New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu endorsed Nikki Haley as the Republican presidential nominee at a campaign event Tuesday evening, casting her as a new face for the party that can move the nation through “silliness and drama” against the elites in Washington. Former President Donald J. Trump.
“We’re all for Nikki Haley,” said Mr. Sununu said to loud cheers at a ski area in Manchester that his speed was “genuine” and “resolute” and that his poll numbers and ground game were “absolutely unbelievable”. “
Mrs. who was walking in the middle of the audience. Haley called it “a great night in New Hampshire.” “It doesn’t get much better than this — getting the governor’s endorsement of ‘Live Free or Die’ is a solid endorsement, as we believe.”
The endorsement is a significant victory for Ms Haley, who is trying to position herself over Mr Trump’s replacement, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
Trump critic Mr. Sununu, serving his fourth and final two-year term as governor, was re-elected last year by more than 15 percentage points and is popular in the state. He was seen as a top candidate for the Senate last year, but he declined to run, and he chose not to run for the Republican presidential nomination — at the time he thought he could have more influence as an outside voice. candidate.
On the 2024 presidential campaign trail, Mr. Sununu, Mrs. Haley, Mr. DeSantis and former Gov. Chris Christie stumped as he weighed which of the three to back. In an interview last month, he said he would talk about his decision with friends and family over the Thanksgiving break. Mr. He said he was looking for someone who could defeat Trump and connect with voters “at a very retail level.”
Before a raucous crowd in Manchester, Mr. Sununu praised Ms. Haley, a traditional Republican with executive experience for securing the border, tackling mental health needs and ensuring low taxes and limited government. He urged New Hampshire voters to turn the page on the politics of this era, President Biden and Mr. “We have a president who cares a lot about his bedtime,” he said. “We have a president who cares about incarceration.”
In a press conference after the event, Mr. Sununu and Mrs. Haley also dismissed suggestions that Ms Haley could choose Mr Sununu as her running mate if she wins the nomination. “I think he’s wonderful, but he told me he wanted nothing to do with the VP,” she said.
Ms. Haley told reporters she was more focused on winning over voters than winning endorsements from elected officials, though Mr. He called Sununu’s support a huge success for his venture. Mr. Sununu argued.
Mr. Trump asked whether he believed Ms. Haley had adequately confronted the former president. “We have differences of opinion,” Ms. Haley said when Sununu was asked. “The anti-Trumpers don’t think I hate him. The pro-Trumpers don’t think I love him enough. At the end of the day, I put my facts out there and let the chips fall.
Given his popularity and his proven ability to win as a Republican in a heavily Democratic state, Mr. Sununu could help sway moderate Republicans and independents, whom Ms. Haley believes should give her a strong win in New Hampshire’s primary. Jan. National Primary on 23rd.
Undeclared voters can participate in the Republican primary About 39 percent of voters In the state, there are more voters than Democrats or Republicans. With no contested Democratic presidential primary next year, they are expected to play an even bigger role in the Republican race.
“It’s a really big move,” said Matthew Bartlett, a former Trump appointee and Republican strategist who was not involved in the race. Said about Sununu’s support. “It’s really the last chess piece to fall in line before Election Day, and that shouldn’t be underestimated.”
But how much weight it will carry is a primary question, given that nothing — not the admissions, not the debates, not the 91 criminal charges — has changed the fundamental dynamic: Mr. Trump is the favorite and everyone else is struggling. Second place.
Sununu had approval First announced WMUR earlier Tuesday.
Mr. DeSantis received two of the biggest endorsements available in Iowa — Gov. Kim Reynolds and evangelical leader Bob Vander Platts — but there Mr. Still no significant gain on Trump. However, Mr. DeSantis and Mr. Campaign officials for Christie said Mr. They underestimated the impact of Sununu’s support.
“It leaves us one vote short in New Hampshire, and when Governor Christie comes to Londonderry tomorrow, he’ll continue to tell the unspeakable truth about Donald Trump and get one missing vote and thousands of votes,” campaign spokesman Carl Rickett said. Having made New Hampshire his do-or-die state, Mr.
Ray Buckley, chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, criticized both Ms Haley and Mr Sununu in a statement. “No matter how much Nikki Haley or Chris Sununu try to spin the granite staters, the truth is they’re both MAGA extremists who spent years with Donald Trump,” he said.
In the Sky area of Manchester, a prospective voter, Mr. Asked if Ms. Haley would ever consider the vice presidency because of Trump’s dominance, she elicited a low “Oh” from the crowd.
“It’s no big deal,” Ms. Haley replied, quieting the crowd and prompting some laughter, “because you should know, I don’t play second fiddle.”
In the audience, Dan Silverman, 53, an undeclared Republican voter, said he was not particularly interested in any of the contenders in the Republican primary and was concerned about some of Ms. Haley’s “explosive language” on foreign policy. But after watching him speak, Mr. Trump, who teaches information systems courses at the University of New Hampshire. Silverman said he enjoyed his comments. “I’m coming around,” he said.
Nearby, Bruce Larivière, 65, a retailer, said he was prepared to vote for Ms. Haley, who he praised for her calls for term limits and competency tests for elected officials. Mr. Mr Sununu’s endorsement, he said, was the power of “loudness and aggression”. He hoped it would give him the boost he needed to defeat Trump.
“She’s very conservative,” he said. “I love the way she’s trying to change Washington.”