Republican Governor Admits His Support for Trump ‘Doesn’t Make Sense’

New Hampshire Republican Governor Chris Sununu admitted on Sunday his support for former President Donald Trump “doesn’t make sense” after criticizing him in the past.

Trump, the presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee, is facing four criminal indictments, all of which he has pleaded not guilty to. The indictments accuse Trump of election interference on the state and federal level, mishandling classified documents and obstructing the government’s efforts to retrieve them, and falsifying business records relating to a hush money payment made to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign. Trump’s first criminal trial, meanwhile, is set for Monday.

Sununu who previously shown support for former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley who ran against the former president during the Republican primary before suspending her campaign after Super Tuesday had previously said Trump should drop out if he’s convicted amid his various legal cases.

However, the governor said last month he would support Trump’s bid for president, adding that he stands by his previous criticisms of Trump, but that he preferred him over President Joe Biden.

“I’m going to support the ticket. I’m going to support Donald Trump,” Sununu told local news station WMUR. “But my focus is definitely going to be here in the state…I mean, the alternative is Biden, and I think folks are seeing a lack of management, a lack of understanding of what’s happening with immigration, a lack of fiscal responsibility.”

During a Sunday interview appearance on ABC News’ This Week, host George Stephanopoulos asked Sununu if he would still support Trump and if he’s “comfortable with the idea of supporting someone who’s convicted of a federal crime as president.”

In response, the governor said he doesn’t think anyone is comfortable with it, but “nobody should be shocked.”

“I don’t think any American is comfortable with any of this. When it comes to actually looking at each of these trials as they kind of take place, whether it’s this year or next year, as they kind of line up right now, this is about an election…Nobody should be shocked that the Republican governor supporting the Republican president,” he said.

Chris Sununu
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu is seen in Conway, New Hampshire, on December 28, 2023. The Republican admitted on Sunday his support for former President Donald Trump “doesn’t make sense” after criticizing him in the…

Joseph Prezioso / AFP/Getty Images

However, Stephanopoulos continued to press Sununu on whether he will be swayed on his support for Trump based on whether the former president is convicted, pointing out a previous comment Sununu made about the January 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot.

“You said, ‘It is clear that President Trump’s rhetoric and actions contributed to the insurrection,'” Stephanopoulos said. “Your words were very, very clear on January 11th, 2021. You said that President Trump’s rhetoric and actions contributed to the insurrection. That doesn’t make any sense to me, governor.”

Thousands of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building on January 6 in an effort to stop the 2020 presidential election results from being certified in Biden’s favor. Trump, without evidence, said that the election had been stolen from him via widespread fraud.

As part of his four indictments, Trump was charged with four counts last year by the Department of Justice in relation to the riot, including conspiracy to defraud the United States; conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding; obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding; and conspiracy against rights.

On Sunday, Sununu explained that he stood by his previous comments, but admitted that it “doesn’t make any sense.”

“His actions absolutely contributed to that. There’s no question about that. I hate the election denialism of 2020. Nobody wants to be talking about that in 2024. I think all of that was absolutely terrible. The reason I am supporting not just the president, but a Republican administration…It’s not about him, it’s about having a Republican…I understand it doesn’t make sense to you, George, but look at the polls. What you’re telling me is you don’t understand why 51 percent of this country is supporting Donald Trump?” he asked.

Newsweek has reached out to Sununu’s office and Trump’s campaign via email for comment.

What the Polls Show

According to the most recent polls, which was done by Reuters and Ipsos, Biden is expected to garner 41 percent of the vote share while Trump is predicted to win 37 percent of the vote in this year’s presidential election. Ipsos polled 833 registered voters between April 5 and 9 in this survey.

In another poll of 1,265 registered voters conducted between April 3 and 5 by IBD/TIPP, Biden is predicted to win the popular vote with a 3 percentage point lead, 43 to 40 percent.

However, other polls suggest Trump might have more supporters come Election Day. One poll of 6,236 registered voters by Morning Consult predicted that the Republican will win 44 percent of the vote share compared to Biden’s 43 percent.

Another by Emerson College of 1,438 registered voters suggested Trump will take 51 percent of the vote and that Biden would get 49 percent of the vote. This poll was conducted between April 2 and 3.