GOP Gov. Sununu calls Trump ‘crazy’ and more at Gridiron Dinner
Sununu is the very rare Republican like Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois willing to call out the election-denying, conspiracy-mongering Trump.
WASHINGTON — After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the glitzy Gridiron Club and Foundation dinner roared back to life Saturday, with the Republican speaker, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, going past the point of no return when he said of former President Donald Trump: “You know, he’s probably gonna be the next president. No, I’m just kidding. He’s f---ing crazy. Are you kidding? Oh, come on,” he said to laughter.
Sununu actually used f--- twice in front of a ballroom full of journalists to make his points about Trump’s mental health.
Scatology aside, Sununu is the very rare Republican like Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois willing to call out the election-denying, conspiracy-mongering Trump, who is mulling a 2024 presidential bid.
Saturday marked the 137th Gridiron dinner, with the club an organization of Washington journalists. I’m a member and was president in 2017. About 630 folks attended the white-tie and gown dinner. The musical skits lampoon Democratic and Republican White House, congressional and political figures. I was in the chorus.
Unlike the much larger White House Correspondents’ Association dinner — coming back this year on April 30 — the Gridiron is not televised or photographed, though the show is on the record.
Sununu spoke for the Republicans. Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., represented the Democrats. President Joe Biden did not attend; Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo represented the administration.
Biden made a video for the Gridiron on Friday.
“I really wanted to be with you tonight — for the Gridiron dinner. But the truth is — I just couldn’t find a seven-hour and 37-minute gap in my schedule,” Biden said.
While the quip is a reference to the seven-hour gap in White House phone records from Trump on Jan. 6, 2021, the joke turned out to be close to the reality: The reception started at 5:30 p.m. and Raimondo didn’t even begin her speech until 10:54 p.m.
And this: “One of my colleagues pointed out — they didn’t elect me to be the next FDR. And the truth is, I’m not. FDR won the state of Georgia four times. In the last election, I only won Georgia three times.”
Speaking after Sununu, Raskin said, “I haven’t heard a Republican use the “F” word like that since the Nixon administration. But Governor Sununu’s eloquent profanity is the kind of insurrection the GOP really needs. We are going to need a lot more Republicans speaking like the Great Governor of New Hampshire.”
Kinzinger and wife Sofia became new parents when their son, Christian, was born on Jan. 19. Raskin used the Kinzinger baby as a foil in a bit.
Mocking himself — and playing off the Senate Judiciary Committee Supreme Court confirmation hearing for Ketanji Brown Jackson, where the Trumpiest Senators grilled her on the books kids read at the private Georgetown Day School – where Jackson is on the board — Raskin congratulated the Kinzingers.
“The parents were over the moon that their newborn son scored a 9 on his Apgar test and an 8 on his Critical Race Theory exam. That kid is straight-up Georgetown Day School material,” said Raskin, noting “my own insufferable wokeness and smug erudition.”
“The press often will ask me if I think Donald Trump is crazy. And, and, I’ll say it this way. This is probably the best way. I don’t think he’s so crazy that you could put him in a mental institution. But I think if he were in one, he ain’t getting out.”
Sununu was “astonished’ when he was driving to a New Hampshire event with Trump and Trump saw people holding flags.
“He says, see this. If you see someone holding a flag, it means they love me. They love me. They’re holding the American flag. They love me.” Trump points to a person and says, ‘That guy loves me.”
Zings Sununu, “Now I can’t help but notice the guy he pointed at — the sign he is holding says, ‘f--- Trump.’ Absolutely true.”
“A month ago, I was held back in the State of the Union to be the designated survivor. Now that’s a strange experience. The truth is, it’s pretty much a formality, except if something terrible happens, you could suddenly be the president of the United States.
“I think that’s probably why Pete Buttigieg kept calling me to ask if he could do it.”