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Sununu previews potential presidential bid, says Americans are "looking for results"

Sununu previews potential presidential bid
Sununu previews potential presidential bid, says Americans are "looking for results" 07:10

Washington — Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, who is considering mounting a bid for the White House in 2024, provided a window Sunday into his pitch to voters, as he promoted a "New Hampshire model" of leadership and said the American people are "looking for results."

In an interview with "Face the Nation," Sununu decried the "nonsense" in D.C. and said the American people are "tired of extreme candidates" and partisan gridlock. Instead, he believes voters are looking for a presidential candidate with a proven record of leadership.

"What I'm trying to do is kind of show that New Hampshire model, show the opportunity to get stuff done," Sununu told "Face the Nation." "I've had Republicans in my legislature, I have Democrats in my legislature, I always get my conservative agendas done. We always cut taxes, we always balance a budget. And I can explain to folks in Washington what a balanced budget actually means. So there are paths. And I think America is looking for results. We need results-driven leadership."

Sununu, who was reelected to a fourth term as governor of New Hampshire in November, touted his state's motto "Live Free or Die," and said that translates into an agenda of limited government, local control and individual responsibility, where power is decentralized out of Washington.

"You got to be able to deliver, and you got to, hopefully, be inspirational and hopeful as opposed to all this negativity you see," he said.

If Sununu seeks the Republican nomination in 2024, he would be joining a potentially crowded field of GOP presidential hopefuls that includes former President Donald Trump. Sununu could also be one of several candidates with gubernatorial experience, as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley are considered likely presidential candidates.

Sununu sought to draw distinctions between himself and his potential Republican opponents, criticizing those — though not by name — who have punished companies they believe have embraced so-called "woke" business practices and succumbed to "cancel culture."

"If we're trying to beat the Democrats at being big-government authoritarians, remember what's going to happen," he said. "Eventually, they'll have power in a state or in a position and then they'll start penalizing conservative businesses and conservative nonprofits and conservative ideas. That is the worst precedent in the world."

At least one Republican governor, DeSantis, has also sought to impose new restrictions on local school districts and last year endorsed a slate of candidates for school boards who share his agenda. DeSantis' engagement comes after Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, made parental control of education a cornerstone of his 2021 gubernatorial campaign.

Sununu said he seeks to remind his fellow Republicans about federalism and the free market, and decried "woke cancel culture" and the culture wars that many in the GOP have embraced.

"It's the divisiveness, we see not just in our schools, but in our communities, where it is me versus you. Whereas if you are not adhering to my ideals, then I'm going to cancel you out. It is us versus them. It is this binary, where everything's a war," he said. "That's a cultural problem we have to fix in America and it starts with good leadership, good messaging, more hopeful and optimistic, but government never solves a cultural problem."

Sununu encouraged Republicans to put forward a vision of what they stand for, rather than centering their campaigns on criticisms of President Biden and Democrats.

"It drives me crazy when Republicans talk in an echo chamber about, you know, how bad the president is, and Democrats. We got the memo as Republicans," he said. "You gotta be for something." 

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