By Shawna Mizelle and Kevin Liptak, CNN
(CNN) — New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said Sunday he will decide “in the next week or two” if he wants to mount a bid for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination and enter an already crowded field of candidates.
“When I start doing something, I’m 120% in,” the governor said on CNN’s “State of the Union” in an interview with Jake Tapper. “Pretty soon, we’ll make a decision, probably in the next week or two. And we’ll either be go or no-go,” he added.
Currently in his fourth term, the New Hampshire governor said figuring out where he could be most effective would factor into his 2024 decision.
“I still have a 24/7 job,” he said. “The money has been lined up. The support’s been lined up. There’s a pathway to win. All that – those boxes are checked. The family’s on board, which is always a big one. I just got to make sure it’s right for the party and right for me,” he said.
Sununu also said he wanted to ensure he wasn’t more useful outside the presidential race as he looks to steer the Republican Party away from the chaos of its current primary front-runner, former President Donald Trump.
“Making sure that when it comes to where I want to see the party go … that maybe I talk a little differently, I talk with a different approach. I want more candidates to be empowered. Can I do that more effectively as a candidate? Can I do that more effectively as someone who’s kind of traveling the country, maybe speaking a little more freely?” Sununu said.
“I just want what’s best for the party,” he continued. “It doesn’t have to be the Chris Sununu show all the time.”
With Trump leading in current GOP primary polling, Sununu said the former president was playing the “victim card.”
“Former President Trump is doing better than anybody thought. He is playing this victim card. The media, the DA in New York, all these things have kind of worked in his favor very much,” the governor said. “Just the fact that we are talking about Donald Trump as a victim, I mean, that is unique in itself. But that is not lasting, necessarily. That does not mean the support he has today turns into a vote nine months from now.”
Sununu avoided harsh criticism of his other potential rivals, calling DeSantis a “very good governor” and praising him for embarking upon a retail politics tour of New Hampshire. The two met for an hour earlier this month when the Florida governor visited the Granite State to meet with state legislators.
But Sununu suggested Sunday that DeSantis’ focus on cultural fights back in Florida avoided more important issues, such as government efficiency.
“I’m not saying we shouldn’t talk about the culture war stuff, don’t get me wrong,” he said. “I just don’t believe government is going to solve a culture war.”
DeSantis’ recent pledge to consider pardoning some participants in the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol was not “disqualifying” for a presidential candidate, Sununu said, even if it’s not something he would do himself.
Meanwhile, Sununu said the agreement in principle struck by the White House and Republican negotiators on raising the debt ceiling was likely a win since some members of both parties are now balking at the deal.
“It is a miracle, I mean release the doves,” the governor said. “Washington is actually moving forward. Both sides seem pretty frustrated, which means it’s probably a pretty good deal, actually.”
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