Some in the GOP are “very concerned about the damage” Trump will do if he launches the 2024 bid before the interim clauses: Hogan

Some Republicans “are very concerned” that Donald Trump may launch a 2024 presidential bid before the November midterm elections, which could upend contests across the country, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Sunday.

“We discussed this at the Republican Governors Association last week,” Hogan told ABC’s “This Week” co-host Jonathan Karl of a possible Trump announcement, which Trump has repeatedly teased.

“I think most people are very concerned about the damage it will do to the party if he announces himself now,” said Hogan, one of Trump’s most vocal GOP critics. “And it can help in very red states or very red districts. But in contested locations and purple battlefields it will cost us seats if he does that.”

Karl asked Hogan about the Jan. 6 House hearings this summer, which most recently detailed Trump’s inaction in response to last year’s Capitol riot. Hogan contrasted this with his own decisions that day as leader of a neighboring state.
“While the President was watching TV and while the Vice President [Mike Pence] was taken away to save his life and members of Congress, I called Congress leaders. I called the National Guard. I sent the Maryland State Police,” he said.

Hogan said the lack of response to the hearings from many leading Republicans was “disappointing,” especially given the way they criticized Trump immediately after the Capitol attack. He said the most striking part of the last hearing was watching excerpts from a speech Trump recorded on Jan. 7, 2021, the day after the riot.

The clips show a visibly frustrated Trump saying he doesn’t want to read a line from the teleprompter that reads “The election is now over.”

“Nothing really surprised me except these outtakes that I had never seen before. And it showed the real thinking,” Hogan said, adding, “You could see the anger in those outtakes.”

Hogan continued to ponder the future of the Republican Party. He said this year’s primary is just the beginning of a “long, hard battle” over GOP identity and whether Trump’s influence will last.

“It won’t be easy. We’ll win some, we’ll lose some,” he said. “But I think the final chapter on that will come out in November if we lose a few races.”

That was his prediction in Maryland, where his handpicked choice, former state Secretary of Commerce Kelly Schulz, was elected last week in the Republican gubernatorial primary to succeed Hogan against Trump-backed candidate, State of Del. Dan Cox lost.

Cox slammed Hogan, who in turn said Cox was too right-wing to win in Maryland, calling him a “conspiracy theorist.”

According to data collected by FiveThirtyEight, at least 120 ballot candidates running for every possible electoral office have emerged from their primary elections and will be on the ballot for November’s general election.

Cox also attacked the 2020 election. He called former Vice President Mike Pence a “traitor” for confirming the 2020 election results in now-deleted tweets. (He later apologized.) He also organized buses to drive Maryland residents to Trump’s rally on Jan. 6, 2021, though he said he did not go to the Capitol and denounced the riots that broke out there.

“I wouldn’t support the guy. I wouldn’t let him run for governor, let alone vote for him for governor,” Hogan told Karl on This Week.

“This is a great loss for the Republican Party,” he said. “And we have no chance of saving this governor’s seat.”

While Hogan also accused Democrats of using publicity to raise Cox’s profile in the primary, as they had done with more conservative candidates in other elections, Karl noted that it was ultimately Republican voters who spoke out despite or because of his history of the attack voted for Cox on the 2020 election and more.

“It was a very small turnout. First, only 20% of the people of Maryland are Republicans, and 20% of them voted. So about 2% of the people of Maryland voted for this guy,” Hogan said.

Cox’s win didn’t stop him from continuing to campaign for an anti-Trump GOP, he said.

“Does that make it more or less likely that you’ll run for President in 2024?” asked Karl.

“It makes me more determined than ever to continue the fight to win the Republican Party and take us back to a bigger tent, a more Reagan-like party,” Hogan said. “We cut out our work for ourselves. But I’m definitely not giving up.”

ABC News’ Brittany Shepherd contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022 ABC, Inc. Some in the GOP are “very concerned about the damage” Trump will do if he launches the 2024 bid before the interim clauses: Hogan

Dais Johnston

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