Sununu on Not Running For President And Weighing His Endorsement Options

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Guy Benson: Joining us once again is the governor of New Hampshire, Republican Chris Sununu, who was just here a few days ago, late last week. And we’re very pleased to have him back now because we started a conversation. On that program that we will then continue here. Now, Governor, welcome back.

Chris Sununu: Twice in one week, people will be taught very.

Guy Benson: I what an honor. It’s incredible to get you back here. But you made some news in the interim. We were talking last week about whether you were going to ultimately take this plunge, pull this trigger. Run for president of the United States. You had been traveling the country, talking with voters, talking with groups and donors and that sort of thing. And you were kind of weighing it with us live as we spoke last week. And you said your decision would be announced within the next two weeks. And then just yesterday, outcomes your Washington Post op ed saying I’m not running for president. Just tell us why you came to that conclusion. What were the determinative factors?

Chris Sununu: Well, there were a lot of things. I mean, first, it would have been easy to say I wasn’t running. There was no path. But there was a path, actually, and the money had lined up and all that sort of thing. And, you know, we kind of listened to what folks wanted. But it’s really about the fact that you have former President Trump, who does not really represent the core of the Republican Party. He represents the base. I get that, but not really. Where most Republicans are is leading in the polls. You get a dozen people in the race now, maybe more ultimately. And you know, where how can I best serve the party? How can I best keep doing what I’m doing, not just beating up on Trump? It’s not about that. But helping candidates kind of be the best part of themselves, helping candidates bring on board those independents, young voters help candidates talk about things, not just get them through the primary, but make sure we win in November. And at the end of the day, I think you and I can agree that’s all that matters. I mean, you cannot govern. You cannot change this country. You cannot get any of this back. If we can’t win, Trump can’t win. The Masters does not work for him. There’s no version of the electoral math that gets them to a win in November. So therefore, we we are we’re going to find a different candidate. We’re going to a more forward looking candidate and a more optimistic and hopeful minded candidate with a good background and record of success. And we’ll figure out who that is through the process. So just it didn’t have to be the Christian initial. I don’t know how to say it. I just want the party to win as a whole. And I think I can be a little more candid and unleashed, as I put it yesterday, kind of doing what I do, how I do it not just in Iowa or New Hampshire, but really across the country, getting people excited again about the Republican Party.

Guy Benson: So let me just ask you then and challenge you on a few things that you just said, because I’m sure that there are folks listening right now in the audience saying, well, hold on, how can he say that Trump doesn’t represent really the core of the Republican Party when according to a lot of these national polls of Republican voters, Trump is leading the field by a large margin in some cases. In some cases, rather, he’s at 50% or higher. I mean, if he doesn’t represent the core of the party, he’s representing it, you would think at least better than anyone else based on those polling results. .1. to when you just assert that he can’t win next year, people will say, well, they said that about him in 2016 also. And you know, Biden is awful and getting older and maybe there’s a recession. How can you be so confident that Trump couldn’t win a general election in 2024? What are your responses to those two points?

Guy Benson: Well, first, I mean, was this the same President Trump that just said that Andrew Cuomo handled the pandemic better than Ron DeSantis? Is there any Republican in America that would agree with that statement? No, that’s crazy. Andrew Cuomo was a joke. I mean, what he did during the pandemic with the lockdowns and all that. So that’s the kind of leadership of the Republican Party that anyone in the Republican Party that can say he’s fiscally disciplined. No, not even close. Added 8 trillion to the debt. And when you look at the math of the general election, you can’t win Georgia. You can’t. That was proven. It was proven when we lost in 18. His message lost two seats in Georgia in 20 and 22. If you’re a Republican, they can’t win Georgia. It’s game over. I mean, there’s just certain mathematics of the Electoral College that he can’t cross.

Guy Benson: I mean, I think especially that Georgia point is a significant one. It’s something that conservatives and Republican voters need to think about very carefully, because there’s a difference between. Wanting to vote for someone that makes you feel good and you feel like it was maybe treated unfairly and is still being treated unfairly by a lot of people. That is not the same thing as voting for someone not necessarily totally with your heart, but with your head with an eye toward needing to win. And what I hear, at least from people who say that they’re not sure about Trump or they’re moving on from Trump is they just know too many people in their lives who will never vote for Trump and who will, in fact, turn out like aggressively, enthusiastically to vote against Trump, whereas they wouldn’t have those feelings toward any number of other Republicans. There’s a lot of people in that camp, especially in those swing voter, independent voter areas, that ultimately decide elections in key states like Georgia and Arizona and elsewhere. So with that being said, Governor, obviously you preside over a very important state in this whole process. First in the nation primary. You’re going to have a lot of people coming through the state. They’re already there. Chris Christie is going to announce in your state tonight. What is your advice that you’re giving to them based on your experiences leading your state, but also during this sort of dalliance, thinking about running for president, maybe gleaning some lessons along the way, if people are coming to you in good faith wanting advice, what are you telling them?

