Former President Donald Trump kicked off his 2024 campaign with low-key events in New Hampshire and South Carolina, but potential GOP rivals in both states are talking about the need to reach new voters and usher in the next generation of leadership.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu told CNN he is considering a presidential bid, one day after Mr. Trump’s speech to the state GOP.
“I really don’t have a timeline,” Mr. Sununu told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I’m spending a lot of time naturally trying to grow the party as Republicans, talk to independents, talk to the next generation of potential Republican voters that right now no one is really reaching out to.”
Mr. Trump is the only big name to declare his candidacy for the 2024 GOP primary.
However, there are rumblings about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, given his easy reelection and robust showing in polls, and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley seemed to throw shade at Mr. Trump as he visited her home state.
“It’s time for a new generation to lead,” she tweeted Saturday with a Fox News clip of her suggesting her potential rivals are too old.
“I think it’s time for new, generational change. I don’t think you need to be 80 years old to go be a leader in D.C.,” Ms. Haley said earlier this month. “I think we need a young generation to come in, step up, and really start fixing things.”
Ms. Haley, who served as U.S. ambassador to the U.N. under Mr. Trump, is 51. Mr. Trump is 76, and President Biden is 80.
Mr. Sununu, meanwhile, said Mr. Trump will have to earn votes in New Hampshire, a critical early primary state.
“That’s New Hampshire. Even if you’re the former president, you got to come and earn it, person to person,” he said.
Mr. Sununu also warned minor candidates not to carve up the field.
“I think there’s a lot of hope and opportunity for good candidates to get in, drive the message where it needs to be,” he said. “But the discipline is getting out, too. The discipline and saying, ‘Look, you’re only polling at 5%, you got to get out.’ We don’t want a crowded field here.”