New Hampshire’s Republican Gov. Chris Sununu joined the hosts of ABC’s daytime talk show “The View” last week and did his best to play the “centrist” Republican by cozying up to the leftist hosts.
One has to wonder, why do Republicans do this? They seem never to understand that “centrists” never win. The Democrats may applaud their mushy middle approach to things, but they will never vote for them, and conservatives won’t vote for them, either, because they seem more like Democrats than Republicans.
Yet, every presidential cycle there are always those who want to look like the “unity” candidate who can fill the middle and get votes from both sides … even though they never do.
Apparently, Sununu, a popular governor at home, wants to be this cycle’s mushy middle loser. While he has not yet announced a presidential run, he is rumored to be strongly considering it. And his appearance on “The View” — which has pushed his candidacy before — seems to presage his campaign tactics.
In his appearance on Thursday, Sununu launched into a long series of “agreements” with the liberal hosts, telling them abortion shouldn’t be an issue, and saying Republicans shouldn’t “attack” the transgender movement. He also did not dispute the false argument that the so-called 1990s “assault weapons ban” stopped mass shootings — a claim that is simply untrue.
He also claimed former President Donald Trump cannot win in 2024, but the end of his appearance showed the weakness of his argument.
Sununu was first elected as governor of New Hampshire in 2016 and the state has had a Republican-controlled legislature since 2021. Despite that voting record, though, the “Live Free or Die” state gave Hillary Clinton its vote in 2016 (though barely) and gave President Joe Biden the win in 2020. So, the state is somewhat purple.
At the outset of the appearance, for instance, Sununu agreed with host Whoopi Goldberg’s false characterization of the debate on inappropriate books in schools. Goldberg’s first question was, “Are you OK with parents deciding what their kids should be reading, and not the government?’
Sununu fell all over himself to agree with Goldberg’s proposition, saying, “Parents come first, absolutely. End of story.”
This, of course, is an extremely skewed presentation about what is actually going on. In fact, parents have been speaking up at left-wing school boards all across the U.S. to say that they don’t want their kids reading sexually explicit, gay-themed, groomer materials in grade school. But these school boards, which are mostly captured by the extreme left, are ignoring what parents want.
That is why states like Florida have stepped in to mandate the removal of books that have no place in the education of young people. But no state is banning books.
Sununu went on to say, “You do you. Do I disagree with what some school boards do? Yep. But, I’m the governor, you’re the voter, you’re smarter than me. You know what your school needs, you know what your business needs, you know what your community needs. My job is to set up doors of opportunity so you can make the choices. And guess what? If [school boards] make the wrong choice, go fire them. Go vote at the school board, get them out of office and bring somebody else in there. That’s the power that individuals have in changing the process.
“This whole idea that you’re going to have one president to solve your problems. No. Or one governor that’s going to take care of everything, our side’s gonna win. No way, that is so old-school thinking, and I think both parties have realized that really don’t work. So, keep it local,” he added.
That all sounds wonderful and “The View” hosts were all agreeing with him. But the problem is that the far left does not really follow this ideal. Progressives work to mandate their extremism on the federal level and they don’t want local control or parents having any say in anything. So, Sununu is really just ceding ground to the far left by imagining that parents voting in a school board election will fix everything. Not that we shouldn’t vote in school board elections, granted. But that is not the only solution, despite Sununu’s mushy middle approach.
Sununu also slammed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and said that the coming presidential campaign “can’t be about a culture war.”
“Like, this has to be about inflation,” he said. “When I hear someone running for president and they don’t talk about inflation — which is the worst tax on the poor you could ever create — and it’s only government-created, by the way. The only thing that creates inflation is presidents spending more money, that’s it.”
Of course, no candidate, including Ron DeSantis, is only talking about the “culture war.” DeSantis, for instance, has made his successful economic leadership of the Sunshine State a centerpiece of his young campaign. And Trump has always made his campaigns about his business acumen and pro-growth policies.
Then came Sununu’s caving to Sunny Hostin’s claim that Republicans are “attacking the trans community.”
“Well, yeah,” Sununu pandered. “Good leaders shouldn’t be attacking anybody. We should be raising people up. Right? I mean that’s what it’s all about.”
This, of course, is nonsense. The whole transgender issue did not arise until the Democrats and their extremist activist groups began targeting school children to promote their groomer agenda.
Republicans and parents only reacted when the left began inserting gender ideology into public education, began forcing girls to compete alongside stronger, faster, and more powerful boys in “girls” sports, and began filling school libraries with sexually explicit material to break down our children’s resistance to being brought into sexual contact with adults.
Sununu also insisted that Trump can’t win a primary and won’t be the nominee because the “MAGA base” isn’t big enough to push him over the top.
“The true MAGA base, I would say — like I don’t like using that term, but — is about 30 percent. I think that’s about what it is. When you see polls now, the former president might pull at 55, maybe even 60 percent.” Sununu added that the average Republican really only supports Trump because he is getting “beat up” by leftists.
“The guy’s playing the victim card,” Sununu said. “Donald Trump is playing the victim card, how crazy is that? But the media has allowed it to happen, the rhetoric has allowed it to happen, so, will that translate to a vote nine months from now? No!”
