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Transcript: New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu on “Face the Nation,” Feb. 12, 2023



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The next is a transcript of an interview with New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu that aired Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023, on “Face the Nation.”

MARGARET BRENNAN: Welcome again to Face The Nation. We’re joined now by the Republican governor of New Hampshire, Chris Sununu. And it is good to have you ever here–


MARGARET BRENNAN: –in individual.

GOV. SUNUNU: Nice to be right here. Higher right here than the remainder of Washington, as a result of this entire city offers me the- it offers me the chills typically.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Nicely, you would possibly have to go recover from that in the event you’re gonna run for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, as apparently you’re contemplating doing.

GOV. SUNUNU: Nicely look, lots of alternative to alter issues, proper? I believe New Hampshire has this superior mannequin of Reside Free or Die: restricted authorities, native management, particular person accountability, actually placing the voters first. Ship up some cash, which is sweet, however ship them the regulatory authority to so little decentralizing out of Washington, and perhaps a bit of higher perspective would be- could be factor for America.

MARGARET BRENNAN: What is the proactive cause you wish to be president, not one thing that President Biden is doing wrong–

GOV. SUNUNU: Positive

MARGARET BRENNAN: –However one thing you wish to obtain?

GOV. SUNUNU: Yeah- Which is the proper query you are asking, by the way in which, as a result of I- I- it drives me loopy when Republicans speak in an echo chamber about, , how dangerous the President is, and Democrats– we obtained the memo as Republicans. You gotta be for one thing. What I am making an attempt to do is form of present that New Hampshire mannequin, present the chance to get stuff completed. I’ve had Republicans in my legislature, I’ve Democrats in my legislature, I all the time get my conservative agendas completed. All- we all the time lower taxes, we all the time steadiness a finances. And I can clarify to people in Washington what a balanced finances really means. So there are paths. And I believe America is searching for outcomes. We want outcomes pushed management, not simply management that–


GOV. SUNUNU: Look, whether or not it is reducing taxes, being pro-business, the regulatory reform, the immigration stuff that we had been informed was gonna occur in 2017 and 2018, as Republicans and it did not.  We had been informed well being care reform would occur, it did not. We had been informed we will safe the border, and we did not. So, there’s all this nice alternative that has a domino impact, they are not simply issues to examine off an inventory, however these issues have large impacts on the American financial system, and most significantly, American households, proper? They only need flexibility to do what they do and admittedly, they’re bored with the nonsense in D.C., they’re drained of- of utmost candidates, they’re bored with gridlock. They need someone to come back to the desk, and it could possibly be myself, it could possibly be different governors, it could- however it must be management with confirmed outcomes. I have been within the non-public sector, as an engineer and a enterprise chief, I have been within the public sector. You bought to have the ability to ship, and you bought to, hopefully, be inspirational and hopeful versus all this negativity, you see.

MARGARET BRENNAN: However you continue to should get the Congress to work with you to do this very lengthy laundry record of belongings you simply learn off to us. So, whenever you had been right here in November, you informed us that President Biden wouldn’t run for President, in your estimation. You simply noticed him up shut for the previous few days. Is that also what you consider? 

GOV. SUNUNU: Nicely, I do know different individuals will certainly run, they’re gonna get within the the race–

MARGARET BRENNAN: Democrats, you consider, will problem him.

GOV. SUNUNU: Oh completely, yeah, yeah, because–

MARGARET BRENNAN: Why do you say that? Did somebody let you know that in the previous couple of days?

GOV. SUNUNU: Nicely, Joe Biden has tried to maneuver the primary within the nation major from New Hampshire, proper? However we’re gonna- we’re going first whether or not the President likes it or not. And in order that’s going to be an enormous alternative for anyone who desires to step up and problem him. And in the event you take a look at the polls throughout the nation, the common Democrat says, yeah, thanks to your service on one time period, however let’s preserve it to 1 time period, President Biden and I simply do not consider that Democrat, left wing Elite goes to sit down on the sidelines, realizing you can come to New Hampshire, get all of the earned media, all the eye, with no entire lot of cash, all that political momentum. He is opened up his political flank, so to say, to provide another person an enormous alternative to cost proper by and take that nomination from

MARGARET BRENNAN: Nicely, we’ll see if your- in case your projection performs out. You’ve got been speaking about making an attempt to form of remind the celebration that Republicans are about restricted authorities. You stated lately, ‘Republicans are nearly making an attempt to outdo Democrats at their very own recreation of being large authorities and having an answer and a say on the whole lot.’ Who had been you considering of whenever you say that?

