Sununu's message to GOP candidates unable to meet debate requirements: Get out

AP Photo/Mary Schwalm, File

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu is offering up some common sense advice to the Republican presidential primary candidates. Is anyone going to listen to him?

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Sununu bypassed a run for the Republican nomination this cycle. Since he made that decision, he has been actively offering his opinions in interviews and his advice to the Republican Party. One consistent point he makes is that the smaller the field, the quicker it is to choose the best person to run against Joe Biden. If a candidate cannot meet the requirements for participation in the RNC debates, it’s time to step aside. If a candidate didn’t meet the requirements of the first debate, it is unlikely they will meet the requirements of the second debate.

About a half dozen candidates didn’t make the first debate. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez suspended his campaign. So far, no one else has done the same. Sununu says it may be time for some honest conversations.

“If you don’t make the first couple of debates, then you probably have to have a tough conversation and get out of the race,” the popular Republican governor emphasized in a recent Fox News Digital interview.

“The field is already winnowing,” Sununu highlighted. “I think by the time you get to the end of December, you’ll have five or six different candidates going into Iowa, maybe three or four coming into New Hampshire. If that’s the case, a huge opportunity for the Republican Party.”

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Granted, Sununu is opposed to another Trump candidacy, but he’s right that a smaller field of candidates – candidates who have a true shot at the nomination – present a good opportunity for Republicans in a cycle where 2024 should be a Republican year.

The next debate will be hosted by FOX Business on September 27 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

Seven candidates have already reached the RNC’s polling and donor thresholds (in alphabetical order): former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former ambassador and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, and former President Donald Trump.

Trump does not plan to participate in the second debate. He’s making a mistake by not doing the debates, in my opinion. He took some heat for not participating and his alternative event with Tucker Carlson did not receive the buzz he expected it to receive. In fact, nothing came of it. The next day, the only buzz was about the debate. He is seen as taking voters for granted. Trump thinks he is so far ahead in the polls that he doesn’t have to do what the others are doing. Maybe he doesn’t, maybe voters are too short-sighted to move away from Trump and choose another challenger to Biden. The polls are mostly national polls, though, and Trump tends to exaggerate his lead. Trump’s lead has been consistent, there is no arguing that. We’ll have to wait and see how the primaries play out. Trump won the nomination in 2016 with wins in primaries with less than a majority of votes because of the large field of candidates that year. The majority of voters in both parties are not excited about another Trump versus Biden match-up. Voters will stay home. The question is, which party’s voters will stay home more?

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Republicans are tired of losing. We have a country to save. Republican voters must choose wisely.

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David Strom 12:40 PM | July 24, 2024
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