What Is NH Gov. Chris Sununu’s Real Opinion of Donald Trump? We Know Now
There's no doubt about Gov. Chris Sununu's opinion of former President Donald Trump after his comments at the annual Gridiron Club dinner in Washington on Saturday night.
The white tie dinner in Washington, canceled the last two years because of the pandemic, returned with Sununu as one of the two main speakers. According to Politicio and other sources, Sununu spoke frankly about the former president.
The governor talked about Trump's tweets while he was office and the "experience" and "sense of integrity" they contained, according to Politico.
“Nah, I’m just kidding! He’s f**king crazy," Sununu reportedly said. “Are you kidding?! Come on. You guys are buying that? I love it … He just stresses me out so much! I’m going to deny I ever said it," Sununu told the crowd.
"I don't think he’s so crazy that you could put him in a mental institution. But I think if he were in one, he ain’t getting out," Politico quoted Sununu as saying.
Democratic Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin talked about Sununu's comments on CBS' Face the Nation Sunday morning, which he described as a "breath of fresh air."
"He said Donald Trump is f-ing crazy and he didn't say f-ing. So I don't want to make any history on your show. But he also seemed to announce that he was going to run for president in 2024. Laying down the gauntlet essentially against the Trump-Putin axis within the Republican Party," Raskin said.
Sununu Takes No Prisoners
According to Politico, Sununu said Republican Sen. Ted Cruz's beard made him look like "Mel Gibson after a DUI or something."
He also said MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell's head is "stuffed with more crap than his pillows" and said they're only found at the Trump Hotel. Lindell was an advisor to Trump and a strong believer that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent.
Dean Spiliotes, SNHU Civic Scholar and Founder, NH Political Capital was surprised at the governor's salty language and would be interested in hearing his address.
"I guess the profanity is a little out of character, but the dinner is famous for its political irreverence," Spiliotes told Seacoast Current. "More broadly, I think the comments reflect a belief by Sununu that his political fate is not tied to Trump, in the way that the fate of some other GOP members appears to be. He has the political latitude to mock Trump, who we know has a famously thin skin for this kind of stuff.
"The Gridiron dinner is an annual comedic event built around using self deprecating humor to instill a spirit of bipartisanship. Governor Sununu began by making fun of his own father and family and included jokes on everyone from CNN to Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, and Jenn Psaki," Paul Collins, Senior Advisor to the governor said in a statement. "It was a great night where no one took themselves too seriously, and given the crowd’s reaction to some of the governor’s jokes, he will be keeping his day job.”
No Love Lost Between Sununu and Trump
Sununu has not made a secret of his dislike for Trump, but has chosen his words carefully. When asked on CNN on Jan. 30 if he would accept a hypothetical offer from former President Donald Trump to campaign, Sununu said he didn't need anyone's help.
He also broke with Trump about pardoning those charged in connection with the January 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection.
"Look, the folks that were part of the riots and, frankly, the assault on the US Capitol have to be held accountable," Sununu said.
Trump advisor Corey Lewandowksi told Howie Carr on his WRKO program that following those comments, he was been charged by Trump with finding a Republican to challenge Sununu. Lewandowksi told Carr that Trump does not believe Sununu has been "loyal" to him.