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November 29. 2011 11:05PM

Romney catches Ayotte by surprise with V.P. talk

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte said Tuesday that she did not expect Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney to name her as a potential running mate.

“That was a surprise,” said Ayotte, R-N.H.

Ayotte appeared with Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, during the last several minutes of an hourlong interview Romney held Nov. 21 with Fox News host Sean Hannity. Ayotte had earlier that day announced her endorsement of Romney.

She said Romney did not mention to her that he might name her as a possible vice presidential candidate. Romney mentioned her as one of “15 names of people” he or anyone else who wins the Republican nomination could name as a running mate.

He at first declined to answer the question, saying it would be “presumptuous” because he hadn’t secured the nomination.

For her part, Ayotte said she is focused on her job as the freshman senator from New Hampshire.

“I am very committed to representing New Hampshire,” she said. “It is such a privilege to serve New Hampshire in the U.S. Senate.”

However, she said, “certainly it was an honor to be mentioned.”


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