New Hampshire Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte, likely on Mitt Romney’s short list of potential running mates, criticized President Obama on foreign policy as Romney continues a six-day international trip that has increased scrutiny of his positions on foreign affairs.
Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union, Ayotte gave credit to Obama for approving the mission to kill Osama bin Laden and for escalating drone wars abroad, but said that he hasn't done enough to support the uprising in Syria or to quash Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Ayotte went so far as to accuse Obama of initially resisting U.S. sanctions against Iran.
“He was drug to the table, to the economic sanctions," she said. "The congressional leaders of both sides of the aisle are the ones that pushed stronger economic sanctions. It took years into his presidency to get those tougher economic sanctions in place.”
She added that Obama could have instituted sanctions sooner, and that the U.S. hasn't been as tough as it should be on Iran.
Her comments come as a Romney policy adviser said Romney respects Israel's right to attack Iran to prevent the country from gaining nuclear weapons capacities. But it remains to be seen whether Romney’s stance will shift American voters in his favor. A recent poll has Obama up 15 points over Romney on the issue.
Ayotte remained vague when it came to whether she had been vetted as a running mate. Though Beth Meyers, who heads Romney’s search, sent out a number of tweets that many speculate included the names of possible VP nominees, with Ayotte’s name listed first, Ayotte said her priority is the Senate.
“It’s certainly an honor to be mentioned, but again, we've talked about the grave issues facing our country right now, and serving New Hampshire in the senate, addressing these fiscal issues, that's where my priority is,” she said.