? josh: this sunday on close-up, their primaries on the books. it is on to the general election. he would be the youngest governor on the demti how does colin van ostern get people familiar with his message. and we talked to chris sununu, who narrowly won his primary, on how to unify a seemingly divided party. good morning. i am josh mcelveen. all of the democratic candidates faced name id in the race for governor, now leave are here with the democratic nominee for governor. congratulations.
we got to work right away. we talked about how to grow our economy with theayor of nashua. josh: as soon as the results came in, you jumped in the lead and never gave it up. were you surprised? mr. van ostern: we were glad it was a decisive victory and that the other candidates were gracious in pledging immediate support. there are only eight weeks to go -- less now. that is why we wanted to get started in talking about big issues that is the sort of thing this campaign is going to focus on every day. josh: you have been focused on the issues. you brought up the other candidates. all three of you -- you d better than the other two, but all three of you struggled with name id. why were you able to break through, do you think, and how
mr. van ostern: there were some differences, but i think folks looked at my background. i have helped great new hampshire companies grow, like southern new hampshire university, where helped start a college that now has thousands of students getting a degree with no debt. and we need to support planned parenthood funding 100% of the time. i think that proved to be a convincing background are the results that matter to their lives. good schools, good jobs, low taxes, efficient state government with less red tape. those are the issues i have been focused on. josh: you have two dam executive counselors -- you have two executive councilors left standing. dartmouth hitchcock had to deal with layoffs.
what is your take? mr. van ostern: it was a bipartisan and unanimous vote to approve the contract. it came after some delays. only after we were sure there would be very specific requirements for staffing and qualifications. i am glad dartmouth has reaffirmed, after these disappointing layoffs, that they will meet every item within the contract specifications. i will hold them to that, as an executive council. we will not relax the standards simply because of the economic challenges and layoffs they are going through. what matters is patient care. josh: the number of people who have said dartmouth hitchcock was not as transparent as they needed to be leading up to this, but others say there were warning signs. where do you fall? mr. van ostern: i think it is
ask the state department of health and human services to bid at the contract again. i was disappointed they did not. i was disappointed no other business or nonprofit date on the contract in the first place. when i talk about cutting red tape in state government, when you can do that, it means you have more folks bid. competition rings better quality and lower prices. i have seen that in places like stonyfield. we need to bring that tota governor's office. governor maggie hassan is also at the executive council table and will take her knocks for this. what is the next step? mr. van ostern: what matters is patient care. he had to make sure they are being held to the letter of the law and the contract, that they are legally obligated to do. josh: let's talk about your economic policy. a lot of it is built on a controversial -- maybe not
this is going to be an engine that will really change the complexion of new hampshire and bring more jobs and change the way the economy runs? mr. van ostern: it is not a silver bullet, but it is an important tool. rail shows -- rail will help new hampshire girl 5600 jobs. as someone who is helped grow a college where, when i started, thwe southern new hampshire university's college for america, we now have hundreds of employees there. stat -- thousands of students have enrolled to get a degree without debt. one of the challenges for growing -- which is true for businesses across the state -- is access to a well skilled, well educated workforce. that is why i am focused on bringing more young people, new businesses and startups. that is how we grow the state
that has no sales task, less red tape, more efficiency. josh: talk about the rail project itself. other regions have gone through this. mr. van ostern: successfully. legal the -- look at the seacoast. the most successful new rail start in the country over the last decade. some of our fastest-growing cities, like dover, who said you guys are be crazy not to have ra it is no help in -- there is no question it will help businesses grow. and most of the funding we can get from grants that we are not asking for from washington. sometimes new hampshire's penny wise and pound foolish. we need to be more fiscally responsible. josh: there are some success stories, but there are some
why are you convinced this will not wind up being something coming out of the taxpayer pocket? mr. van ostern: even if you do not sit on the train, he will mean less traffic. i do not think it is one of the other. there is a bridge being built in keene that is coming in at $2 million instead of $4 million, because i asked the state transportation department to ask and talk to local officials, and we found a more efficient gn that was not even going to be built this summer. it was being delayed because of red tape. i brought the mayor and state officials together, and we got it back on track. that is the kind of leadership that will grow our economy. josh: let's talk about the opioid crisis. president obama really recognizing the situation, the
said that there is no leadership at the state and local level. it is schism of ted gatsas -- criticism of ted gatsas and maggie hassan, it seems. mr. van ostern: we need to focus on policies are not talking points. at the beginning of this general election wednesday, i brought together law enforcement, treatment town squares, doctors, -- tme there is a new nonprofit that has put together a five-point plan on how to overcome this. the first is to successfully expand the plan to make this permanent. it took a lot of work from legislators to get done. it came to the executive council. i voted yes. ted voted no. i want to make it permanent.
