A transcript of Kelly Ayotte's remarks Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention.
Live free or Die!
That's the motto of the great state of New Hampshire. But I believe tonight we all share that view - as have generations of Americans before us.
Like most Americans - our family's life changed after 9/11.
My husband Joe - who was on track to be a commercial pilot - instead served our great country flying combat missions in Iraq.
When he returned home from the war - he found himself in the same position as so many Americans - he needed a job.
So he started a family business - a landscaping and snowplowing company.
And when I say he - I mean we - because I spent many a sleepless night shoveling snow. And I'm proud of the fact that in addition to being a United States Senator - I'm also pretty good with a snow plow!
We are no different from most families who take risks starting their own business.
We borrowed money to pursue our dreams. And believe me, there was no guarantee of success. We certainly were not too big to fail - we had to make it work.
Yet through all the hard work and sacrifice - we pulled together as a family. As the business grew so did our extended family.
And I speak to you tonight with great concern - for our employees - their families - my family - and your family.
My concern is that President Obama is making it very difficult for small businesses to get started - to create jobs - and to survive.
I hear this all the time from the small business owners I speak with.
They want to focus on their business. The Obama Administration wants to bury them with rules, regulations and red tape.
From the National Labor Relations Board - to the Department of Labor - to the EPA.
Under this Administration, the regulations are up - and the job creation is down.
President Obama's view is clear: he actually believes that as a family business grows - the federal government should take a larger share of its earnings.
That's punishment for expanding and creating more jobs.
I call it a "success tax."
And the very best example is Obamacare.
Let me tell you what I hear in the real world about Obamacare.
Just a couple of months ago - a successful restaurant owner in Concord, New Hampshire, told me about his dilemma. He wanted to open up a second restaurant - and hire more employees.
But he realized that if he did - he would trigger penalties under Obamacare and he couldn't afford it. So he never opened up that restaurant.
Is that what we want for small businesses in America - to be afraid to grow because of the government?
To face penalties when you create more jobs?
To be told "you're earning too much"?
Isn't it time we had a leader who believes that creating jobs ought to be celebrated not penalized?
That is why Mitt Romney is running for president.
He'll get the federal government out of the business of small business.
He'll fight to lower and simplify taxes.
He'll work to eliminate job-killing red tape.
And he will roll back Obamacare starting on Day One!
In both the private sector and as Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney always asked: how can I help small businesses grow, innovate, and compete?
It's the right question. And it's the question that this Administration never thinks to ask.
But why should we be surprised? President Obama has never even run a lemonade stand - and it shows.
So what we need to do is clear.
For the sake of the future of small business - we need to replace Barack Obama.
We need to replace Barack Obama with Mitt Romney. A man who truly gets it.
Mitt understands the hopes and dreams of small business owners throughout our great country.
But don't just take my word for it. I want you to hear directly from someone on the front lines of small business.
Jack Gilchrist is a small business owner from Hudson, New Hampshire.
Three generations of his family have used their own hands to build Gilchrist Metal Fabricating. It's a true family business - founded over 30 years ago by Jack's father - and carried on by Jack and his son.
Jack Gilchrist is the face of small business in America, and yes he did build it. Please join me in welcoming my friend Jack Gilchrist.