleagues, Ayotte thanked the two longtime senators for their efforts to “ensure America remains the strongest force for good in the world.”
Ayotte closed by saying that her reason for running for U.S. Senate in 2010 was because she saw the skyrocketing debt and bureaucracy of the Beltway. “It was time for New Hampshire to bring some of its common sense to Washington,” she quipped, adding that with the new president, the senate had a “fresh opportunity” to work for the good of the nation and for future generations.