CONCORD -- As Chris Sununu continues to behave like a U.S. Senate candidate (and Mitch McConnell pours dark money into New Hampshire to pave the way for him), Donald Trump’s renewed embrace of the Big Lie could doom Sununu’s potential Senate campaign.
Earlier this week, Donald Trump said if “we don’t solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020” — a claim that is patently false — then “Republicans will not be voting in ‘22 or ‘24.” Trump insisted that the top issue for Republicans in the midterms must be voter fraud.
Sununu has refused to condemn the Big Lie, but at the same time, he has refuted Trump’s claims that there was massive voter fraud in New Hampshire during the 2020 election. That means that Sununu will be forced to choose between disobeying Donald Trump -- risking his wrath ahead of a potential Senate campaign -- or succumbing to the Big Lie.
State House Republicans too are pushing for Sununu to finally choose a side, already moving to introduce at least two bills related to “auditing” the last election.
“Chris Sununu can no longer have it both ways. He must choose between embracing Donald Trump or standing up for democracy,” said NHDP Chair Ray Buckley. “Trump has made it clear that he has every intention of getting involved in the 2022 election, and considering the chokehold he has on the NH GOP, Sununu is set to either doom himself in a primary or doom himself in the general election. Yesterday’s Executive Council meeting was just the latest evidence that Sununu has a base problem — and that Trump could make it much worse.”
It’s not even clear if Sununu would even get Trump’s endorsement if he ran for U.S. Senate. In September, Trump released a statement praising General Don Bolduc, Sununu’s potential primary opponent. When asked about the statement and whether he would seek Trump’s endorsement, Sununu seemed dismissive of the potential endorsement of the former President, who holds heavy sway among Republican loyalists.
Even as he isolates independents with his anti-choice policies and opposition to public health measures like vaccine requirements, Sununu is facing a revolt on his right. Republican protests against the Biden administration have repeatedly turned into anti-Sununu mobs, with Republican protesters calling the Governor everything from a communist to a fake Republican.