New Hampshire Republican Gov. Chris Sununu made a strange career choice last week at an event called the “Gridiron Dinner.” He told attendees that President Donald Trump was “f*cking crazy” and added “[t]he press often will ask me if I think Donald Trump is crazy. And I’ll say it this way: I don’t think he’s so crazy that you could put him in a mental institution. But I think if he were in one, he ain’t getting out!”
Although the lines got laughs from the crowd, the public reaction to his comments was more than he bargained for. Trump supporters were very vocal about their displeasure with the remarks.
Sununu quickly backtracked on the comments a few days later, claiming that it was a joke and all in fun. Even if this is an accurate explanation — doubtful given his tepid support for Trump over the years — it is not a very smart political move. As the current President’s poll numbers tank, President Trump is holding packed rallies. He is the clear favorite to secure the Republican nomination, if he runs. What does Sununu expect to gain from this?
The governor is running for reelection for his fourth term, and is expected to win both the primary and the general election. New Hampshire is one of only two states that has a 2-year term for its governor — the other being Vermont. Maybe he feels that his lead in the polls is enough to say what he really thinks about Trump. If this is the real reason for the remarks, it is short-sighted.
Trump has a very strong chance of winning the presidency in 2024. And he has a long memory.
The Democrats are going to get crushed in the midterms and most likely lose the Presidency in 2024. The Republicans will be at an apex of political power. It would make sense for Sununu to get on board any way he can. He may have gotten a cheap laugh, but his jokes may cost him considerable political capital in the long run.