(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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If the bench is so deep and there are so many good people to choose from why isn't one of them running for the Republican nomination, instead of all the goof-balls? You'd think for President you'd be pushing the cream of the crop!
Flippin' Mittens picks a TeaCrazy....big surprise! The guy doesn't even know what side of the fence he's standing on from day to day. Who could trust that?
I thought that Romney was smarter than this. Surely he realized that McCain ended his chance at the Presidency when he picked the inexperienced air headed Sarah Palin. If Romney picks another one-termer politician with essentially no experience, then he's even more toast than he already is.
Isn't that convenient, to name a N.H. Senator when you are facing a primary in N.H. Most opportunists know no shame and have little to offer.
You know, for a man that has 3/4s of the GOP vote AGAINST him, it's a bit premature to start with the whole running mates idea. If you ask me, the GOP put Romney up there to occupy the WH into thinking he'll win. This way, Obama slams Mittens, not everybody.
Nothing like teeing off the "base" by picking one of them "northeastern types" to pair up with Flippity flop the MA RomneyCare originator
Romney must be desperate to win N.H. Before South Carolina primary, I'm sure Lindsey Graham will be touted as a great V.P., etc. I think he should choose Mickey Mouse when he's in Florida.
VP hint? Romney, you're a pompass a**. You have no chance against President Obama. No one's going to vote for the party that is only interested in protecting rich people. "Corporations are people, too, my friend" -Mitt Romney
Don't you have to be the nominee to choose a running mate?
Romney is an even bigger tool than "Obama is a closet muslim" and that's saying something.
Kelly Ayotte is one of the biggest @holes in politics on the East Coast!! She is waaay too extreme and ultra conservative.
Read her bio.
How can the V.P. bench be so deep (according to Romney), yet the POTUS choices are abysmal? Rose colored glasses I guess. That's what most Repub's will be wearing on election day.
Mitt... if you brought back Ronald Reagan as your VP you still couldn't beat Obama. Not that Obama is doing such a great job either but the fact that most of the GOP (Tea Partiers) will never support you.
Gee, Mittie. What about asking one of the illegal immigrants you had working on your second mansion to serve as VP?
Or maybe someone who got you those deferments during the Vietnam War, so you could serve your Mormonish church mission to...the French Riviera.
Or maybe the family dog – you know, the one you strapped to the roof of your station wagon on the 12 hour trip to Canada.
Whatever. Be sure and find someone who flip-flops as much as you do. Don't want to upset the match.
@Thomas – I have heard this comment ad nauseum. Is military service required in this country? Can you contribute to the country any other way? Did Obama serve in the military? Are his daughters going to? I am not sure what your point is.
putting the horse before the cart, mitt. can't respect an obvious lying flipflopper. the economy and the usa won't get better with mitt, just worse. he'll kiss any and everyone's behind everytime. can you say norquist, boehner, koch brothers, limbaugh, mcconnell, wall street, chamber of commerce, the elite, chris christie, tea partiers, everyone but the middle class, students, women, minorities just to mention a few.
putting the cart before the horse, mitt. can't respect an obvious lying flipflopper. the economy and the usa won't get better with mitt, just worse. he'll kiss any and everyone's behind everytime. can you say norquist, boehner, koch brothers, limbaugh, mcconnell, wall street, chamber of commerce, the elite, chris christie, tea partiers, everyone but the middle class, students, women, minorities just to mention a few.
If you are Kelley Ayotte and you believe this, I have a bridge (needing repair) to sell you.
Romney has few right wing conservative credentials. This headline: "9/15/10 at 2:41 PM Comment ‘Granite Grizzly’ Kelly Ayotte Narrowly Beats Tea Party in New Hampshire" would suggest that Ms. Ayotte is not going to mobilize the right- wing conservative base either.
If he nominates a woman, it will be someone like Nikki Haley. If it is a man, perhaps someone like Haley Barbour, without the soft on racism storyline. Ayotte doesn't have a chance.
He is very desperate. But all of this will catch up to him. He drops her name, the only name, after she endorses him. If America wants low paying jobs for higher skilled people then vote for Mitt.
Romney is the most arrogant and dishonnest politician I ever known. You don't even win the nomination yet but you're acting like you did already while keep criticizing Prez Obama for anything he does, distorting his records, taking his statements out of context, making factually lying statements about him and flip flopping on almost all issues over and over again. Really? Are these conservatism principles? No ethics, honnesty and integrity? What is the GOP become? A party of no new idea with lower taxes for the rich anc corporations as the only solutions for all problems. Thanks but no thanks Romney.
Still the talk about making sure that Obama is a "one-term president". Most of us see that statement for what it really is. Why not just say, "I don't care if our country goes down the tubes, so long as we take back that White House!" Rather telling in its way, no?
Pandering to women didn't work for McCain and won't work for Mittens. We see thru these games now.
Doesn't really matter who he picks, Obama will get his 2nd term – Corporations are NOT people my friend.
I am NOT a fan of this person, and I think she's having real problems, but consider Romney/Bachmann. Laugh if you will, stranger things have happened. Strong evangelical and social conservative to counterbalance the Mormon "question." Midwestern appeal to pull key swing states like IA and MN (and even MO?) Perhaps attractive to some women. Founding member of Congressional Tea Party Caucus to secure that group. I will vote Obama, don't get me wrong. Just saying.