It appears increasingly inevitable that Donald Trump will win the Republican primary, but his Republican critics insist that nominating him in 2024 will lead to disaster.
New Hampshire governor Chris Sununu (R), a vocal Trump critic, told Meet the Press that Trump's "drama" is the main culprit behind the GOP's recent political misfortunes.
The Trump brand "just doesn't work" in a state like New Hampshire, Sununu said.
"It's about the former president more than anything. And I can tell you, I've had school board members – Republican school board members that have lost their seats because they felt like they had to constantly answer for being a Trump Republican and all of that. It's a – it’s a negative brand."
Sununu said Republicans have a "huge opportunity" to move the party forward by getting rid of Trump, but he did not say who should replace him.
Trump, who is facing multiple prosecutions overseen by political enemies, has made "retribution" one of the themes of his campaign - a far cry from the aw-shucks attitude of a Republican moderate like Sununu.
The governor offered praise for Governor Brian Kemp (R) after he shut down the idea of defunding the prosecution of Trump in Georgia.
"Well, again, first – first off, Governor Kemp is spot – spot on. The guy's an oak. He's the oak of Georgia, and he's got some big shoulders and he handles it just incredibly every time," Sununu said.
Trump's Republican critics have blamed him for the GOP's shortfalls in the past few election cycles, and they insist Trump is unable to win a general election against Joe Biden. The criminal prosecutions of Trump, they say, make victory even less likely.
Whether that's true or not, Trump is leaving his primary challengers in the dust. But Sunnu insisted the primary is far from over.
"We had 13 candidates a month ago. We have eight or nine today. I think we'll have five or six by the time Iowa comes, maybe three or four by New Hampshire. And then when it's one-on-one Trump's in trouble, and he knows that."
Sununu - who flirted with a run of his own before backing out - urged Trump's Republican rivals to get tougher on him.
"I think they have to be a little tougher on Trump. You know, Chris Christie kind of really goes nuclear on him, and God bless Christie does a great job with that," he praised.
"There's still a lot of – a lot of time here, lot of time for this to play out on the main stage," Sununu concluded.