“He proved last night that he doesn’t have the temperament to handle the stresses of a public executive position,” Sununu told POLITICO on Thursday.
Pressed on whether Ramaswamy doesn’t have the temperament to be president, specifically, Sununu said “it would be a poor choice.”
“Clearly we’ve seen that almost anybody can be president, we’ve kind of set the bar incredibly low on both the Republican and Democrat side,” Sununu said. “But to be an effective president, you have to have temperament, you have to have poise, you’ve got to act like you’ve been there.”
Ramaswamy’s camp shrugged off the slight.
“We wish Chris Sununu the best in figuring out his future endeavors, whatever they may be,” Ramaswamy campaign spokesperson Tricia McLaughlin said of the outgoing governor in a statement.
“Vivek is focused on reviving this country,” she said. “If Sununu were going to do that himself, he would be doing that beyond commenting from the peanut gallery.”
Sununu told reporters that he’s likely to endorse after Thanksgiving and is choosing primarily between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whom he appeared with at a town hall in Merrimack on Thursday night.
“Right now those three candidates, I think for most folks in the Republican Party, have proved themselves to be the top choices” besides former President Donald Trump, Sununu said. Sununu has been a vocal critic of Trump, who remains the frontrunner in the race nationally and in New Hampshire despite the governor’s insistence that renominating him will doom the party in 2024.
The third debate, which Trump skipped, appears to be weighing on Sununu’s endorsement decision. Asked who won the clash in Miami, Sununu said Haley and Christie did the best. DeSantis, he said, “did very well as well.”
But Ramaswamy “was a bit embarrassing.” And South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott “wasn’t incredibly inspiring.”
Trump continues to hold a yawning lead in polls of likely GOP primary voters in New Hampshire, with roughly 47 percent support, according to Real Clear Politics’ polling averages of the state. Haley has surpassed DeSantis in the race for second place and sits at just under 15 percent. DeSantis averages under 11 percent, Christie under 9 percent and Ramaswamy under 6 percent.
Ramaswamy “doesn’t know how to run anything, he has no understanding of how to work in the public sphere,” Sununu told reporters Thursday. “He claims to have been a CEO, but he really couldn’t have been that good even at that.”
He contrasted that with Christie, who “was a governor, he understands accountability, he understands how to get things done.”
Sununu’s endorsement is highly prized — he’s the popular governor of the first primary state — and he’s hit the trail with many of the candidates. Haley put Sununu on the spot last week, asking for his endorsement first at a diner and again at a town hall later that night. She played it off as a joke, but her desire was clear.
Christie scoffed at that on Thursday.
“I’m not going to do things like ask him for the endorsement in public and embarrass him, like what happened here last week. I mean that’s just not right,” Christie told reporters. “We’ve spoken privately. He’s told me he’s going to make the decision on his own timetable. And all I’m going to do is continue to talk to him about the things that I think that we need to do in the campaign and for the country, and hopefully my experience and my plans win him over.”