‘He doesn’t have the energy’: Trump’s ‘dead’ Erie rally speech panned by GOP lawmaker

<div>'He doesn’t have the energy': Trump's 'dead' Erie rally speech panned by GOP lawmaker</div>

The 2024 Republican presidential primary field is crowded, with more than a dozen candidates vying for the nomination. Former President Donald Trump, despite the dozens of state and federal criminal indictments that have been and are expected to be filed against him, continues to dominate in the polls. But his mounting legal woes are taking a toll on his public presence, and are having profound effects on his messaging to GOP voters.

Ex-United States Congressman and longshot White House hopeful Will Hurd (R-Texas) noted last week that Trump has made it clear that his primary motivation for seeking a second term is to “stay out of jail.”

On Sunday’s edition of ABC’s This Week, New Hampshire Governor John Sununu, a never-Trumper, echoed Hurd’s assessment to moderator Jonathan Karl.

“Alright, so you decided not to run for president, but you are also dedicating yourself to ensuring that the Republicans nominate somebody else, somebody not named Trump. What are you hearing in Iowa?” Karl asked Sununu. “You were there at the Lincoln Day dinner with all the candidates out there. Trump seemed to get a warm reception, at least from what we saw. What were you hearing from Republicans?”

Sununu recalled witnessing Trump being unable to escape his personal quagmire.

“Trump got a warm reception, but it was without a doubt, and I think anybody in that room would tell you it was the worst speech. It was the worst ten minutes. He came out, he read, he read from a binder. He didn’t look up, he didn’t smile. It was — it was an absolute dead speech,” Sununu said.

“This is not the Donald Trump of 2016. Don’t fool yourself. And as more and more folks realize that he doesn’t have the energy, he doesn’t have the fastball, he basically is droning on for ninety minutes on his long-form speeches about his legal battles as opposed to talking about the future of this country, solving the problems of this country, which is what all the other candidates are doing,” Sununu observed.

“So at some point, look, ever ever see a soap opera? They get kind of boring. The only thing worse is the rerun of a soap opera, and that’s what he’s bringing, a lot of drama to the table. The other candidates are doing well,” Sununu added. “I think [biotech entrepreneur] Vivek [Ramaswamy] had a very strong speech, I think [South Carolina Sentaor] Tim Scott, [North Dakota Governor] Doug Burgum, really connected with folks on kinda that small town field. He is a guy that grew up in a small town on a small farm that connected with a lot of folks. So a lot of the other candidates are showing something. I got to give [Florida Governor Ron] DeSantis a lot of credit. I think he came out early. He took his ten minutes and didn’t drone on, but really got the crowd fired up. So some of these candidates are coming with it to be sure.”

Watch below.