Maryland Governor Considers Challenging Trump in GOP Primary

Apr 23, 2019

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, is mulling a GOP primary challenge to President Trump. He spoke at Politics & Eggs April 23, 2019 in New Hampshire.
Credit Lauren Chooljian / NHPR
 

Maryland Republican Governor Larry Hogan swung through the first-in-the-nation primary state Tuesday, telling a group of business leaders and politicos at Saint Anselm College that he's seriously considering running for president in 2020. 

 

Hogan called for more Republicans to challenge President Donald Trump in the primary ("the more, the merrier," he said), as he believes a bigger field would help Trump be a better candidate and grow the Republican Party.

 

"I think the Republican Party is shrinking the base down to only a certain percentage of white males, and you're not going to win national elections or most state elections," he said. "Having more voices that are saying more things and showing the Republican Party does have diverse thought and we're not monolithic, I think, is very helpful for the party and for the country."

 

So far, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld is the only Republican officially running against Trump in 2020. In his remarks, Hogan thanked Weld for "stepping up." 

 

Hogan told reporters after his speech that he's frustrated by fellow Republican governors and colleagues in Washington who criticize the president privately but never publicly.

 

"You know, they're afraid. There's no profiles in courage here. They're afraid of being primaried, they're afraid of being tweeted about and very few of us are willing to say what we really think."

 

Hogan is the one of the most popular governors in the country and is only the second Republican governor in Maryland to be reelected. During his remarks, he touted his ability to lead the mostly Democratic state, saying he rode a "purple surfboard" over the blue wave toward his reelection in the 2018 midterms. 

 

Hogan said he's in no rush to decide if he will run for president or not, especially since "a shorter field would be better for a challenger that didn't have as much money."

 

He admits taking on Trump likely wouldn't be a pleasant experience but after battling cancer for 18 months, Hogan told reporters, "I can probably take it."