Apr 3, 2022 - Politics & Policy

GOP governor makes Trump “mental institution” jab at Gridiron roast

Mike Allen

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu in 2021. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Rule No. 3 of the Gridiron Club, Washington's oldest association of journalists, is this: "The Gridiron singes, but it never burns." But New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) detonated a hot one at last night's white-tie annual dinner — the first in three years.

Why it matters: The dinner is one of Washington's last off-camera occasions. But a little bird gave us a fill, and Sununu's dig is the one everyone's talking about.

Details: The GOP governor told the sold-out crowd of 630 journalists about former President Trump:

  • "I don't think he's so crazy that you could put him in a mental institution. But I think if he were in one, he ain't getting out."

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, former Rhode Island governor and a rising Democratic star, knew her audience:

"A month ago, during the State of the Union, I was the designated survivor. That’s a very strange situation. It’s mostly a formality. But still: If something terrible happens, YOU could suddenly become the PRESIDENT.
That probably explains why Pete Buttigieg kept calling to ask if he could do it instead."
I know I shouldn't pick on Pete. He’s a great guy and he’s not even here to defend himself! I just owed Amy Klobuchar a favor."

Raimondo then turned to Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.), who was scolded last week by House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy for claiming to have been invited to a D.C. orgy:

  • "And here I was, thinking it was cool to be invited to the Gridiron Dinner," the Commerce secretary joked.
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