The former governor of Maryland would abstain from entering the 2024 presidential race if the move prevented Donald Trump from becoming the Republican Party’s nominee.
Larry Hogan served as the state’s governor from 2015 to 2023 and was unable to run for reelection because of term limits. The moderate Republican has been rumored to be one of several Republicans considering a run for the presidency in the upcoming election.
“I don’t care that much about my future in the Republican party,” Hogan said on NBC’s Meet the Press on Feb. 19. “I care about making sure we have a future for the Republican party.”
“If we can stop Donald Trump and elect a great Republican commonsense conservative leader, that certainly would be a factor,” Hogan added.
Hogan, whose office has since been filled by Democrat Wes Moore, stressed he is still weighing what impact his campaign would have on the Republican primary and has not formally decided the next step in his political career.
“I said I’m going to take a pretty serious look at this and I’m traveling around the country just trying to get a feel for what Republican voters want, what Americans are looking for, and we’re going to make a decision in a relatively short period of time,” Hogan said, per HuffPost.
He also said that most Americans are not as concerned about cultural issues – including concerns about what is being taught in schools and about LGBTQ issues – as some Republican politicians.
“I was a Republican governor in the bluest state in America and got things done, working across the aisle with Democrats,” Hogan said during the interview. “So I can tell you, it’s not what everyone’s talking about.”
“I think some people are making the calculation that base primary voters in the Trump lane, that’s what they want to hear about,” he continued. “And so a lot of candidates are focusing on that. You can’t dismiss it, but I don’t think it should be the only thing we’re talking about.”
Hogan is an open critic of Trump. He has said that in 2020 he wrote in “Ronald Reagan” rather than support Trump or Biden for President. While the former Maryland Governor said he wants to “support the nominee of the party, whoever that is,” that support would not extend to Trump if he is the party’s nominee.
“I’ve said before I didn’t support Trump, I wouldn’t support Trump. I put the country ahead of party and not somebody [who] should not be the president,” said Hogan.
In November of 2022, Hogan said Trump was responsible for the Democratic Party winning the Senate majority during the midterm.
“I think it’s basically the third election in a row that Donald Trump has cost us the race, and it’s like three strikes, you’re out,” Hogan said during an appearance on CNN. “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. … And Donald Trump kept saying we’re going to be winning so much, we will get tired of winning. I’m tired of losing. I mean, that’s all he’s done.”
According to a Morning Consult poll, 47% of Republican primary voters say they will support Trump in 2024 while 31% favor Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Former Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley, who announced her campaign last week, has the support of 3% of the party’s primary voters. Another 7% of voters would back former Vice President Mike Pence.
DeSantis is the second-choice candidate after Trump for 46% of voters. Hogan was not included among the 11 candidates in the Morning Consult poll.