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Sununu Says Christie Should Drop Out Ahead of New Hampshire Primary

Sununu Says Christie Should Drop Out Ahead of New Hampshire Primary


Just weeks earlier than New Hampshire holds its Republican presidential main, the state’s governor, Chris Sununu, mentioned on Sunday that Chris Christie’s presidential bid was “at an absolute dead finish” and advised that he drop out to pave means for Mr. Sununu’s most well-liked candidate, Nikki Haley.

Mr. Sununu, who this month endorsed Ms. Haley, the previous governor of South Carolina and United Nations ambassador, instructed CNN that “the one particular person that desires Chris Christie to remain within the race is Donald Trump.”

He framed the race as a “two-person contest” between Ms. Haley and Mr. Trump, whom she now trails in New Hampshire by a mean of 20 percentage points.

“There’s little doubt that if Christie stays within the race, the danger is that he takes her margin of the win,” Mr. Sununu mentioned on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

In a campaign ad final week, Mr. Christie, the previous governor of New Jersey, explicitly addressed calls from some in the party for him to drop out to consolidate assist round a non-Trump candidate. “Some individuals say I ought to drop out of this race,” he mentioned. “Really? I’m the one one saying Donald Trump is a liar.”

In response to Mr. Sununu’s remarks, a spokesman for Mr. Christie’s marketing campaign doubled down on that message: “The occasions of the previous few days totally solidifies the purpose that Christie has been making for six months: that the reality issues, and should you can’t reply the straightforward questions, you’ll be able to’t repair the large issues.”

Mr. Sununu’s feedback had been in response to questions from Dana Bash, the CNN anchor, about Ms. Haley’s latest gaffe involving the Civil War, for which she has confronted significant criticism from Mr. Christie and others.

On Wednesday, when she received a question at a New Hampshire city corridor about the reason for the Civil War, Ms. Haley’s reply didn’t point out slavery. The subsequent day, she walked again her remarks, telling a New Hampshire interviewer, “Of course the Civil War was about slavery.” She advised that the query got here from a “Democrat plant.”

Mr. Sununu acknowledged that Ms. Haley had made a mistake in her remarks, however dismissed them as a “nonissue,” saying she had “cleared it proper up and everybody’s transferring on.”

Mr. Christie and Ms. Haley have maintained a sophisticated relationship all through the first cycle. Mr. Christie defended Ms. Haley through the fourth Republican debate after she was attacked by Vivek Ramaswamy, the rich entrepreneur working for workplace. Yet earlier this month, within the first ad released by his campaign, Mr. Christie blasted Ms. Haley and Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida for attacking each other greater than they do Mr. Trump.

Ms. Haley has made headway in New Hampshire in latest weeks, climbing to a strong second place. (Mr. Christie is polling third within the state). But securing the nomination stays a frightening process: She continued to battle Mr. DeSantis for second place in Iowa, and stays behind Mr. Trump, her former boss, in nationwide polls by around 50 points.

While Ms. Haley was campaigning in Iowa over the weekend, an attendee at a city corridor in Cedar Falls requested her why she was behind in polls in South Carolina, her house state. Ms. Haley mentioned that her assist there would develop, ought to she carry out nicely in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states on the nomination schedule. “South Carolinians are the sort that they need to see you earn it,” she defined.

Her response didn’t straight handle specifics — that Mr. Trump is immensely popular within the state and has acquired endorsements from many prime officers, together with Gov. Henry McMaster and Senator Lindsey Graham.

On Sunday, Mr. Sununu additionally instructed CNN of his disapproval of the Maine secretary of state, Shenna Bellows, removing Mr. Trump from the state’s main poll final week. He referred to as the choice “very politically motivated,” saying of Ms. Bellows, “This is a politician who I feel has political aspirations down the street and is attempting to make slightly little bit of a reputation for herself.”

Mr. Sununu mentioned that Mr. Trump’s elimination would “solely enhance his alternative to play that sufferer card down the street.”

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