this crisis. that is the sort of specific issue we need to focus on. i think this is the sort of thing we need a real debate about. josh: we will talk more about this over the course of the next how do you me the case, how do you break through all the other noise? because you have a senate race that will. mr. van ostern: be tough to get attention people need a governor who will focus on two jobs and education. i am a dad, a business leader of great new hampshire employers. a lot of this is not about talking points. it is about results. there are thousands of people getting access to health care, in part because i helped fight to make that happen. thousands of students getting eight debt-free college degree because i help launch that
our results. josh: now you're running your own race. general election, best of luck to you. we will be right back with chris sununu, challenger on the republican side. vo: kelly ayotte says she's on our side, but on our rights, she's squarely with donald trump: trump: planned parenthood should absolutely be defunded. defund planned parenthood. and both oppose our right to
safe and legal abortion. ayotte: i certainly think that roe should be overturned... trump: ...there has to be some form of punishment. matthews: for the woman? trump: yeah, there has to be some form. vo: ayottend trump: wrong for new hampshire women. senate majority pac is responsible for the content of this advertising. oil wells in new hampshire? you'd think so the way kelly ayotte voted.
more than anyone else in the governor's race, he had the name recognition. executive councilor chris sununu was able to calm out on -- come out on top. my next guest this morning. what do you think it was about frank at all blue -- frank edelblut? mr. sununu: frank ran a great race. he had a great presence with his activist core. our numbers showed that no one was going to run away from it and no one would be too far left behind. we need frank would be right there at the end. obviously, it was closer than we thought it would be. it made it exciting for us. in the end, it turned out to be a great unifier.
gathered wednesday. frank supporters and ted supporters have reached out. they know we need to turn this around -- that being the lack of leadership in the state. so we are moving forward in one concerted effort. encouraging. josh: and it happened quickly. when it comes to frank edelblut, the so-called antiestablishment appetite appears to be still hungry. mr. sununu: been the appetite in new hampshire for decades. we always want the new face. we do not believe in the career politicians. we should now. this is public service. i am an engineer. public service is one way i get back. i think running for governor fits my experience and expertise in doing what we can to make the state move forward. that is the new hampshire way. josh: people who know you know
you are much more outgoing -- mr. sununu: for the better, i hope. [laughter] josh: more outgoing. when it comes to the politics, what are the differences? mr. sununu: well, i come from a big family. i have tremendous pride when i think of the public service my father gave in the 1980's, the public service my brother gave. politics is not a career for us. my father my brother is an engineer and went back to the business. i am a civil engineer. we all have our philosophies. at the end of the day, we are all fiscal conservatives. that is what galvanizes us. that is what galvanized most of the state. we believe in things like low taxes, limited government, local control, personal responsibility.
to the table. we need to remind ourselves in concord what those mean and try to bring the policies that will impact people's lives. josh: you are the executive council. dartmouth hitchcock would be that of both race. the council and the governor taking heat for this. we have the layoffs. some people saying there were warning signs out there. were there? mr. sununu: they're absolutely were. i called f t commissions that we wanted to do -- look at an investigation. i asked the commissioner and the governor very strongly for a review of the employment practices of dartmouth hitchcock he would also can do in the contract to increase competition. it could as we did not have competition. the governor and commissioner refused. josh: so why vote for it? mr. sununu: at the end of the
they gave none. with only four weeks to go in the existing contract, by not signing the long-term contract we did sign, kind of reluctantly, we did risk losing those services. then two days after that, we learned that meant hitchcock is laying off 460 people. that is critical information withheld from the council, the governor, and the commissioner. i read or write. we need to re-bid. answer these questions. i have express that to the commissioner. i am hope bring -- i am hoping they will ask dartmouth's to come to the table. wherever we do business with, whether a snowplow driver or a mountable health services person, they need to be transparent and up front. you cannot have critical information like that being withheld from the council.
