Republican Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said on Sunday morning that he is indeed considering a 2024 run for president and would announce his decision after his gubernatorial term ends next year.
At the same time, while insisting that there is a “very large lane” for a “common-sense conservative” to defeat former President Donald Trump, Hogan also railed against the “insanity” of members of his party labeling the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection “legitimate political discourse.”
Much like New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, another fairly popular Republican governor in a largely Democratic state, Hogan left Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) disappointed when he decided against running for Senate this year. Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Hogan explained why he wasn’t throwing his hat into that ring.
“First of all, I was very flattered that they were expressing interest and encouraging me to run, and certainly made the argument that I could be a voice of reason and sanity in Washington,” he told anchor Jake Tapper. “But I just have never had a desire to be a U.S. Senator and my heart wasn’t in it.”
Hogan continued: “I make decisions every day that impact people’s lives, and I like to get things done. In Washington, it seems as if there’s a lot of divisiveness and dysfunction and not a lot gets done. It wasn’t the right job, right fit for me.”
Asked if he agreed with Sununu that the Senate concentrates too much attention on being a roadblock for President Joe Biden and isn’t focused on getting things done, Hogan said Republican senators seemed too wrapped up in the “wrong things” instead of having a “hopeful vision” for the country.
Tapper, meanwhile, pointed out that Hogan’s non-profit organization recently put out a video that recently argued that America is “too divided” and that the governor has “shown a path forward” that the rest of the country can emulate.
“That’s a nice video. It just lacked the Hogan 2024 banner at the bottom,” the State of the Union moderator quipped. “Are you considering a presidential run?”
After Hogan said he’ll “make a decision about 2024” after he finishes the job of governor, Tapper noted that it sounded like he was “certainly considering” getting into the White House race.
“To say it’s legitimate political discourse to attack the seat of our capital, smash windows, attack police, threaten to hang the vice president, threaten to overthrow the election, that’s insanity.”
“We’ll certainly take a look after January of 2023,” the governor replied.
Tapper then wondered if the Never-Trump Republican felt there was a “lane” for a moderate, “sane” Blue state candidate in today’s GOP.
“I consider myself a common-sense conservative,” Hogan responded “I have been a lifelong Republican. I believe that’s where most people in America are. About 70 percent of the people in America are frustrated with politics on both sides, Republicans and Democrats.”
Hogan further stated that a recent CNN poll shows only 50 percent of Republicans want Trump to run again, prompting the CNN anchor to bring up the governor’s observation from a year ago that there will be a “real battle for the soul” of the GOP in the next couple of years.
“The battle for the soul of the Republican Party party, are you losing it?” Tapper wondered, referencing the Republican National Committee’s censure of two GOP lawmakers for taking part in the investigation on the Jan. 6 attacks.
“We have a long way to go. We have until 2024,” Hogan reacted. “Right now, I think we’ve made tremendous progress because we went from 80-some percent that wants to reelect Donald Trump to 50. That’s a huge drop.”
Turning to the RNC’s resolution that described the Capitol insurrection as “legitimate political discourse,” sparking clean-up attempts by Republican leaders and criticism within the party, Hogan tore into the MAGA wing of the party.
“To say it’s legitimate political discourse to attack the seat of our capital, smash windows, attack police, threaten to hang the vice president, threaten to overthrow the election, that’s insanity,” he exclaimed, before invoking a line of criticism he’s used in the past.
“There’s a circular firing squad where we attack Republicans,” Hogan proclaimed. “The Republican Party I want to get back to is the one that believes in freedom and truth and not one that attacks people who don’t swear 100 percent fealty to the Dear Leader.”