Gov. Sununu wants a guv for president … just not Huntsman
June 12th, 2011
11:10 AM ET
12 years ago

Gov. Sununu wants a guv for president … just not Huntsman

(CNN) – Former New Hampshire Gov. John H. Sununu has narrowed down his picks for president in 2012 to three men who have held the same job in other states - Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, should Perry throw his hat in the ring.

The Granite State Republican stalwart, who served as chief of staff for former President George H.W. Bush, said he is partial to those with executive experience because “you need more experience than being a community organizer to run this country.”

Pawlenty served as governor of Minnesota, Romney served as governor of Massachusetts and Perry, who has said he is considering a bid for the White House, is the current Texas governor.

Sununu and his son, former New Hampshire Sen. John E. Sununu, both appeared Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Candy Crowley. The younger Sununu said governors are attractive because of their “chief executive experience, leadership, decision-making, handling all the aspects of the budget, dealing with different political constituencies.”

When asked about all-but-declared candidate Jon Huntsman, a former governor of Utah who most recently served as President Obama’s U.S. Ambassador to China, the elder Sununu said, “Well I only support Republicans.”

“He fawned over Obama to the point where he sounded like he should have been on MSNBC,” he said of Huntsman, who is a Republican.

“Every candidate has an issue, but he seems to have a collection of issues,” Sununu added, referencing his stances on cap and trade, health care and civil unions.

Huntsman defended some of those positions earlier on “State of the Union,” plugging his health care plan in Utah that was devoid of a mandate and defending his stance on civil unions.

“I favor civil unions,” Huntsman said. “I don’t think we have done enough in the name of equality in the area of, or at reciprocal beneficiary rights.”

The younger Sununu said those issues will prove problematic in the Republican primaries, the first of which is held in New Hampshire.

“Jon Huntmsan has weaknesses on some substantive issues but the fact that he's served in a Democratic administration makes it a little tough in a Republican primary,” Sen. Sununu said.

Looking ahead to Monday night’s CNN/WMUR/New Hampshire Union Leader presidential debate, the elder Sununu said it’s “intro night, not decision night.” His son said it will give Pawlenty the opportunity to paint the primary as a two man race with Romney.

CNN hosts the first New Hampshire Republican presidential debate on Monday from Manchester at 8 p.m. ET. Follow all the issues and campaign news leading up to the debate on and @cnnpolitics on Twitter.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: 2012 • John Sununu • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Governors didn't take responsibility for their states budget, they blamed all their budget problems on Washington. Governors have always spent taxpayers money like drunken sailors as if it was their own piggy bank taking care of their special interest friends.

    June 12, 2011 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  2. Jersey Bob

    The president calls and asks for national service, then one is hardpressed to decline for pure partisan reasons. Huntsman is fluent in Mandirin and knows China about as well as any politician. His service as embassador to China should not be a mark against him – actually considering the international economic realities, it is a very strong positive. Partisan wanks like Sununu should look more at helping the country rather than beating a narrow-minded right-wing drum.

    June 12, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  3. vic , nashville ,tn

    Will GOP win 2012? NO

    They are trying to take 180 turn from 2010 to win 2012 very hard task

    It’s started in Arizona then Georgia last week it was in Alabama immigration bill which hurts tourism

    Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Florida introduce many bills which hurts middleclass and poor pockets

    June 12, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. Palin Power

    The only governor that should and will be our president is Sarah Palin! Palin is head and shoulders above the rest of these losers. We will have 8 years of President Sarah Palin and an eternal line of white conservative women presidents and vice-presidents.

    June 12, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  5. Thankfully Independent

    Perhaps someone should remind Sununu that the three U.S. presidents who came from Texas (by birth or by elected office) have been unmitigated disasters. When one looks at their records, it has been on a downslope from Ike, to Johnson, to Bush 43. So that one fact alone makes Rick Perry exceedingly unattractive.

    June 12, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  6. steven harnack

    Yes , it would be just awful if the smartest person in the room was also someone who had worked in communities at their absolute lowest levels and knew exactly what it was that people in the community go through every day, just trying to survive. Better we have somebody who has always kept "those people" at bay and never gone hungry for one single day in their life. Maybe he thinks we need another"decider"?

    June 12, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. OneMoreTime

    ".......that one fact alone makes Rick Perry exceedingly unattractive"
    There is more than one fact making him unattractive. We would, however, be happy for him to "move on", but never
    underestimate the powerful Republican machine of Texas.

    June 12, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |