Hogan: ‘But if there was damaging information … then I think all bets are off.’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Never-Trump Republican, said Thursday that he would not try to unseat President Donald Trump in a “kamikaze mission.”
He said the president would have to suffer a major blow to his approval rating and ability to govern before he would consider a primary challenge.
“My goal is not to just make the incumbent president lose in the general election. I’m not going to do that,” Hogan said, The Associated Press reported. “If they’re looking for someone just to be a spoiler or to throw myself on a grenade to help someone else, that’s not me. Somebody else might be motivated that way. But I’ve got a state to run.”
Hogan said he would reconsider a primary challenge if the Mueller probe deteriorates Trump’s credibility.
“I don’t have the inside scoop on what it’s going to say,” he said. “But if there was damaging information, if … some serious charges come out or it becomes worse than it is today, and he took a hit in the polls, then I think all bets are off.”
About 8 in 10 Republicans approve of Trump’s presidency, signaling to Hogan that Republican voters do not want a new nominee.
Hogan stands with Ohio Gov. John Kasich as one of the most outspoken Republican critics of the president.
“There are very few Republicans willing to speak out,” he said. “And now I’m willing.”
He is also a popular Republican governor in a solidly Democratic state. Hogan consistently ranks among the most popular governors in the country.
A January Morning Consult poll found that 68 percent of voters approve of him and 17 percent disapprove.
Hogan criticized the South Carolina Republican Party for indicating that it would cancel the state’s primary.
“I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’ve been around a long time,” he said. “It’s undemocratic.”
He may have never seen anything like it, but it has happened in the recent past.
The South Carolina Republican Party cancelled the state’s primary in 2004 to save resources for President George W. Bush’s reelection.