John Sununu Swats Away Larry O'Donnell's Lame Romney '12 - Bush '92 Parallel

Upon seeing former New Hampshire governor John Sununu on MSNBC last night, you might have wondered why he was wasting his time.

After seeing Sununu's epic smackdown of terminally smug Lawrence O'Donnell, you were undoubtedly glad he did. (video after page break)

Sununu quickly deduced where O'Donnell was heading in comparing Mitt Romney's victory in the New Hampshire primary to that of the elder Bush in 1992 --

O'DONNELL:  You saw your candidate, George H. W. Bush, come into New Hampshire, win the New Hampshire primary with 53 percent of the vote, a much, much higher percentage than anyone's projecting ....

SUNUNU: Who, who won it like that? George H. W. Bush?

O'DONNELL: George H.W. Bush.

SUNUNU: You don't know what your talking about. George H.W. Bush (crosstalk) won it (pause), I'm sorry, in 1988 he won it 38 to 29.

O'DONNELL: In 1992, 1992. He then went on to, he then went on to lose the general election. Is there something in the model you're ...

SUNUNU: As an incumbent.

O'DONNELL: That's right ...

SUNUNU: As an incumbent he won it with 52 (percent).

O'DONNELL: ... he had the power of incumbency in New Hampshire. He was a more powerful candidate in New Hampshire than Mitt Romney was tonight. He then went on to lose the general election. Do you see ...

SUNUNU: You know, you're really funny. You're really funny.

O'DONNELL: I'm just asking you, governor ...

SUNUNU: You can't resist, you can't resist, you really can't resist it, can you? George Herbert Walker Bush came in 1992 as an incumbent Republican president. Of course he got over 50 percent. Now I do realize that he also lost when Ross Perot came in as a third-party candidate. I see no parallel in the primary. I see no parallel in the general. And I think you're grasping at straws. But other than that, you're OK!

O'DONNELL: Well, you got to my question and I thank you. I was just going to ask you, is that kind of strong finish that President Bush had in New Hampshire and then the collapse in the general, is there something in the Romney candidacy that you see will predict for you a different outcome?

SUNUNU: Yeah, the Romney candidacy won in Iowa, it's winning here, he's not running as an incumbent, he's running in a fully-challenged primary and putting those wins together, and he's going to, he's prepared to go through this whole process, pick up the delegates and go forward.

Romney also has one advantage that George Bush didn't have -- Mitt Romney's running against an absolutely incompetent president that's ruined this country's economy, that hasn't done anything to save jobs, and is only going to try and run by attacking Romney instead of standing on his record. But I think Mitt Romney is the one candidate that can withstand that kind of a campaign.

O'Donnell's response? Cue crickets ...

In fairness, O'Donnell was at a considerable disadvantage in tangling with Sununu. While O'Donnell once played make-believe White House as a producer and writer for "The West Wing," that liberal fantasy of a Clinton presidency that never was, Sununu worked in the actual White House as chief of staff to the first President Bush.

Earlier in his appearance on MSNBC, Sununu shot down a left-leaning Tax Policy Center claim cited by Ed Schultz that Romney's tax plan would raise taxes on lower-income Americans while giving a break to millionaires. 

After describing how Romney has no intention of raising taxes, Sununu said "there's a technical term" for that type of analysis -- "it's a crock of crap."

2012 Presidential MSNBC George H.W. Bush Lawrence O'Donnell John Sununu