CNN Gripes Gov. Sununu Outraged Biden Called GOP ‘Semi-Fascist’

News & Politics

Proving that Republicans who are critical of former President Trump lose their usefulness on other topics, CNN’s New Day spent part of their airtime Monday huffing about New Hampshire Republican Governor Chris Sununu being outraged at President Biden for describing his entire party as “semi-fascist.” The CNN personalities in the segment downplayed Biden’s dangerous rhetoric and suggested Sununu was only motivated by his re-election bid.

“Republican Governor Chris Sununu is calling on President Biden to apologize for using a term last week, this was in a closed-door setting with donors where he said … supporters of Donald Trump he said engaged in something akin to what he called a sort of ‘semi-fascism,’” announced co-host John Berman.

What followed was a soundbite of Sununu speaking with State of the Union co-host Dana Bash from the previous day, when he spoke out against Biden’s smears:

Horribly insulting. I mean, the fact that the President would go out and just insult half of America, because effectively half of America votes Republican, half of America ultimately votes Democrat, it swings a little bit one way or the other. But effectively call half of America semi-fascist because he’s trying to stir up controversy, he’s trying to stir up this anti-Republican sentiment right before the election. It’s just horribly inappropriate, it’s insulting and people should be insulted by it and he should apologize.

Berman accused Sununu’s comments of being a canned response and Bash was on hand to suggest he was taking Biden’s comment out of context. “[H]e felt that President Biden was painting all of the party that way,” she scoffed. “Which to be fair, again, we weren’t in that meeting, we weren’t in the fundraiser, but the way it read was that Biden was specifically talking about Trump supporters.”

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Bash followed up by suggesting Sununu’s outrage was nothing more than a political calculation rather than being truly opposed to dangerous rhetoric from a sitting president against millions of innocent Americans:

But I agree with you that he was ready. I wasn’t sure how Governor Sununu was going to answer that because he’s been incredibly critical of Donald Trump on a number of issues, on a number of actions or inactions over the years, and this one he felt that he wanted to kind of lay down on. He is on the ballot, he is up for re-election in New Hampshire and Donald Trump is pretty popular among Republicans in New Hampshire so that — there’s no question played into the calculus of how the Governor responded.

It was a disingenuous argument over a term she failed to define to prevent another “deplorables” reaction as in 2016. Bash’s defensive definition for Biden’s attack would likely only include people in his inner circle and on the political teams. But Trump got over 74 million votes in 2020 and nearly the entire GOP vote. By a fair definition they’re “Trump supporters” too, which would obviously extend Biden’s smear to them.

This whining about Sununu’s outrage was made possible because of lucrative sponsorships from Google and Safelite. Their contact information is linked.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

CNN’s New Day
August 29, 2022
7:21:04 a.m. Eastern

JOHN BERMAN: Republican Governor Chris Sununu is calling on President Biden to apologize for using a term last week, this was in a closed-door setting with donors where he said that some of the supporters of Donald Trump, not all Republicans, but some of the donors — supporters of Donald Trump he said engaged in something akin to what he called a sort of semi-fascism.

[Cuts to video]

DANA BASH: Do you see semi-fascism in your party at all?

GOV. CHRIS SUNUNU (R-NH): Horribly insulting. I mean, the fact that the President would go out and just insult half of America, because effectively half of America votes Republican, half of America ultimately votes Democrat, it swings a little bit one way or the other. But effectively call half of America semi-fascist because he’s trying to stir up controversy, he’s trying to stir up this anti-Republican sentiment right before the election. It’s just horribly inappropriate, it’s insulting and people should be insulted by it and he should apologize.

[Cuts back to live]

BERMAN: Here now, one-half of that discussion, CNN chief political correspondent and State of the Union co-anchor Dana Bash. He was ready for that. He was ready, I think, to comment on President Biden’s comments last week. What did you make of that?

BASH: Well, and you just heard me begin to ask a follow-up which is that you didn’t see any — you don’t see any element of your party that could be described as semi-fascist? And he said, well, of course, there are white supremacists, there are fascists, there are all kinds of people, but he then went back to the notion that he felt that President Biden was painting all of the party that way. Which to be fair, again, we weren’t in that meeting, we weren’t in the fundraiser, but the way it read was that Biden was specifically talking about Trump supporters.

But I agree with you that he was ready. I wasn’t sure how Governor Sununu was going to answer that because he’s been incredibly critical of Donald Trump on a number of issues, on a number of actions or inactions over the years, and this one he felt that he wanted to kind of lay down on. He is on the ballot, he is up for re-election in New Hampshire and Donald Trump is pretty popular among Republicans in New Hampshire so that — there’s no question played into the calculus of how the Governor responded.

(…)

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