This week Chris Sununu clashed with fellow Republicans in his state who believe businesses should be prohibited from requiring Covid - 19 vaccines for their employees.
During a Wednesday meeting with New Hampshire's Executive Council — a five-member public body that shares administrative duties with the governor — a visibly agitated Sununu stated such sentiments were based on fantasy. The heated discussion separates Sununu, who is considering running for Senate next year, from his GOP counterparts in other states. Greg Abbott in Texas and Ron DeSantis in Florida, among others, have crusaded against vaccine mandates when applied by private companies — a position that seems to run counter to decades of Republican ideology that companies should be free to make their own decisions without government intervention.
Sununu, using a florist as an example Wednesday, said it would be wrong to him to ban the business owner from making vaccinations a condition of employment.
That is his flower shop, Sununu shared with Republican Councilor Joe Kenney in an exchange with Republican Councilor Sununu and declared by WMUR-TV in Manchester. That is his right to manage his business. That is his individual liberty, and now you want the government to infringe on that individual liberty. The debate came before the Executive Council voted along party lines, 4 - 1, against accepting $27 million in federal funding to assist with Covid vaccination efforts in the state. Councilors expressed concerns that the funding would bind New Hampshire to federal mandates, although the state s attorney general disputed that, WMUR reported.
John Sanolini plans to take legal action against President Joe Biden's federal vaccine mandates, a spokesperson for Sununu told NBC News.
At Wednesday s meeting, Kenney argued that the state bears some responsibility for protecting private sector healthcare workers against such mandates because essential services are at risk.
You re trying to say the private sector versus public sector, Kenney said that the public sector should not tell the private sector what to do. Sununu shot back: No you don t, you re saying the opposite. You know the answer's government, but I don’t, added Sununu a moment later. The people of New Hampshire know I call the balls and strikes as I see them, and today's vote by members of my own party on the federal executive council was a total disservice to the constituents we serve, he said in a statement after the vote to reject the federal money.
Sununu teed off on the councilors again in the New Hampshire Today radio program Thursday morning.
They're getting all emotional and they're listening to social media nonsense and misinformation and repeating it as elected officials, the Governor told host Chris Ryan. And that was incredibly frustrating. I had to shut down the computer hard. It was a rational argument for what they were trying to say.