(CNN) – GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney on Monday dropped a name for a possible running mate should he secure his party's nomination.
"There are probably 15 names of people, including (New Hampshire Sen.) Kelly Ayotte," Romney said in an interview on Fox News. "I mean, there are terrific Republicans in the Senate, in the House, in governors' offices."
Programming note: GOP presidential candidates face off at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday, November 22, in the CNN Republican National Security Debate in Washington, D.C.
Ayotte, who was sitting next to Romney at the time of the interview, threw her support behind Romney this weekend in a highly coveted endorsement.
The first-term senator was elected in 2010 with 60% of the vote and is seen as a strong conservative on issues of finance and defense. A former state attorney general, Ayotte voted against the debt deal hammered out in Congress this summer.
Asked who she thinks Romney should consider for vice president, Ayotte pointed to names already floating around in GOP circles: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.
She also pointed to Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico as a strong candidate.
While Romney has been criticized from the right for being too moderate, Ayotte said her main focus was electing a Republican who could oust President Barack Obama from the White House.
"(Romney) is the person who can lead our country, change the direction, bring those conservative principles that we need to the White House and most importantly make sure that Barack Obama is a one-term president," Ayotte said in the interview.
The former Massachusetts governor has remained steady in the top tier of the GOP presidential field, but a new CNN/ORC International Poll this week showed Romney falling slightly behind former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
And while Romney was hesitant to list any more possible VP contenders, the candidate said there's no short list of potential names.
"You've got extraordinary men and women," Romney said. "We have a very deep bench."
– CNN's Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report.
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Romney is the best chance to beat Obama in 2012. I vote for any other Republican in the primary is a vote for Obama in the general.
I would never vote for a non Christian like the wearer of Magic Underwear Romney.
Once again the GOP admits that getting Obama out of office is the most important thing to them. Not fixing the economy, not jobs, not foreign policy, not the welfare of our country. Their personal vendetta against Obama is ALL they care about and they have no problem saying it.
"Evangelicals won't come out in droves for Romney because of the Mormonism xenophobia they have."
"no Christian Republican will vote for him."
Those little bits of junk food for the mind are what will allow Romney to win if too many of you smug liberals get complacent (remember 2010?). You forget that Karl Rove, a dedicated neocon deathcult member who will do anything to win, is pushing Romney. For many years Rove has successfully played the evangelicals and social conservatives for chumps. Yet now some of you seem to thing these same low information, reality-free voters will somehow wise up and refuse to support Romney after supporting virtually every other political hack the right throws their way. Get real and get to work. Rove knows how to manipulate voters and these people have not provided any viable reason for anyone to believe they are any less gullible then they have been for years.
Perry will pick Coulter (both being evil incarnate (sp)), Cain with pick Bachmann (a tea party sweetheart), Gingrich will pick Palin (another tea party sweetheart). It looks like it won't matter who Ron Paul or the other remaining candidates choose. I would really like to see another, ANY other really, Democrat to campaign against the President. If only to force him to re-connect with the democratic party. To hear what democrats outside the beltway feel about his current policies.
I think she's a bit above Palin in intelligence, but still a bull crap talker.
Mitt's solution to the economy is to inherit millions, then raid corporations to eliminate jobs.
Romney / Huntsman 2012
"I mean, there are terrific Republicans in the Senate, in the House, in governors' offices." – if that's what Romney thinks about the current state of the Republican party, I guess we already know what types of policies he'll endorse.
I am sure he has a dozen people on his short list – all in exchange for an endorsement.
Pandering to the women who don't agree with him politically, and can actually look past his good looks to the emptiness that lies beneath. I'm beginning to wonder what this guy won't do to try to become president.
@The Greedy Old Pigs ... True, but those voters are going to pull for the R no matter what. Look how many votes McCain got with Palin on the ticket. Unbelievable.
Obama 2012. Seriously America.
Expecting the social conservative right, which makes up the majority of the early primary voters for the republican field, to accept Mitt Romney is an exercise of the highest stupidity.
As a political philosophy, conservatism has all but kicked the chair out from under itself, after tying the noose around it's neck. It's much to fractured to come up with a coherent message, it's far too radical to find any acceptance among middle America, and it's far too wrong to be taken seriously by anyone with more than a high school degree.
I gleefully await the next GOP presidential concession speech. Nothing sweetens my day more than a snifter of Neo-Con tears.
Pulling the old McCain trick, eh?
It won't work, Romney.
Romney is going to win the nomination…and he will lose to President Obama, unfortunately by a close margin. Take a drive through Red State America, as we saw during the 2008 campaign, where parents teach their children that they need to wear gloves ‘to touch the President’, and you will see why this margin will be so close. I will never understand why these same Poor Uneducated Whites will blindly vote Republican when it is ‘Socialist’ Democrats who make sure their food stamps and welfare checks are in their mailboxes on time.
Huntsman and Paul are the only Republicans on that stage that I can respect. Cheers to Paul’s approach regarding if/when Israel declares war on Iran.
Romney is going to win the nomination…and he will lose to President Obama, unfortunately by a close margin.
Expat, If you were still here among us getting your information from Main Street instead of online or from the news media, you would understand how completely gone the Obama administration will be when Americans get to vote him out. His economic strategies have failed miserably one after the other, he has avoided any form of leadership at every chance and he relies on political games for every decision he makes. It's not a combination Americans want.