Gov. Chris Sununu (R-NH) placed some distance between himself and former President Donald Trump on Sunday morning, vehemently disagreeing with the disgraced ex-president’s pledge to pardon convicted Jan. 6 rioters if he get back to the White House in 2024.
“If I run and I win, we will treat those people from Jan. 6 fairly, we will treat them fairly, and if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons because they are being treated so unfairly,” Trump declared during a Saturday evening rally in Texas.
While the twice-impeached ex-president’s remarks were quickly embraced by the far-right, Sununu (who has carved out a niche for himself as a MAGA critic) pushed back against such rhetoric during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union.
After the governor noted that he’s “been critical of both sides of the aisle,” anchor Dana Bash aired a clip of Trump’s rally remarks before asking Sununu to respond. The Republican executive, meanwhile, compared the seditious violence at the U.S. Capitol to the summer 2020 racial justice protests—a favorite tactic of conservatives.
“Look, the folks that were part of the riots and, frankly, the assault on the U.S. Capitol have to be held accountable,” he stated. “There’s a rule of law. I don’t care whether you were part of burning cities and antifa in 2020 [or] you were storming the Capitol in 2021, everybody needs to be held accountable.”
Pressed directly on whether he felt the Capitol rioters should be pardoned, the governor replied: “Of course not! Oh my goodness, no!”
Bash then wondered if Sununu, who is viewed by some as a potential GOP presidential candidate, would want Trump to stump for him in his reelection campaign for governor.
“I don’t need anyone to campaign with me,” he asserted. “I’m a big believer that as a candidate you have to stand on your own two feet, you have to look your fellow citizens in the eye and you have to earn their votes as you, not as endorsements. Endorsements are fine, and all that kind of stuff.”
Sununu added: “But at the end of the day, I’m a big believer—whether you’re running for the planning…