Sununu narrows endorsement choice to Perry, Romney

In New Hampshire, he’s the Holy Grail of endorsements: John H. Sununu has been a three-term governor, head of the state Republican Party, and a White House chief of staff.

To date, he is one of the last major figures in the state to remain uncommitted in the GOP presidential primaries.

This morning, Sununu told the Globe that he has narrowed his choice to two governors – Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. He expects to make his decision known in the last week of October or the first week in November (although, that timing is subject to change if the primary ends up being scheduled for early December, as Secretary of State Bill Gardner last week suggested he might do.)


Sununu said a former governor would best lead the country.

“I think that kind of chief executive experience has some value,’’ he said in a telephone interview.

What about former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, a moderate who served as President Obama’s ambassador to China?

“I only support Republican governors,’’ Sununu said.

Sununu said he ruled out Herman Cain, the former Godfathers’s chief executive, because of his shortage of public service.

“I like Herman Cain. I think he’s a great success story. He has a great understanding of how to deal in the private sector. But when I was governor, when I brought in private sector people … they had a hard time making decisions in the public eye.’’

Sununu extolled both Perry’s and Romney’s experience as current governor of Texas and former governor of Massachusetts respectively.

As for minuses?

“I don’t want to talk about minuses,’’ he said. “Let’s just say I at least identify some.’’

Jim Merrill, Romney’s chief strategist in New Hampshire, said he was “glad to hear we are in the final two … Obviously, we would love to have his support and we’re working on it.’’

Governor Perry’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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