Maryland Gov. Hogan: GOP Has ‘Circular Firing Squad’ on Anti-Trump Members

Maryland Gov. Hogan: GOP Has ‘Circular Firing Squad’ on Anti-Trump Members

Maryland’s GOP Gov. Larry Hogan Sunday called on his party to return to one that “agrees with freedom and truth” rather than being a party that attacks its members for speaking out against former President Donald Trump, but he was non-committal when asked if he’s considering a run for the White House in 2024. 

“I’ve been speaking out loudly and strongly about this battle for the soul of the party,” Hogan said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “There’s a circular firing squad where we attack Republicans. The Republican Party that I want to get back to is the one that believes in freedom and truth and not one that attacks people that don’t swear 100 percent fealty to the dear leader.”

But when asked if he’s considering a presidential run in 2024, particularly after releasing a video about his vision for America, Hogan was non-committal, even though he does believe there is a “lane” in the Republican Party for him, despite his anti-Trump stance. 

“We put out great videos like that almost every week,” said Hogan. “That was taken from my State of the State address. I’ll run the state of Maryland as governor for the next year. I’m going to continue to be a voice. I’m not going to sit back and not be involved in the issues of the day. I’ll make a decision about 2024 after I finish that job…we’ll certainly take a look after January of 2023.”

Hogan said he does think there is a “pretty large lane of sane Republicans” who are “looking for a voice” and who oppose Trump.

“I consider myself a common-sense conservative,” he said. “I have been a lifelong Republican. I believe that’s where most people in America are. About 70% of the people in America are frustrated with politics on both sides, Republicans and Democrats. The latest CNN poll came out and said right now only 50% of the Republicans would like to see Donald Trump run again.”

Hogan also criticized the Republican National Committee after it censured Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for their part in the House special committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 incidents at the Capitol. 

In a statement concerning the censure, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel characterized the events of that day as “legitimate political discourse,” and Hogan said he strongly disagrees. 

“To say it’s legitimate political discourse to attack the seat of our capital, smash windows, attack plus threaten to hang the vice president, threaten to overthrow the election, that’s insanity,” said Hogan. 

The governor further discussed his decision not to run for Senate and said that he was “very flattered” that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sent Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Mitt Romney, R-Utah,  to try to convince him, but he does not consider the Senate to be the “right fit” for him, considering the “divisiveness and dysfunction” in Washington, D.C.

The governor also on Sunday spoke about his calls to end mask mandates in Maryland’s schools, and even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends masks, Hogan said Maryland has the lowest COVID case rates in the country. 

“We lifted our statewide mask mandate last May,” said Hogan. “The school systems, which are autonomous and have their own authority, I don’t have direct control over them. We’re recommending very strongly that they lift it. That’s what all our epidemiologists and virologists and public health doctors are suggesting.”

He said he believes the CDC is “far behind” with its recommendations and that is confusing.

“We were at the White House with all the governors a week or so ago and it’s nearly universal bipartisan support for moving forward and putting this thing behind us and not living in fear of the virus, but finding a way to live with it,” said Hogan. “It’s going to be endemic for a long time. The kids have suffered so much. I think the CDC will likely have to take action, but in the meantime, I believe our schools, our state board of education is going to act in the next week or so to move forward and take masks off the kids.”

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