Sununu suggests Americans view Biden-Trump race, debate as ‘reality television’

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) on Friday quipped Americans see the White House race between President Biden and former President Trump as “reality television,” as the two prepare to square off in a debate next week.

“I think one of the challenges we have is so many Americans right now are seeing this entire presidential race unfortunately, more like a reality TV show, right?” Sununu said Friday on NewsNation’s “Cuomo.” “They want to see if Trump’s going to be abrasive and lose his top, they’re gonna see if Biden is gonna have a senior moment.”

Sununu pointed to the “challenges” CNN’s debate moderators Jake Tapper and Dana Bash could face in the wake of this view.

“I think they’re going to do a terrific job, but they got to make it substantiative, right?” he said.

CNN’s presidential debate is slated for next Thursday, and is expected to be a critical moment in the race for the Oval Office.

Trump and Biden, who are both their respective parties’ presumptive nominees, met the debate requirements last week. Independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and other third-party hopefuls did not, teeing up for a true repeat of the 2020 presidential debates.

The New Hampshire governor on Friday noted he is surprised Trump’s team has taken his 2024 campaign “seriously” and “much more professionally” than previous races.

“I know they’re practicing, they’re strategizing, and I think that’s where this kind of change in tone is coming from. They’re telling him you got to set the table of expectations in order to make sure we come out of this ahead, and it’s going to be a challenge, but it’s going to be a pretty interesting night.”

Trump currently has a razor-thin lead of 0.6 percentage points over Biden, per a national polling index by The Hill and Decision Desk HQ.

The race is neck-and-neck, and a Fox News poll last week found Biden leading the former president by 2 points with a bare majority of 50 percent.

The former president and his allies suggested last week they will dismiss any strong debate performance by Biden as a charade, floating the baseless claim that if Biden does well, it will be because he is using some kind of performance enhancer.

The claims come after Trump and his allies attempted to downplay Biden’s well-received State of the Union speech earlier this year as some Republicans try to depict the incumbent as a feeble, confused old man.

Weighing in on Biden’s State of the Union speech, Sununu said the president “came up with energy,” and argued the Trump campaign could pull back on the criticism of Biden next week.

“It was a late night, you know, hour-and-a-half speech that he gave, he had energy that was the talk the next day. He didn’t have senior moments,” Sununu said. “If that’s the only story you’re playing, obviously you have to start tampering that back and obviously he’s [Trump] talking about taking it more seriously.”

Sununu, who previously backed former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley’s since-suspended presidential run, said in March he will support Trump as the GOP nominee but stands by his past criticism.

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