Gov. Chris Sununu says he has been shocked by the level of anti-Israel and antisemitism on elite college campuses, so much so that he declined an invitation to speak at Harvard in response to the schools' reaction to the protests.
On the Brian Kilmeade radio show Wednesday, Sununu was asked about "the sympathy for Hamas and condemnation of Israel" among college students. Was he surprised?
"It should surprise everybody. These are killers, and we saw the brutality of their attack on Oct. 7," Sununu said.
"I was asked to speak at Harvard about a week ago, and I told them to 'go screw,' I said 'no, I'm not doing this' because of their capitulation to these student groups who are on the side of absolute murderous killers."
Sununu, who has children approaching college age, didn't just blame the students or the university administrators for what is happening at America's college.
"I don't just put it on the students. Where are the parents talking to their children who are part of these demonstrations?"
"They are just way off base in terms of what they're protesting," Sununu said of the student protesters. "I don't think they even understand the issues. They're just going with what the progressives tell them to do... and it's dangerous.
"It's OK to now support a group of terrorists? Terrorists who are going to murder, not just innocent civilians, but our allies, our compatriots."
"This is not something anyone saw coming," Sununu added. "It's not just Harvard, it's not just Yale... it's everywhere."
In the immediate aftermath of the Hamas attack, Sununu announced his support for Israel on social media. " New Hampshire stands with the people of Israel — today and every day. Israel can and must defend itself from these barbaric, heinous acts of terrorism from Hamas."
Only a handful of progressives have spoken out on behalf of Gaza or the Palestinian cause, and there have only been a handful of incidents on college campuses in New Hampshire. On Saturday, a pair of anti- Israel protesters were arrested at Dartmouth College after making statements that violated the school's standards for threatening speech.
Kilmeade also asked Sununu about the First in the Nation presidential primary, and the governor blasted President Joe Biden for his botched attempt to kill the New Hampshire contest.
"We're the first primary, there's no doubt about it," Sununu said. " Joe Biden won't be on the ballot. But here's the newsflash to Joe Biden: Nobody cares."
"Nobody really cares that Joe Biden is not on the ballot. There's not some giant clambering wing of the Democrat Party saying, 'I wish I could vote for Biden in the New Hampshire primary.' They're moving on," Sununu said. "They've given up on him. They're moving on."
As a result, Sununu said, "I think Dean Phillips has a huge opportunity here to just crack the Democrat Party wide open. And that's going to happen, whether it happens with Dean Phillips in New Hampshire, whether it happens at the convention, or somewhere in between."
Sununu said Biden's decision to bail on New Hampshire was a "gaffe" that has got the potential to create some real problems for Democrats.
"Whether Biden realizes what a gaffe he's made or not, there's a huge problem in the Democrat Party, and that fracturing is starting right here in New Hampshire. And to Dean Phillips' credit, he's working it the right way. He's already got support from some of our legislators. He's got support from individuals who used to support Biden. He's going to go town to town and diner to diner."
Phillips, a moderate Democrat from Minnesota, announced his candidacy in New Hampshire last Friday. He has pledged to crisscross the state and engage in retail politics, similar to the strategy U.S. Sen. John McCain used in his successful GOP presidential primary in 2008. Phillips held his first Granite State town hall Wednesday night at the historic Rex Theater in Manchester.
"Welcome to my very first town hall in the Granite State, only 119 to go!" Phillips told a small crowd that gathered to hear his pitch.
Sununu says Phillips has real potential in the primary.
"He's got about three months here to really make a name for himself," Sununu said, "and that's more than enough time considering Biden isn't even on the ballot."
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