GOP Governor Hogan Tells Republicans To Abandon Trump

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On CNN this weekend, Maryland Republican Governor Larry Hogan — who’s broadly popular among his constituents, despite leading a state where Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election by a large margin — strongly condemned the trend within the GOP to at least look the other way from political violence in service of the Trump agenda or something similar. Donald Trump himself has consistently sought to excuse or otherwise gloss over the reality of January 6; on the day of the violence itself, he claimed that “these are the things and events that happen” when an election is stolen, and in the time since, he has repeatedly raised the prospect of issuing pardons for rioters if he wins the presidency again and been reported to have considered giving out a blanket pardon for rioters before leaving office.

Recently, officials at the Republican National Committee approved a censure resolution against Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) for their participation in the House committee investigating the Capitol riot, and that resolution — to the shock of many — declared the targets of the committee’s probe to have engaged in “legitimate political discourse.” Party chairwoman Ronna McDaniel eventually clarified that the language wasn’t meant to refer to people who attacked the Capitol building, but the resolution made no such distinction — and her attempt at a clean-up operation doesn’t somehow eliminate the problem of accepting violence within the GOP. They’re still mostly sticking by Trump despite his excuses for January 6, after all.

On CNN, Hogan commented as follows, discussing the push to move on from Trump:

‘Right now, I think we’ve made tremendous progress, because we went from about eighty-some percent that wanted to re-elect Donald Trump to 50 — that’s a huge drop. I’ve been speaking out loudly and strongly about this battle for the soul of the party. To say it’s legitimate political discourse to attack the seat of our Capitol, and smash windows, and attack police officers, and threaten to hang the vice president, and threaten to overthrow the election — it’s insanity… 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 who don’t swear 100 percent fealty to the dear leader.’

Check out his weekend comments below:

Hogan is considering launching a presidential campaign, although Trump still holds enormous control over the general direction of the GOP to the point that if he decides to formally launch another campaign, then it seems likely that he’d get the nomination — in part because of his potential challengers opting to sit the race out due to their Trump allegiance. Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has been prominently floated as another potential presidential contender, but he appears to have been less committal than Hogan regarding his openness to the idea. Asked last November about the possibility of running for president, DeSantis said: “I appreciate people looking at me for different things but at the end of the day, we’ve accomplished a lot here but I’ve got a lot more to do.”