about the opioid crisis. you said there was a failure of leadership at the state and local level. day one, what is governor sununu do? mr. sununu: there are some clear programs. number one, make sure law enforcement is supported. we have a recruitment problem. not enough folks are looking to become cops. lean -- we need to make sure police officers have resources. there are programs again look at template business taxdi the back of recovery centers. when kids come out of recovery, the need to come back into the workforce. right now, we say goodbye and good luck. that leads them back into the system. we need to make sure we are doing things like we do not cut ourselves off with the good samaritan law. it sometimes lets joe dealers off the hook. there are things we can do on day one that can make a difference.
who care about this passionately. are you convinced it is organized well enough or where everyone is rowing the boat in the same direction? mr. sununu: i am not. i think there is a lot of money in concord that is yet to be put out there. i think there are a lot of quality programs that cannot apply for funding, even though they are having success on their own. we need to make sure successful programs in the state have access to the funds an so we are going in the same direction but we are not in sync. we need to move forward with real leadership at the stop of politics ahead of everything. josh: james vera -- james vara is the so-called drug czar. his is a one-person job? mr. sununu: no.
the last drugs. he was a disaster. he did not reach out to the law enforcement or medical community. eventually, we said that we need to communicate. if we are not communicating, we are not achieving what we need to achieve. he was a bad communicator. i was adamant that the governor failed on that. i was adamant when she did not know that we got a 12 main dollars grant. that is where my from. real examples of rail -- real examples of failed leadership. josh: we are in the general election now. i am asking the same question i asked colin van ostern. with donald trump of the top of the ticket, hillary clinton, the senate race, how do you break through? mr. sununu: my campaign is going to be run, going forward, just like it was last year. it is about new hampshire values.
talking about the things that matter -- jobs, education, the opioid crisis. these are the things we need tangible movement on in the state to get policy where he needs to be so we are all rowing the boat in the same direction. my opponent has been talking about boondoggle train projects. his solutions -- josh: which you are not a fan of, by the way. mr. sununu: absolutely i am not a fan. this will not drive our economy. to get people to work in boston? that islamic sense. it is not about eight washington programs that require massive subsidies, but that is what they're talking about. i want to talk about what really matters. it is about jobs, education, fighting the opioid crisis. what we talked about last year and all the way through november. josh: let's talk about the ticket itself.
doing a great job in cd2. josh: how does everyone get under the same umbrella? is there any awkwardness? mr. sununu: not at all. the beauty of this year is a lot like what we saw in 2010. a unified republican ticket that gives confidence not just to the republicans but to the independents, to conservative democrats the state forward. we need someone who will make decisive leadership decisions, not just kick the can down the road like we have had. you have had governors in the state the past 10 years who have not pushed the dial forward. why are our health care costs so high and what are we doing about it? we have done virtually nothing. what will we do to get jobs into the state? to drive growth? if you want the same stagnation,
the republican party and the republican ticket has great leadership up and down. we are looking to bring real solutions to get new hampshire back to where we were. the gold standard other states look to as an example for how to do this right. we do it by doing at the new hampshire way. not the washington, big regulation, just referring to what washington does. washington, d.c. never has new hampshire's best interests in their heart. if we do it the new hampshire way, we do it better than will bring to the state house. josh: are a lot of issues moving forward, but for now, congratulations. 52 days. chris sununu, thank you. we will be back with john to looking back at the week that was. -- with john distaso, looking
narrator: over and over it's been their agenda: anything to defund planned parenthood.
