New Hampshire Republican Governor Chris Sununu told CNN Monday morning that he would not launch a 2024 presidential campaign.
Sununu had been considering a run for the last several months but said his decision would ultimately be dictated by how he could best serve the party.
“I’ve taken the last six months to really kind of look at things, where everything is, and I’ve made the decision not to run for president on the Republican ticket in 2024,” he told CNN’s Dana Bash. “Obviously, a lot goes into that decision. But it’s been quite an adventure, but not the end of the adventure by any means.”
Sununu said that he wants to use his voice to make the Republican Party bigger by being more “candid” and “unleashed” when speaking to the American people and he believes that what he has to say will be more impactful if he’s not a candidate because people will not question if he is saying something just to get elected.
“I want more Independents on the Republican Party team,” he said. “I want more young voters on the Republican Party team. I’m tired of losing U.S. Senate races and governors races. And clearly I talk a bit candidly, I think as folks appreciate, I think more folks within the Republican Party have to have that kind of voice, that kind of emphasis of message and making sure that this is about the Republican Party, not just about the former president.”
Sununu said that he did not have a problem with candidates continuing to jump into a crowded a field but cautioned that candidates “need to understand the responsibility of getting out and getting out quickly if it’s not working.”
Sununu said that since he is not getting into the race he can be “more candid” with calling out candidates who have no shot and telling them to drop out of the race.
The 48-year-old governor said that the candidates who do not have a shot in the race need to drop out by “Christmas at the latest” and that if everyone tries to stay in the race for as long as possible that it will lead to a repeat of the 2016 presidential race where a candidate with approximately 35% of the vote ends up winning the nomination because there are too many candidates in the race.
“That’s not where we should be as a party,” he said. “We have to be a party in a country that goes forward. And if we’re only talking about Donald Trump, then we’re only talking about re-litigating elections or January 6, we’re only talking about yesterday, but this is the United States of America, as a candidate you got to be what you’re going to bring to the table.”
#BREAKING: Chris Sununu announces he will NOT be running for president, telling @DanaBashCNN there's "a very large field" and candidates need to be "call[ed]…out" when they're in the single digits and splitting the non-Trump vote.
He adds many will need to quit by Christmas. pic.twitter.com/ZgwrSWHDK6
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) June 5, 2023
Sununu said that he does not believe that all the candidates in the race believe that they can actually be president and that many of them are just there to try to end up as a VP pick or end up with a cabinet position.
“If you’re not talking in residence against the candidate who’s right now winning by 20 or 30 points, then you’re just potentially auditioning to be on his team,” Sununu said. “But clearly, there’s 12 People in the race. I don’t think all 12 of them firmly believe that they can be president. I think a lot of a lot of them just want to effectively audition to be in the cabinet or vice president. And at this time, there’s no place for that. There’s absolutely no place for that.”
Sununu said that the candidates who are running in the hopes of getting a cabinet position from Trump are “weak” and that he will be “very verbal” and “very vocal” about calling out candidates who he does not believe are authentic.
“It has to be about the party. It has to be about making sure that the ticket up and down is strong,” he said. “And right now Donald Trump costs us from the U.S. Senate to governorships to school board seats, his message costs Republican parties dearly across the country.”
Chris Sununu on low-polling candidates w/no shot: "I don't think all 12 firmly believe they can be president. A lot of them just want to, yeah, audition to be in cabinet or VP]…[T]here's no place for that…It's not just about the vanity. It's not just to…sell books" pic.twitter.com/EaoLTLK8Tb
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) June 5, 2023
Sununu said that he will thinks that he will be endorsing a candidate but he has not made a decision on which candidate he will back and that whoever the candidate is will have to earn it by campaigning hard in the state.
This is a breaking news story; refresh the page for updates.