By Savannah Halsey Pointer
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu announced on June 5 that he will not seek the Republican nomination for president in 2024.
“Over the last six months, we’ve really kind of looked at things where everything is. And I have decided not to run for president in 2024 on the Republican ticket,” Sununu said during an interview on June 5.
“I think the Republican Party as a whole wants to come out and fight, as opposed to saying, ‘Look, let’s remember what we’re all about: limited power, local control, believing in individual responsibility.’ It’s the Live-Free-or-Die spirit of New Hampshire, and the model works really well.”
He said his decision was influenced in part by the candidacy of former President Donald Trump and the expanding Republican field.
At least three GOP candidates are also expected to join the Republican race this week, including North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum.
“I don’t mind who gets in the field, but given where the polls are right now, every candidate has to understand the responsibility of getting out quickly and getting out quickly if it doesn’t work,” he said. Sununu.
“And I can be more forthright about that as governor in the nation’s first primary, calling out the candidates, saying, you must withdraw from the race.’
He said candidates who are not campaigning should be out of the crowded field by Christmas at the latest.
The New Hampshire governor also had harsh words for candidates who have no serious chance of winning, who appear to be only in the “audition” race, presumably to be nominated for a Republican administration cabinet or other candidate.
“I don’t think all 12 of them firmly believe they can be president,” Sununu said. “I think a lot of them just want … effective auditions to be in the cabinet or to be vice president, and there’s no place for them right now.”
He expressed concern that someone would win the Republican nomination with 35 percent of the electorate and that the majority of the party would not want to support them.
“That’s not where we need to be as a party,” Sununu said.
About Trump’s chances
Sununu believes that Trump has no chance of winning in 2024.
“Right now, Donald Trump is costing us everything from the US Senate to governorships to school board seats. His message is dear to Republican parties across the country. … The math has shown that Donald Trump has no chance of winning in November 2024,” he said.
“If you’re a Republican and you can’t win Georgia in November 2024, you don’t have a shot, and he’s proven that. … His messages are not translated. That works well for a solid 30 to 35 percent base, but he loses everyone outside of that.”
One of the reasons why the Republican Party should avoid Trump is that people have already made up their minds about him, according to Sununu.
“No one is uncertain about the former president,” he said. “There is no one outside. “Well, maybe I should think about voting.” [for Trump]. No, you know where you are. He’s a known commodity, so the math doesn’t add up.
“To the side [Trump] It’s essentially a vote for Joe Biden in the primary.”
On the day Sununu announced he would not run for president, former Vice President Mike Pence officially filed papers announcing his candidacy. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie appears set to enter the race.
These two latest announcements are part of a group of newcomers including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Tim Scott (R.C.) who join former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former Arkansas Gov. Asa. Hutchinson, conservative radio host Larry Elder, and a host of other candidates.
Many of the already announced candidates have spent weeks touring Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and other key early states.
Trump, who announced his candidacy in November 2022, is currently leading among Republican caucuses and primary voters.
Ramaswamy and DeSantis have tried to connect with relatively conservative voters and other Americans concerned about the size and power of the federal government.
In April, the anti-“woke” Ramaswamy vowed to “shut down and replace” both the IRS and the FBI. DeSantis recently said he would also support a move to defund the tax agency.
Christie may seek to position himself as a centrist who aggressively opposes Trump.
Haley, 51, has made cognitive testing one of the cornerstones of his 2024 campaign, pointing to the advancing age of many politicians as a sign that change is needed in both parties.
Nathan Worster contributed to this report.