In a feisty and combative interview with msnbc's Andrea Mitchell, John Sununu doubled down on Mitt Romney's controversial comments at a fundraiser in which he attacked 47% of Americans. Sununu, a top Romney surrogate, said the campaign was about a divide between those who support "big government" and those who support the private sector, and accused President Obama of stoking: class warfare."
Asked by Mitchell about Romney's comments, which were surreptitiously recorded and posted online Monday by the liberal magazine Mother Jones, Sununu accused her of "missing the big story."
Sununu, a former governor of New Hampshire, continued:
This is in response to a president, the first president in my lifetime, who has decided to run a campaign on class warfare. And it's Obama who has opened up the class warfare issue. He attacks success, he says we need to get a hold of more money out of the reach, and he condemns those who have succeeded with “you didn’t build it.” And Mitt Romney quantifies this, the constituency that Obama has been pandering to, both in policy and language, as 47-47, and all of a sudden you guys make that the story.
And he added, in reference to an Obama campaign website showing the role of the social safety net:
You have an Obama website that encourages people to understand that what he is for is an expansion of government so government can take care of them. Mitt Romney puts numbers on that, and says we have a campaign in which those that support big government and those that support the private sector approach are on the other side. That’s the big issue we should be debating.
Watch the whole thing above.
Romney himself has said the comments were "not elegantly stated" but like Sununu has stood by the gist of them.