New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) on Monday announced he will not run for president in 2024, saying he believes he can be more useful working to improve the GOP elsewhere.
“I’ve made the decision not to run for president on the Republican ticket in 2024,” Sununu told CNN’s Dana Bash in a sit-down interview.
“When you look at what’s happening out there, you obviously have a very large field. I think the former President Trump is doing much better in the polls than folks thought. And when I looked at where my voice can be, how we make the Republican Party bigger, the responsibility that I think I have in terms of focusing on the Republican Party, and ultimately focusing on the opportunities for the country,” he added.
Sununu had been floated as a potential Republican presidential contender for months but failed to gain traction in most hypothetical polls.
He joins former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan in passing on a 2024 GOP presidential bid. Hogan announced his decision earlier this year, yet a number of others are jumping in.
Former Vice President Mike Pence on Monday filed to become the seventh candidate challenging Trump for the party’s nomination.
Many Republicans have voiced concerns that a crowded primary risks a repeat of the 2016 race, when Trump skyrocketed to the top of the field as those preferring other candidates splintered their support among several other rivals.
When asked about the growing size of the GOP field, Sununu said every candidate needs to understand “the responsibility of getting out and getting out quickly if it’s not working.”
Sununu said candidates should get out by Christmas at the latest if they are still polling in the single digits.
“If we do what we did in 2016, you’re going to have somebody win this nomination with 35 percent of the Republican support,” Sununu said. “That’s not where we should be as a party.”
Sununu said he wants more independents and young voters on “the Republican Party team” going forward.
“I am tired of losing U.S. Senate races and governor’s races,” he said. “I talk a bit candidly as folks appreciate. I think more folks within the Republican Party have to have that kind of voice, that kind of emphasis of message and making sure this is about the Republican Party, not just the former president.”