GOV. SUNUNU: Oh, there is a lot- I believe there’s lots of management on the market that overlook that forgets- at coronary heart, I am a principled free market conservative. Let the markets resolve. So there is no particular person per se, however there’s lots of management that claims, what, after we’re not getting that end result out of a personal enterprise or locality we’ll simply impose from the top-down our conservative will.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You are not speaking in regards to the Florida governor and Disney for instance, are you?

GOV. SUNUNU: That is a nasty instance. Yeah, that’s- one of many many examples-

MARGARET BRENNAN: Ron DeSantis could also be operating for president as nicely. 

GOV. SUNUNU: Positive, yeah, yeah. Look, Ron’s an excellent governor, he’s, however I am simply making an attempt to remind people what we’re at our core. And if we’re making an attempt to beat the Democrats at being large authorities authoritarians, bear in mind what is going on to occur. Finally, they will have energy in a state or ready after which they will begin penalizing conservative companies and conservative nonprofits and conservative concepts. That’s the worst precedent on the earth. That is precisely what the founding fathers tried not to- tried to keep away from. And so I am making an attempt to remind my conservative buddies about federalism, free markets and being for the voter first, being for the person. Do I like what each non-public enterprise says? No, I hate this woke cancel tradition. But it surely’s a cultural–

MARGARET BRENNAN: What does that imply to you then?

GOV. SUNUNU: Woke cancel tradition?


GOV. SUNUNU: Oh, it’s- it’s- look, it’s–

MARGARET BRENNAN: Since you’re not a tradition warrior, really–

GOV. SUNUNU: No, no, however it’s there.

MARGARET BRENNAN: What does woke- What does that imply in your platform?

GOV. SUNUNU: It is the- it is the divisiveness- divisiveness, we see not simply in our faculties, however in our communities. The place it’s me versus you. Whereas in case you are not adhering to my beliefs, then I will cancel you out. It’s us versus them. It’s this binary, the place the whole lot’s a battle. That is a cultural drawback we now have to repair in America and it begins with good management, good messaging, extra hopeful and optimistic, however authorities by no means solves a cultural drawback. 


GOV. SUNUNU: We will lead on it however we by no means resolve it.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Fascinating concept, however you’re contradicted by the Republican governor of Arkansas, who gave the response to your celebration after the State of the Union, who embraced tradition battle. She says America’s in a single. 

GOV. SUNUNU: Sure we’re.

MARGARET BRENNAN: She says it has been waged by the left-wing, ‘a woke mob that may’t even let you know what a lady is.’ 

GOV. SUNUNU:  That is completely right–

MARGARET BRENNAN: Are you going to interact on issues like this? Like- like Sanders and DeSantis has when it comes to points on gender and problems with race?

GOV. SUNUNU: There ought to be absolute management on that, about what that is about. And this concept that, , you may have to- , we now have compelled language, that we now have compelled concepts on our youngsters that we will drive something–-

MARGARET BRENNAN: So you will be a tradition warrior? 

GOV. SUNUNU: No, we now have to speak about that, however it is not the federal government’s position to resolve it. The federal government will not be right here to resolve your issues. It isn’t. The federal government is right here to– 


MARGARET BRENNAN: So, governors should not be really speaking and interesting and telling faculty boards and doing issues like this or making an attempt to go legal guidelines like they’re?

GOV. SUNUNU: I do not suppose governors ought to be making an attempt to go legal guidelines to subvert the desire of the voters that know higher than us. Voters are not more than I do. The voters on that faculty board know, the voters in these cities know much more. And if- that is the free market of politics. If they do not like the varsity board, they get- they go to city assembly, they fireplace them.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You might be- you name your self a pro-choice Republican. You continue to should win in a Republican major. Is there room for somebody who calls himself a pro-choice Republican?

GOV. SUNUNU: Look, that concern is- look, that concern goes to alter three other ways now that Dobbs has occurred, proper? States can resolve what they wish to do, proper? So I believe the definition of pro-life and pro-choice and pro-abortion are going to be very totally different. As a result of in the event you’re a pro-life Republican, that is advantageous. That is- as a governor, you are able to do that. You’ll be able to ban it in your state, and you may stay- stand behind these beliefs, and perhaps that is precisely what your state desires, no drawback. I am a pro-choice Republican in a really pro-choice state. However on the finish of the day, you are going to have the pro-life over right here, pro-abortion over right here, after which the remainder of us are, nicely, ‘We’ve got a 24 week ban and you’ve got a 22 week and an 18 week ban.’ So the remainder of us are form of on this spectrum of debating about weeks, in order that the entire dialog goes to alter.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We wish to discuss a few of these points in-depth with you in a second, so stick with us governor. And we will usher in a panel of bipartisan governors with us.