'Write this down': 'Pro-choice' Republican governor warns GOP of electoral doom over abortion
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, who is reportedly considering a run for president of the United States in 2024, is part of an increasingly rare subsect of Republicans that consider themselves "pro-choice." On April 6th, USA Today noted that Sununu intends to brand himself as a conservative who values "individual responsibility," "local control," and "limited government."
But Sununu likely has his work cut out for him. As NBC News moderator Chuck Todd pointed out to Sununu on Sunday's edition of Meet the Press, fresh polling indicates that a majority of the GOP's primary base wants abortion outlawed.
"Among Republican voters, sixty-eight percent believe abortion should be illegal most of the time. Only twenty-eight percent believe there should be legal access to it. How do you convince those that would, that that believe abortion, there shouldn't be much access to abortion to support your candidacy?" Todd asked Sununu.
READ MORE: Conservatives may lose the mifepristone battle but their war on abortion rights will continue
Sununu, however, insisted that he is onto something.
"Yeah, so that's where I'll really challenge it. Look, the next generation of Republican, right? If you look at the polls from about forty-fie and under, when you look at their priorities, you know, uh, banning abortion is not one of their priorities. It's not, you know, they, they care about all these other kind of things in a conservative, fiscally conservative way. They want kind of that new generation of Republican to, to step up," he said. "It's not kind of the old-school way. And so kind of talking about those issues that are important to them, not just us and to how we're traditional. If we stay in our traditional lanes, we're going to lose. There's no doubt about it. So whether it's me or another candidate, right, that really connects with folks, that kind of inspires that next generation of Republican to get into that, that voting booth, that's what's gonna be successful."
That appears to square with what The Wall Street Journalexplained in March, that Sununu "is not trying to win over the Republican Party’s most ardent and ideologically driven voters, or those focused on battles over racial diversity or gender identity."
Todd then probed a little deeper.
READ MORE: How two conflicting federal court decisions led to the Supreme Court’s abortion pill ruling
"Do you think at this point, considering the, the chaos of the states, and the confusion on abortion access, that the federal government needs to come up with a minimum access number, a floor for abortion access?" he wondered.
"Look, every time Republicans start talking about abortion, we're losing. We are, because it, it is a state's issue. That's effectively what Dobbs has allowed to happen. When it is a state issue, the voters have direct accountability," Sununu replied.
"Should it be though? Doesn't have to be," Todd interjected.
"I'm sorry?" Sununu paused.
"Doesn't have to be. Congress can step in here and, and in Europe they think it should, or do you think it should be standardized at the federal level?" Todd queried amid crosstalk.
"No, it should be. It's a state issue and every time a Republican talks about banning this or this many weeks, here, there, we are losing. We are. Let me – every Republican potential candidate, take a piece of paper and write this down," Sununu proclaimed. "It's a state issue. Let the voters in the states figure it out. We shouldn't be talking about it on a national level. We're moving on and that's it. That's, that's the new way. I don't think fifteen years of precedent should have been broken with Roe v. Wade. I don't, I mean this mis, mifeprisone stuff, twenty years of precedent and one judge that no one even knows the name of is gonna try to ban all that, that sends, that sends a lot of insecurity through the system in terms of our messaging as Republicans. Let's get back to what we do best. Limited government, local control, a little bit of that 'live free or die' thing we have here in New Hampshire. That is a record, a record to actually cross the finish line and have winners in November."
Watch below or at this link.
\u201cWATCH: The Supreme Court shouldn't have broken "50 years of precedent" when it overturned Roe, says @GovChrisSununu (R-N.H.).\n\n"That sends a lot of insecurity through the system in terms of our messaging as Republicans. Let's get back to what we do best: Limited government."\u201d— Meet the Press (@Meet the Press) 1682256169
READ MORE: Joy Reid condemns SCOTUS Justice Alito’s attempt to 'play mullah' in abortion pill decision
USA Today's full report is here. The Wall Street Journal's is here (subscription required).
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