In a New York Times opinion piece, Sununu touted his status as the “governor of the first-in-the-nation primary state” and said he wanted to narrow the field to unite voters away from the former president and endorse “the best alternative to Trump.”
Sununu wrote that a debate victory for the participants on Wednesday in Milwaukee hinges on going after the former president, who is shackled by four indictments.
“To win, they must break free of Mr. Trump’s drama, step out of his shadow, go on offense, attack, and present their case. Then they need to see if they can catch fire this fall — and if they can’t, they need to step aside, because winnowing down the field of candidates is the single best chance to stop Mr. Trump,” said Sununu, a frequent critic of Trump.
“Too much is at stake for us to have wishful candidacies,” he added. “While the other Republican candidates are running to save America, Mr. Trump is running to save himself.”
Sununu complimented the “compelling stories” of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina but said they have to be willing to confront Trump. He praised Chris Christie’s boldness in criticizing Trump but recommended that the former New Jersey governor widen his message.
He pointed out New Hampshire’s role as a harbinger for securing the nomination ― the victor in the GOP primary there has won the nomination in each contest over the past 20 years.
“Once the voters of Iowa and New Hampshire are presented a clear alternative to Mr. Trump, his path forward darkens, and the Republican Party’s future begins to take shape,” he wrote. “The rest of the country needs to see not just that the emperor has no clothes, but that the Republican Party is able to refocus the conversation where it needs to be, on a nominee dedicated to saving America.”
Sununu has been a frequent critic of Trump. He recently said Trump drones on about his legal grievances in public instead of telling supporters how he’ll solve the country’s problems, “which is what all the other candidates are doing.”
Sununu also went after some Trump disciples who heckled former Vice President Mike Pence recently in New Hampshire. “Angry, unhinged Trump supporters? I don’t think anyone’s surprised to see it,” Sununu told CNN in an interview.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, pictured at an NRA event in April 2023, wants to narrow the GOP field to defeat front-runner Donald Trump.