Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said former President Donald Trump shouldn’t seek the White House in 2024 and urged fellow Republicans to resist appointing a “cheap imitation” of Trump in the run up to the 2024 presidential primary. .
“I don’t think he should run,” Hogan told CBS News in a recent interview at the governor’s mansion in Annapolis, Maryland. “It would be better for the party if we went ahead and looked to the future.”
Hogan, 65, mocked Trump, reflecting that the 75-year-old former president would have been inclined to give up his retirement and risk losing another election.
“I just think he’s enjoying golf five or six days a week. I think his ego wouldn’t accept losing another election,” Hogan said. “And I don’t think she’s getting any younger.”
Hogan, a potential contender for the 2024 presidency, also warned Republicans against rallying behind a Trump ally in the upcoming presidential election, arguing that this would alienate many voters.
“We don’t need Donald Trump and we don’t need someone who is a cheap imitation of Donald Trump,” Hogan said.
When asked if he would refer to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a conservative who has become popular with Trump supporters, as a “cheap imitation,” Hogan said there is “a long list of people who they could adapt to this. “
“Ron DeSantis has to win his re-election first in Florida and we’ll see what happens in ’24,” he added. “But, you know, I just think we should go in a different direction.”
Hogan, a Republican governor for two terms in a historically democratic state, is attempting to carve his own political space on the national stage during his last year in office, with nationwide speeches and endorsements leaning in a traditional Republican direction.
It will likely be an uphill challenge in the party, where many officials and elected candidates will continue to echo Trump’s nationalist agenda ahead of this year’s midterm elections and seek his support in the competitive primaries.
But Hogan said he will continue to speak out against Trump and offer another avenue. On Tuesday night, he will give a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California, outlining his message for his party.
CBS News asked Hogan if there is room for him in today’s GOP, so dominated by Trump and his allies. Hogan replied: “I think we will find out” in the next few years.
“I think there’s a big chunk of people out there who are really frustrated with our party leadership and frustrated with what’s happening in Washington today with the Democratic majority,” he said. He speculated that about “35 percent” of the Republican electoral base nationwide is open to a break from Trump-style politics.
At this early stage of 2024 gambling, Hogan is part of an informal bloc within the GOP that is seen as a possible confrontation with Trump or a Trump ally in the 2024 presidential primary. That group, united by criticism to Trump and their ties to traditional republican politics, includes New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu and Wyoming Congressman Liz Cheney, who is vice chair of the House Select Committee investigating the attack on the Capitol.
Another possible rival of Hogan, should they both race in 2024, is Hogan’s friend, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie. Although Christie has been a Trump supporter, he has been critical of Trump’s refusal to concede to President Joe Biden and Trump’s continuing false claim that the 2020 election was stolen.
Hogan predicted that those Trump-like candidates “will all go fishing from the same pond” in the run-up to 2024, which could leave an “open lane” for others to gain support in the race.
However, Hogan acknowledged that his wing may need to consolidate before 2024 if Trump or another figure were to make gains as favorites of the populist right, perhaps with some of the more moderate or traditional candidates skipping the rush to give. their brand of politics a better chance at nomination.
“I think we’re all trying to see what role we can play in moving the party forward,” said Hogan of his party’s wing. “But … it would make more sense if we had an agreement on what each person will do and who has the best chance.”
Hogan told CBS News that if Republicans continue to embrace Trump, they risk political insanity.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result,” he said. “You know, it’s been a terrible four years for the Republican Party. We lost the White House. We lost the Senate. We lost the House. We lost the governors. We lost the state legislatures. And I want to win again.”
Hogan said he would make a final decision on a 2024 bid next year.
Meanwhile, many upcoming primary elections for Congress and the governor will– and whether Republicans who have fallen out of favor with Trump can resist Trump’s approval of their rivals.
In Georgia, Hogan supports incumbent Republican Governor Brian Kemp, who is facing a challenge from the right from former Senator David Perdue, who has put Trump’s false claim about the 2020 election at the center of his campaign.
Hogan called Trump’s harsh criticisms of Kemp and others who did not challenge the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election “outrageous,” absurd and ridiculous. “
Asked what statement he would send to the party if Kemp wins, Hogan said it would show “you don’t have to be afraid of Donald Trump and you don’t need his support to win the election.”