What Former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu Thinks About the Democratic Debate

ABC News talked with the former New Hampshire governor before the debate.

ByABC News
December 19, 2015, 1:13 PM
Former New Hampshire Governor John H. Sununu introduces Texas Governor Rick Perry during a GOP event, Aug. 23, 2014 in Stratham, N.H.
Former New Hampshire Governor John H. Sununu introduces Texas Governor Rick Perry during a GOP event, Aug. 23, 2014 in Stratham, N.H.
Scott Eisen/Getty Images

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire -- Nobody knows New Hampshire politics like former Gov. John Sununu.

That's why ABC News talked with the godfather of Republican politics in the Granite State for some thoughts on the opposite party invading the state this weekend for the big Democratic debate, hosted by ABC News.

Sununu served during the 1980s, later going on to become White House Chief of Staff for President George H.W. Bush.

Tune in Saturday at 8/7 PM CT to watch the ABC News Democratic Debate in New Hampshire

Here's what he told us:

ABC News: What do you think about the breach of DNC data by the Bernie Sanders campaign? What does that mean for the 2016 race?

Sununu: "It's amazing we're getting all wound up about Bernie Sanders' breach of security over a voter list. People aren't really, on the Democratic side, that wound up about the security breaches that occurred with Mrs. Clinton's private server. It's another example of the Democrats' misplaced priorities."

ABC News: The Democratic debate is now just hours away. Do you think there's more riding on it for Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton?

Sununu: "I think the four or five people in New Hampshire who will watch the debate couldn't care less."

ABC News: Hillary Clinton is leading big nationally, but recent polling shows she's in a tight battle with Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire. Is this liberal apathy toward Hillary Clinton reaching a critical mass?

Sununu: "I don't think it's apathy. I think it's just resignation to what they see as a coronation on the party side. I think people will prefer to watch Larry David doing Bernie Sanders than Bernie Sanders being Bernie Sanders in the debate. I think more people will watch Larry David. 'SNL' may run a mock debate of their own tomorrow night."

ABC News: Switching gears, a New Hampshire poll out Friday showed Donald Trump up by double digits in the Granite State. What do you think it would mean if Trump wins New Hampshire?

Sununu: "This is the time for all the candidates to start ramping it up. It's going to be an interesting race, and I suspect that Trump will not do as well as Trump thinks he's going to do. And a couple of the other candidates will do a lot better than the press think they’re going to do."

ABC News: So what advice would you give to Republicans looking to take Trump down?

Sununu: "I think they should take him on directly and talk about the silliness of some of his rhetoric. Hugh Hewitt asked this question on the trail about the nuclear triad. Trump was absolutely tongue-tied. He sounded like he had never heard the word. If I were the other candidates, I'd keep hammering him."