New Hampshire Republican Gov. Chris Sununu on Sunday criticized members of his party who are looking to retaliate against 13 GOP House members who voted to pass President Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, saying they “have their priorities screwed up.”
“When we talk about kicking people off of committees because they don’t like one vote or the other – again, I just think they have their priorities screwed up,” Sununu told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.”
The comments from the Republican governor underscore the mixed views members of the party have on the infrastructure package, which was passed with Republican support in both the House and Senate, prompting some hard-liners to discuss booting their GOP colleagues from committee spots, even though the effort faces little chance of succeeding.
Pressed by Bash on what the retaliation efforts say about his party, Sununu said: “Again, I think it says that we have our priorities wrong. Republicans have had huge successes with cutting taxes, limiting government, creating opportunities in schools, supporting parents, making sure kids – those are our wins, and those are American wins.”
Sununu also weighed in on an intraparty fight being waged over the party’s response to Rep. Paul Gosar after the Arizona Republican posted an edited anime video to social media that showed him appearing to kill Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacking President Joe Biden.
“When a congressman says those things and puts – of course they have to be censured for that. Of course they have to be held to bear for that,” he said, referring to House Democrats and two Republican House members voting last week to censure Gosar, a move that infuriated other GOP members.
Republican Sen. Kevin Cramer also called out Gosar on Sunday, telling NBC that the congressman sharing the anime video “probably wasn’t right.” But the North Dakota senator was less clear on where he stood on his party’s handling of Gosar, saying he didn’t know whether a majority of House Republicans declining to condemn their colleague is a bad look for the GOP.
Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, one of the two Republicans who voted to censure Gosar, has been siding with Democrats more and more as her party grapples with its more extreme factions, an individualism Sununu appeared to support on Sunday.
“Do you think there’s room for Liz Cheney in the Republican Party?” Bash asked in part.
“Well, I think there’s room for everybody in the Republican Party. I really do,” Sununu replied. “Whether you’re independent or Democrat, we’ve got room for everybody to come on board.”
He continued: “It can’t be about one particular issue. That’s kind of that social media mob mentality that’s built up in the country where we don’t agree with one issue so we’re going to attack or vilify one person or individual. We’ve got to get beyond that.”
This story has been updated with additional details Sunday.