Chris Sununu: You got to again, you got to go earn it. You got to be vote tomorrow. Right? That swing vote that you’re talking about does exist. It doesn’t exist for Trump because everybody is either with him or against. I mean, that’s like there’s no there’s no real undecideds with him anymore. So let’s go earn the voters. But you do that by talking about tomorrow, not relitigating the past. You can’t just be a candidate that only hits Trump. This isn’t about anti-Trump. That’s not what I’m about. It really isn’t. It’s about trying to encourage folks to be beyond themselves and kind of where the party is going to go. And you got to connect with people one on one, look them in the eye, connect with people on a personal level. And that’s I’m just speaking for Iowa and New Hampshire in particular. So where you’re going to get a lot of your support, where a lot of those swing Republican voters are, and make sure that when you’re talking you’re talking and speaking about issues that are the people’s issues, not just your issues and issues that you can win on as we go into November. I think most any of these other candidates other than Trump can win excuse me, can win in November. But they got to they got to kind of be on their own two feet and give a punch and take a punch on on the debate stage and kind of have all of that going for them. And this is all a lot to play out. Think of it this way, guy. When they write a couple of years from now, when they write the story of the 24 election. Very little will be written about what happened before today. Right. They’ll all be kind of going forward, all the action, all the excitement, all the ups and downs and the missteps and all that will all still have to play out. So there’s still a lot of game here to play. And to go back to your point, it’s very important this look, I think Donald Trump is getting absolutely beat up on unfairly in New York. I think the Russian collusion thing was a bunch of B.S. He’s been exonerated for that. And he has every right to be you know, he was he was a victim. I mean, the guy’s playing the victim card, Right. But that doesn’t mean that is what’s best for America going forward. We can’t be a country that says the best opportunity for tomorrow’s leadership is yesterday’s leadership that is not American, that is not in our DNA. We want the next 2.0, the next big idea, the next name, the next innovation. That isn’t yesterday’s news. America as a whole, in that general election, 24 is never going to go backwards. And this is not 2016 right now. This is we’ve had election denial. We’ve had January six. We have all these other issues that have come into play that have taken all those questionable swing voters that just got them over the line in 16 and put a hard no on all of them. And that was proven. It’s not a hypothesis. It was proven when we got our asses kicked in 2022 and 2020 and 2018. We’ve lost three races back to back to back that we should have won with him is kind of our our message bearer. It doesn’t work. So thank you for your service. We’re just going to move on. We got a lot of great candidates to choose from.

Guy Benson: As those candidates come through New Hampshire, I’m sure quite a few of them would be very, very pleased to have the support and endorsement of Governor Chris Sununu. Because you’re popular in that state, you’re one of the most popular governors in the country, and I’d imagine you’re probably fielding phone calls, sort of feeling things out. Do you plan to endorse anyone? Nobody. Maybe someone. What’s the thought process there?

Chris Sununu: Yeah, I suspect I will. Look, all I’m going to passionately get behind someone that I believe in and think can and things can get the Republican Party back on track. I can’t tell you who it is. I don’t know. I mean, I really don’t. They’re all friends. For the most part, they’re all friends. I give them all advice. I’ve talked to them all multiple times in the past 24 to 48 hours. And I think I might even see pence for coffee this week. Bergen’s coming in. Governor Bergen is a great friend. He’s coming into the state for the first time, so I’m here to help them all. I really am. And and we’ll see kind of, you know, where they go with the retail politics and the messaging. But, you know, I suspect I’ll likely endorse someone and get behind them and try to get them over the finish line.

Guy Benson: When do you think that would be? When would you make that type of call?

Chris Sununu: No, I don’t know. I guess when they earn it. Right, Because I mean, probably later then sooner, I would say, you know, that October, November, December timeframe, I meant I want to endorse someone and get behind them and help them as best I can. I saying that if you get Sununu’s endorsement, you automatically win the state. That’s not the way it works. But I’m happy to get behind someone if they’ve earned it. We’ll we’ll see what what kind of chops they have when they hit the ground here.

Guy Benson: You know, There we go. Chris Sununu is the 82nd governor of the great state of New Hampshire, a Republican. He is out when it comes to 2024 in the presidential sweepstakes. He is in in terms of the process and the future. And we look forward to seeing what that looks like. We look forward to having you back. Governor, thank you.

Chris Sununu: Thank you, brother.