Sununu launches broadsides at 'jacka–' Cuomo, Newsom, says right-wing reps 'functionally don't do anything'

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu slammed two of his gubernatorial colleagues Thursday, saying many of the governors he’s served alongside get along with each other, save for California’s Gavin Newsom and former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Sununu was responding to a question from Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute (RISE) moderator Fred Ryan about the difference in dynamics between how governors and congressional lawmakers work.

“I think — look — almost all of the governors get along,” Sununu said in part, adding that in his eight years in Concord, there have only been two outspoken Democrats who seemed to rub him and his colleagues the wrong way.

When Ryan asked if they could be identified, Sununu obliged:

“Yeah, Andrew Cuomo — complete jacka– — no one likes him,” Sununu said of the three-term scion of one of New York’s most recognizable political families.


“And I’ve got to be honest, no one cares for Gavin. Gavin’s just a p—- — excuse me — he just is,” the four-term Republican went on.

Reached for comment, Bulldog Strategies’ Rich Azzopardi, a spokesman for Cuomo, responded, “I’m glad they feel the same way about each other.”

Sununu said it was disappointing to see his working relationship with the California Democrat apparently deteriorate, as he told the forum he used to get along with Newsom, but that over time, even Democrats confided that they could not stand their intraparty colleague: “[T]hey won’t tell you out loud. But behind closed doors, they’re like, ‘Oh, God, look who’s coming.’ You know, they all roll their eyes.”

Sununu emphasized that, while he is a Republican, some of his favorite governors do not agree with him on even a single issue.

He pointed to Oregon Democratic Gov. Tina Kotek, whom he called his favorite West Coast state executive.

“Tina is the governor of Oregon. There is absolutely nothing Tina and I probably agree with politically, but she’s a wonderful person. I think she’s really great,” he said.

Another left-wing governor whom most on the right might not consider a working partner is outgoing New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, he added.


“Phil Murphy and I get along great, we really do. He’s got this amazing sense of humor. Again, I don’t think he does a great job as governor — he probably might say the same [for] me — that’s OK, but we have different approaches,” said Sununu.

“But we get along really, really well, and overall the governors really are a good team because we are [working] 24/7. There’s a shooting, there’s a flood, there’s a ‘whatever’ — my phone is going to ring.”

Sununu said there is a stark contrast between gubernatorial cordiality and the “nonsense” in Washington, D.C.

“Congress has two jobs: They approve or disapprove of a policy. And they approve or disapprove of funding. And that’s it. They don’t design the mental health system. They don’t design the system for better homeless services or integration of education, or they don’t design anything,” he said.

“I think all governors should be engineers. I think all politicians should be engineers,” the governor quipped. Sununu is an engineer by trade.


Sununu lambasted several right-wing lawmakers, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., suggesting she is a “fool.”

“Is there any bill that she’s ever even [passed] — or [GOP Florida Rep.] Matt Gaetz. They do nothing, and they raise a ton of money off it, not just to get themselves re-elected, but for the showmanship of that extremism. But they actually don’t functionally do anything, you know, for the betterment of good governance and civics.”

Sununu said that when he’s considered federal legislative office, he’s often thought it would be unfruitful.

“I said, ‘Screw you, I don’t want to be part of this at all,'” he joked, adding that many in Congress don’t care to fix true issues like entitlements.

“What’s going to happen in eight years? Social Security is going bankrupt. That is a fact. And there was already a law in place that the Social Security benefits that some folks in this room might be waiting for are going to get cut,” he said. “I think it’s 23%  — like, that’s in law, that’s happening. Your benefits are being cut. Someone has to fix that, has to stop that.”

In recent months, Sununu has criticized other Republicans on his right, including former President Donald Trump. He notably endorsed former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley in the 2024 presidential primaries.

Reached for comment, Gaetz said of Sununu: “While Gov. Sununu has been a failing surrogate for the even more failing Nikki Haley campaign, I’ve been working to get 1,100 troops out of Niger.”

Newsom and Greene’s offices did not return requests for comment for purposes of this story. 

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