MONTPELIER — Former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu came to Vermont on Wednesday on serious business: to urge residents here to cast their ballots on Super Tuesday for Mitt Romney and not that evil Rick Santorum.
Serious business, yes, but the press conference at the Statehouse with Sununu and nearly two dozen Republican lawmakers and other GOP officials had its light moments.
The event was all about Romney — there were signs, etc. — and that got Sen. Vince Illuzzi a bit crossed up as he introduced Sununu.
“I now introduce Gov. Romney,” Illuzzi said.
After some laughter, Sununu stepped to the mic and said he and Romney look alike (they don’t) but said a key difference between him and Romney is that “my hair moves.”
Flanked by Vermont Republican legislators, Sununu then proceeded to insult, well, legislators.
“There’s a horrible disease that comes upon people when they join a legislature,” said Sununu.
Sununu said the way lawmakers show success is by spending more money and launching more programs. His point was that former governors such as Mitt make better chief executives than former lawmakers such as Santorum.
“Rick Santorum has caught the disease of spending,” said Sununu.
Then he suggested many Vermonters must be sleep-voting if the state keeps casting a majority of ballots for Democrats in presidential elections. Sununu believes Vermonters will one day arise from their stupor, which gives him hope, despite the fact that President Barack Obama is expected to win here easily no matter who the Republican candidate is.
“I am absolutely convinced that one day folks in Vermont will wake up and one day understand that there is a better life ahead if they do the right thing, so I’m not going to concede any state in the country to President Obama,” said Sununu.
Bob Stannard, a Statehouse lobbyist, is also the founder of the new progressive Super PAC called “Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Today,” which pushes for policies that are un-Romney-like.
Stannard had honed his act before offering a rebuttal to reporters after the press conference.
“I’m trying to figure out what this guy’s endearing qualities are,” said Stannard, referring to Romney. “He’s a corporate raider, who has flip-flopped on every issue, and strapped his dog to the roof of his car.”