(WASHINGTON) — New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said Sunday that he is considering a run for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
“I’m definitely thinking about it and having those conversations,” Sununu told ABC “This Week” co-anchor Jonathan Karl.
The governor, who was just overwhelmingly reelected to a fourth term, said “the message is new leadership” and touted his own track record running what he called the “most efficient” state government in the U.S.
“But at the end of the day, you’re going to have a lot of Republicans that get in that race,” he said. “They’re all really good people. They’re really good candidates. … And you got to have that discussion about where we’re going to go, both as a party and make sure we’re going there as a country.”
The field of 2024 GOP contenders already includes former President Donald Trump while former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is expected to announce her own bid later this month, sources have told ABC News.
Sununu, a vocal Trump critic, is skeptical of his general election chances. “He could get the nomination, but he can’t get it done,” Sununu said.
He pointed to the 2022 midterm elections, where several major Trump-backed candidates fell short, as a sign of Trump’s electability concerns. Sununu, a self-described “free-market principled Republican,” said the party should focus on finding a conservative candidate who isn’t too divisive.
“What I’ve tried to espouse to with Republicans is, ‘Look, we want to vote for the most conservative candidate that can win in November and get stuff done in ’25,'” he said.
Sununu said that his personal vision was this: “I believe government has to get out of your way. And we’ve done it really, really well here in New Hampshire. We’re sharing that model across the country.”
Good leadership is what is lacking out of President Joe Biden’s White House, Sununu argued, faulting Biden both for his response to a Chinese reconnaissance balloon flying over the country last week and what Sununu said was a disingenuous picture of the economy.
“Go into a grocery store and just talk to people in the cereal aisle. What are they feeling? You know, do they feel confident about this leadership that the president? No,” Sununu said. He cited a new ABC News/Washington Post survey that four in 10 Americans feel financially worse off under Biden.
“The best leadership is one that looks inside, says, ‘What are we doing right? What are we doing wrong, right?’ If we don’t acknowledge the problem, we can’t fix it,” Sununu said, adding, “You need to see more of that out of Washington.”
The Biden administration’s approach to the Chinese balloon, revealing its presence days after it entered the U.S. and then shooting it down over the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday, was “too little, too late,” Sununu said.
U.S. officials have said they delayed any military response to prevent hurting civilians and took steps to limit any intelligence risk.
“Again, you have to have leadership. You have to be transparent. You have to be fast-acting,” Sununu said.
When asked about Biden’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, Sununu contended that the commander-in-chief will wrongly take credit for current economic progress as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought widespread job loss.
Sununu said he expects Biden to tout the unemployment rate, at a decades-low, but “after a pandemic, that wasn’t very hard.”
Boasting about declining inflation, which is now at a year-over-year rate of 6.5%, would be similarly self-serving, Sununu said. “Inflation was at a record high — of course it’s coming down,” he said. “It couldn’t have gotten any higher.”
“The prices are not going to go back to where they were. I know the Biden administration likes to pretend that,” Sununu said, predicting that the economy would be headed for years of so-called “stagflation,” in which rising costs limit growth.
Despite his sharp criticisms of Biden, Sununu said he still doesn’t think Trump can win against him in a 2024 rematch.
“Trump is going to be seen as a very extreme candidate,” Sununu said. “The country is going to push back against it.”
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