Social Security

Sununu Calls Dem, GOP Promises Not to Reform Social Security & Medicare ‘Ludicrous'

New Hampshire’s governor, a possible 2024 presidential candidate, hasn’t fleshed out his own platform on entitlements yet — but he’s open to the controversial conversation of privatization

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New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu called pledges to maintain the status quo on Social Security and Medicare from both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump “ludicrous,” saying “something” needs to be done —potentially even privatize the programs.

"Joe Biden and Donald Trump — they both have the exact same strategy of 'Don't touch Social Security; don't do anything,’” Sununu said. “When it goes bankrupt in 10 years, you'll lose 25% of your benefits. But neither of them are willing to do anything about it.”

Sununu, who is exploring a potential run in the 2024 Republican primary, has been trying to distinguish himself from what may wind up being a crowded field. He spoke to LX News over burgers and beers at a New Hampshire brewery.

“You've got to be willing to put all ideas on the table,” Sununu said. “Some you can get done; some you can't. But the fact that no one even wants to talk about it is crazy.”

Sununu’s comments echo those of former Vice President Mike Pence, another possible 2024 presidential candidate, who said Social Security and Medicare cuts should be “on the table” in February.

However, Trump, who has long vowed to protect the existing entitlement programs, has been using the issue as a way to attack his presumed opponents, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who previously voted to raise the age for Social Security and Medicare when he was serving in Congress. More recently, DeSantis has vowed to protect the programs.

“A lot of different things that can be done, but something has to be done,” Sununu said. “You can give people options in terms of either how to invest those dollars, the government tying [investments] to index funds, whatever it might be.”

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Sununu said he was open to all reforms — including privatization — as long as dialogue was happening.

“But Washington [politicians] tend to be cowards... the fact that no one even wants to talk about it is crazy.”

Noah Pransky is LX News’ National Political Editor, covering Washington and state politics, with a special focus on young voters. His political and investigative work has been honored with national Murrow, Polk, duPont and Cronkite awards, and you can contact him confidentially at noah.pransky@nbcuni.com, or on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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