kelly ayotte and washington republicans voted 6 different times to defund planned parenthood. they're on a crusade to block services new hampshire women and families depend on: cancer screenings, basic women's healthcare. kelly ayotte and washington republicans have put defunding planned parenthood at the top of their agenda... and it's time for that to change. i'm maggie hassan
josh: welcome back to "closeup." joined here by my partner at wmur john distaso. have not substance what was your biggest surprise? john: definitely frank edelblut. we knew he was running a good race, but we did not realize the breadth of his support. when you have low turnout, he really rallied the conservative case and almost won. josh: a lot of people were saying he is running a good campaign, but i do not think anybody predicted he would come as close. so the challenge going forward
edelblut folks with these antiestablishment people. john: it is the same thing we will hear in the presidential race. the right wing, so to speak, except what they view as he faults of chris sununu, which planned parenthood will probably the -- be the biggest problem he will have with conservatives. he is going to have an easier time coalescing the democratic side then sununu will the republican side. josh: what are van ostern's vulnerabilities? he keeps touting himself as a business leader, which may be an exaggeration of ordering to the republicans. john: right, according to the republicans. his biggest drawback is name recognition.
maggie hassan had roughly the same name recognition. the difference is they will try to portray sununu just the opposite of what i am talking about. someone has really right wing p that is difficult to do when you have someone who is an acknowledged pro-choice republican. the biggest challenge for van ostern is to overcome the name recognition deficit. and in terms of rallying lipase, i think he will be ok there. josh: stunned about frank guinta. a couple weeks ago, people said there was no chance. now he is on the ticket. john: i have heard a lot of whispering that rich ashooh's campaign was not aggressive enough. i think he finally got aggressive at our debate, but it
terms of, again -- it is all about the base. it was low turnout. a lot of people just did not care about his campaign finance violations. josh: or were aware. john: or were aware. josh: it was not even violations. it was statements that proved false over the course of the years. for kelly ayotte to call for his recognition, -- it made kelly ayotte call for his resignation, among others. john: you and i were at the unity breakfast. frank got out there and gave a good speech. he was really open and try to get him to speak. it was interesting when he finished speaking, there was a quick embrace between him and another who said he had lied and betrayed the public trust. the voters of the ones who speak. the republican party and those opposed to frank guinta accepted the will of the voters.
voters call. john: we have a three-person race now, because shawn o'connor is on the ballot. and carol shea-porter and frank guinta are doing a rerun. josh: it will be another dynamically or we will stay busy. thanks. ""matter of fact" coming up next to you until then, that will close this edition of "closeup new hampshire." otte stopped them. david goethel: and when red tape threatened to crush
new hampshire's fishing communities, kelly fought to save us. cheryl coletti-lawson: kelly's legislation on the heroin epidemic will help save lives. jamey french: kelly reaches across the aisle to conserve our environment... becky stafford: kelly is so committed to our veterans and cares about our needs. marc baillargeon: kelly protected our jobs at the shipyard. kelly is one of us. veteran: she's not forgotten where she's come from. brenda willis: she cares. dean kamen: that's kelly - an independent leader, fighting for new hampshire. kelly: i'm kelly ayotte and i approved this message.
sing heroin on and off for a year. i immediately thought not my son. i found him in his bathroom with a syringe still in his hand and that was the worst day of my life. annie kuster is leading the fight regarding this opioid epidemic. she's trying to do everything she can to get laws changed. so this doesn't happen again. she's definitely a leader. i just love annie.
>> today on "matter of fact" -- clinton and trump in a tug of war for key battleground states. >> clint has to hold on to all that she has. >> can she hold on to a razor-thin lead? plus, the chief strategist for the republican national committee goes one on one with soledad. soledad: how does he consider himself possibly as a uniter? >> hold on, sole scrutiny? soledad: the battle for the white working class vote. i'm soledad o'brien, welcome to "matter of fact." soledad: thanks for joining me. we'll be talking with trump advisor sean spicer in just a few minutes, but first, we're well over a year into the presidential election, and polls show it's a nail-biter.