Chris Sununu Getting Buzz as 2024 Contender

New Hampshire's GOP governor positions himself as 'normal' alternative to Trump
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2023 12:12 PM CST
Chris Sununu Sees a 2024 Path in GOP
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu.   (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu has been making noises about running for president in the 2024 election, though the Republican hasn't officially announced a campaign. He has, however, set up a political action committee, notes the Hill. The 48-year-old also is keeping a relatively high profile in the national media. Coverage:

  • 'Normal': The New York Times is out with a profile noting that Sununu is trying to position himself as a "normal" conservative alternative to Donald Trump. (Sununu's oft-stated mantra is "Be normal.") The question raised by the story is whether such a "normal lane" exists for the GOP nomination in the upcoming election.
  • Moving on: "I don't like losers," Sununu has said, referring to three straight lackluster election cycles for the GOP. "I'm not anti-Trump, I'm not pro-Trump. We're just moving on." And to the Times: "I'm conservative, I'm just not an extremist. Sometimes people confuse conservative with extremist."

  • His politics: Sununu paints himself as fiscally conservative, though less rigid on social issues. He's pro-choice, for example. "I'm ranked the most fiscally conservative governor in the country," Sununu told Politico earlier this month. "I'm No. 1 in personal freedoms. Sorry, Ron, you're No. 2," he added, a reference to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Sununu also boasted that "I would challenge anyone on Second Amendment rights."
  • More on that: Sununu told Face the Nation this month that he would not be a "culture warrior," instead criticizing "woke" divisiveness, per the Hill. He summed up his general philosophy: "I think New Hampshire has this awesome model of 'Live Free or Die.' Limited government, local control, individual responsibility, really putting the voters first. Send them some money, which is nice, but send them the regulatory authority, too. So, a little decentralizing out of Washington, and maybe a little better attitude would be a good thing for America."
  • A plea: In a Washington Post op-ed, Jim Geraghty writes that Sununu is an "impressive governor" who would make a strong presidential candidate someday. Geraghty just doesn't think "someday" is now. His fear is a repeat of the 2016 election, when Trump gained a clear path to the nomination because too many GOP rivals were in the race. "Those who want a non-Trump nominee need the 2024 GOP primary to narrow down to Trump and one other option as quickly as possible." DeSantis already has proven himself to be that option in Geraghty's view, and he wants Sununu to sit out the 2024 race.
(More Chris Sununu stories.)

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