Charles Dharapak, File, Associated Press
FILE - In this July 4, 2012 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. make a lemonade stop as they walk in the Fourth of July Parade in Wolfeboro, N.H.

CONCORD, N.H. — New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte told Republicans at their national convention in Tampa, Fla., that President Barack Obama's economic plan amounts to a "success tax" on business.

Ayotte spoke about her husband, Joe, who served in Iraq before coming home to start his own landscaping and snowplowing business. She said they borrowed money to start and had no guarantee of success, just like other families around the U.S. who take risks starting businesses.

"My concern is that President Obama is making it very difficult for small businesses to get started, to create jobs and to survive," she said. "(Small business owners) 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."

Ayotte invoked New Hampshire's state motto — Live Free or Die — and shared a story of a business owner who couldn't expand because he couldn't afford the requirements of the new health care overhaul. She said Obama believes that as a family business grows, the federal government should take a larger share of its earnings.

"Is that what we want for small business in America?" she asked. "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?"

Ayotte said Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is what small businesses need to lower and simplify taxes, eliminate job-killing red tape and roll back the Affordable Care Act.