He went as far as to say “well, I might vote for Joe Biden” in the 2024 election if Trump is the nominee.
“If Trump were to make the ballot, first off, he can’t win in November, that’s for darn sure,” he said. “So, it’s got to be someone other than Trump because mathematically there’s no way, he wouldn’t win Georgia. That’s a fact. If you’re a Republican and you can’t win Georgia, we gotta move on.”
Sununu also said that the “worst part” about Trump is “he drags everyone else down,” and said the GOP lost “three or four” governorships and the control of the U.S. Senate because of Trump.
He next moved on to abortion and said that being a “pro-choice Republican,” he supports last year’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court knocking down Roe v. Wade and returning the issue of abortion to the states. Every state will approach it differently, he said, and that is a good thing. But he warned that making it a national issue will “destroy” Republicans.
“Any Republican talking about a national abortion ban is just screwing the party over, altogether. And I really mean that,” he said.
To wrap up the visit, host Sunny Hostin delivered some false claims about mass shootings that Sununu let stand.
“In the last 145 days, we’ve had 241 mass shootings in this country,” Hostin blathered.
While Hostin did not say where she got her numbers, the problem with these extremely high estimates is that they usually include gang violence, and many times include incidents where no one was killed at all. Further, the standard definition of “mass shooting” — deaths of four or more — often goes unobserved in these estimates. So, some estimates are higher than others because the criteria are too elastic, according to the MacGiver Institute.
Hostin continued, “As governor, you’ve loosened gun laws in your state, and you hold an ‘A’ rating from the NRA.”
Hostin then quoted Sununu who she says said, “There’s no law you’re going to pass that’s going to stop mass shootings. There’s no law you’re going to pass that’s just going to magically stop gun violence.”
But then Hostin added, “However, there was a law that was passed, and that law was passed in 1997 and it was a federal assault weapons ban. And it cut it, the 1994, rather, and it cut gun violence by 70 percent. And the minute it was reinstated — mass shootings — and the minute it was reinstated they went up. Why not put that law back in?”
Of course, Hostin disgorged a lot of false claims, there, not the least of which she used the word “reinstated” when she meant that the law expired. (She probably meant “repealed” which it wasn’t. It had a sunset clause and simply expired and went out of effect in 2004.)
Further, excitable claims that it cut mass shootings by 70 percent have since be debunked by several studies, including a 2020 study by the liberal Rand Corp. that found that there was no conclusive evidence that the ban stopped any gun violence. Another study published by Mark Gius of Quinnipiac University in 2014 said that the effects of assault weapons bans “on the overall murder rate are probably minimal at best,” The Washington Post reported last year.
But Sununu didn’t bother to correct the record on any of Hostin’s false claims.
“We did not have the mass shootings in the 1990s that we have today,” Sununu said as he began his answer. “It’s exponentially worse.”
“If your argument is, ‘If we just have more gun bans and more gun laws’ Chicago would be the safest place in the country. They have the most restrictive laws,” he said.
But Hostin was not satisfied. “But the problem with that argument is that the guns that they use in Chicago are coming from states that have looser gun laws.”
This is also false. Illinois has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, yet, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, “most of the traced guns, about 16,500 of them, were bought from somewhere within Illinois, with about 8,200 more coming from Indiana. Wisconsin, Kentucky and Mississippi each was the source of fewer than 2,000 guns.”
Once again, Sununu did not confront Hostin on her false claim.
“OK, so if your argument is that we should ban something federally, I remind you, the Democrats had the House, the Senate and the presidency for two years, they did nothing.”
He then said that he runs the “safest state in the country.” The mass shooting problem, he added, is a mental health issue, not a gun issue.
“I have the safest state in the country,” he said. “You can talk about the validity, the merit of the law based on the results it gets. I have the safest state in the country, so, why aren’t we having the mass shootings? It’s not because people have access to guns, it’s because we’re not dealing with mental health, we don’t provide mental health access with kids, when people are in crisis they have nowhere to turn, they resort to violence. We don’t do the right things in terms of locking down our schools and protecting them, the core of the issue is mental health.”
Then, as is typical, Joy Behar jumped in to criticize the AR-15, which she erroneously called “The automatic rifle that kills a bunch of children who are just going to school.” The “AR” in AR-15 stands for “Armalite Rifle,” not “automatic rifle.” The weapon isn’t even “automatic.” It’s semi-automatic.
“I’m not banning any guns,” Sununu insisted. “I’m going to provide access to mental health, we’re going to get at the core of the issue of what spurs a lot of the violence.”
At that, “The View’s” audience began booing Sununu. But de facto chief host Goldberg stopped them cold.
“No, no,” she scolded. “No booing. We need to talk to people to find out what they’re thinking and are they thinking in the right way? He’s not gonna be perfect, none of them are. But at least give people the opportunity to say what’s going on.”
In the end, this was a feigned attempt by “The View” to appear like “moderates,” but the show’s own audience proved that Sununu won’t be getting any of their votes, despite his bending over backward for them.
And he claims Donald Trump can’t win?
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.