ShareThis Page
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan blasts RNC for ‘unprecedented’ steps to shield Trump from a primary |
Politics Election

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan blasts RNC for ‘unprecedented’ steps to shield Trump from a primary

The Washington Post
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says he’s not launching a primary challenge against President Trump unless the president’s political standing within his own party weakens dramatically.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican who is flirting with a 2020 White House run, on Thursday accused the Republican National Committee of taking “unprecedented” steps to shield President Trump from primary challengers.

Hogan, who is being courted by Republican dissidents seeking an alternative to Trump, told Politico in an interview that he was disgusted by RNC efforts to close ranks around Trump and troubled by reports that Republicans in South Carolina were considering scrapping their primary altogether.

“I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’ve been involved in the Republican Party for most of my life. It’s unprecedented,” Hogan told Politico reporter Alex Isenstadt. “In my opinion, it’s not the way we should be going about our politics.”

Hogan spokeswoman Amelia Chasse confirmed the comments made by the governor, who has stepped onto the national stage since his reelection in November to discuss the direction of the GOP, President Trump and his own future.

“The governor was referring to the reporting that the Trump campaign is seeking to close off parts of the primary process,” Chasse said. “He sees it as … problematic, not the way it should work.”

Hogan, who has criticized Trump since before the president was elected, is now speaking more frequently and in sharper tones about Trump and Washington politics.

Earlier this week in an appearance on CBS This Morning, Hogan said Trump acts “irrationally” at times and looks “pretty weak” in the general election. He also questioned the president’s decision to issue an executive order declaring a national emergency over border security.

Hogan captured a significant portion of the African-American and female vote in heavily Democratic Maryland last November, when he became only the second Republican governor reelected in the state since Reconstruction.

Two people close to Hogan said the governor represents a style of Republicanism that is lacking in today’s politics, and that he would like to revive. He has dramatically broken with mainstream GOP positions on issues like guns and immigration. But he says he wants to be a part of the national conversation about how to help move the party forward.

“And the question is, what are they afraid of?” Hogan said to Politico. “Because on the one hand you look at polls, 70 percent of Republicans support the president in a primary. Why are they so concerned? Why the puffing out the chest — ‘We’ve put together the greatest team ever assembled, we’re going to raise all this money early, we’re going to hire all these people early, we’re going to take over the RNC.’ “

Hogan, who is the incoming chairman of the National Governors Association, is attending the group’s gathering in Washington over the next few days. He will participate in a regional NGA meeting about business development during a trip to Iowa early next month.

While in Iowa, the first state in the presidential nomination process, Hogan may meet with voters, Chasse said. The governor also plans to make a springtime visit to New Hampshire, where the country’s first primary is held.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.