John Sununu: Hillary Testing Media but Won't Run in 2016

Wednesday, 13 Aug 2014 03:25 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Hillary Clinton's slap at the foreign policy of President Barack Obama is a bid to test whether the liberal media will support her in the 2016 presidential race, says John Sununu, former chief of staff to President George W. Bush.

"What she's trying to do is test the support she would get from the media by . . . distancing herself . . . re-creating a history for herself,'' Sununu said Wednesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"She'd like to see how the liberal media react to that, and if she can get away with it she will continue to use the gullibility of the liberal media as a way of rewriting her own history.

"So, the real issue is not so much that she's trying it, but the real issue is how much does the liberal media fall for it?''

In recent days, the former secretary of state has taken aim at what some consider the Obama administration's softball approach to foreign policy.

In an interview with The Atlantic, Clinton suggested Obama's failure to back "moderate" rebels in Syria led to the violence by Islamic extremists now being seen in Syria and Iraq.

Sununu, former governor of New Hampshire, agreed there are many issues for Clinton to flee from her time in the Obama administration.

"It's underestimating Putin, it's underestimating the difficulties in Iraq, it's underestimating Afghanistan, it's underestimating the fact that it's still a tough world that you can't operate with utopian principles in a world where there are real bad people,'' he said.

"The entire administration, including everybody who served in it, is guilty of having put America and the world in this very unstable, very dangerous situation we're finding right now.''

Sununu said he thinks the Obama presidency is "unraveling.''

"The self-delusion of this president is becoming more and more apparent. You know, he was proud of withdrawing the American troops [from Iraq] and now he's denying he did it,'' Sununu said.

"Unfortunately, he didn't understand when he did that withdrawal how detrimental that would be to world stability.''

Sununu said he is betting against Clinton's running.

"The difficulties she's having are piling up, and I suspect that after the November elections she and former President [Bill] Clinton and the family will gather to make a decision,'' he said.

"They understand politics. They'll put the things that they think are positive on one side of the ledger and the things that they don't think are so good on the other side.

"If they make an honest assessment, she'll decide that with a combination of all kinds of things, including age and the fact they know how tough it is to run for president and what they'll face in terms of the intensity of the opposition, it's more likely she does not run.''

Sununu said he was surprised that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who heads the Republican Governor's Association, refused to back Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino in his challenge to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Christie dubbed Astorino's bid a "lost cause.''

"I'd like to give him enough credit thinking it was a mistake to have said it. I'd like to give him enough credit to feel that perhaps he now regrets he said it, but it's awfully tough to take back once you said it," Sununu said.

"It was a mistake, we all make mistakes, and maybe he can figure out a way to constructively deal with it by encouraging a lot of folks in New York to give some support.''

But Sununu does not agree with some Republicans that Christie should resign for snubbing a GOP candidate.

"Look, we're in the midst of a campaign, we're three months away from the election. Let's not shoot ourselves in the foot after having put the foot to our forehead.''

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