Concord, N.H. - In a press availability on Wednesday, Governor Sununu touched on a wide range of issues, continuously putting his foot in his mouth during a tough stretch in his governorship. Just last week, Sununu's top legislative priority failed for a third time at the hand of his own party, capping a legislative session that saw defeat after defeat for a governor whose party controls every governing body in the state. Sununu then attended a closed-door NHGOP convention at which Republicans ousted their former chairwoman for proposing a marriage equality amendment, deciding instead to keep anti-marriage equality language in their 2018 platform. Yesterday, Sununu admitted he would likely sign a restrictive voting bill he has long opposed if it is deemed constitutional by the state Supreme Court.
NHDP Chair Ray Buckley issued the following statement:
"Now it's easy to see why Governor Sununu and New Hampshire Republicans want to avoid the press as much as possible. Governor Sununu can't help but put his foot in his mouth as he goes through the toughest stretch of his governorship. Even so, that is no excuse for endorsing closed-press events, dodging questions about support for marriage equality, and absolving himself of his role as head of the party rather than taking on his fellow Republicans on issues he cares about. Sununu continues to pass the buck whenever he can, a move clearly designed to save face with a Republican base that is running away from him. New Hampshire deserves a governor who leads, not a typical politician like Chris Sununu."
See below for Governor Sununu's tough day with the press: Gave up his role as head of the NH Republican Party WMUR: Asked about the [NHGOP convention] developments Wednesday, Sununu would not say that he is the leader of the Republican Party in the state...“Jeanie Forrester is the chairman of the NHGOP last time I checked,” he said. Union Leader: Asked if he wasn’t the titular head of the Republican Party as its highest elected official Sununu answered, “Jeanie Forrester is chairman of the GOP, that’s not my job.” Refused to support the idea of marriage equality in the NH Republican platform WMUR: He would not say if he agreed with the changes that Horn wanted to present or if he more generally felt that the party should support marriage equality. Said he would likely sign a law he has long opposes if it's ruled "constitutional" Union Leader: Gov. Chris Sununu now says that if the state Supreme Court decides a bill defining residency for purposes of voting is constitutional, he will sign it into law...Sununu had previously suggested he would oppose the bill, HB 1264 and a related measure, HB 372. NHPR: After repeatedly stating he opposes the existing language in that bill — and a nearly identical one, House Bill 372 — Sununu now says he will likely sign the legislation as long as the court can “verify that it meets all the constitutional requirements” his office has asked them to review. AP: If the court finds no constitutional issues with it, Sununu said "It would be hard not to sign it..." State Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley accused Sununu of trying "to pass the buck to anybody who will take it...It's hard to believe Sununu is foolish enough to think he has to sign every bill that is deemed constitutional, regardless of how he feels about the legislation," he said in a statement. WMUR: Gov. Chris Sununu said Wednesday that if the state Supreme Court finds a controversial voter residency requirement bill constitutional following a review that he is requesting, “I think it would be hard not to sign it...” Sununu has publicly opposed the bill and a similar bill that is still being considered by lawmakers since he was shown in a video in December telling a college student, “I hate it.” Supported NHGOP's decision to bar the media from 2 events WMUR: Sununu said he had no problem with the NHGOP closing to the media both the Saturday convention and a major fundraiser held Monday, headlined by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos... “Those decisions are up to those who are holding and hosting those fundraisers,” he said. “If people want to close a fundraiser or a private event to press, that’s completely their choice.” Accused Marsy's Law of being poorly sold... after being the lead salesman Union Leader: On Marsy’s Law, Sununu said its abject failure in the House was a matter of salesmanship and not the issue itself... “It’s a phenomenal idea. It was messaged fairly poorly by the advocates and they couldn’t get around to messaging it properly to get House support,” Sununu said. (Note: Sununu launched the Marsy's Law campaign with a press conference in his own office & testified on its behalf, something he only did for Marsy's Law and school vouchers this session) Absolved himself of any responsibility for shaping his own state party's platform WMUR: “I don’t get involved in the platform issues with the party,” Sununu said. “We have a lot of delegates and a lot of representatives that participate in that process. It’s a good process, just like the Democrats have their process...Can you pick apart each party’s platform? Of course, you can pick apart individual issues,” he said. “But we’ll really leave it up to those delegates to determine where that platform really should go.” (Note: In his role as governor, Chris Sununu is a delegate to the New Hampshire Republican State Committee).