In a speech that loudly hints towards a potential 2024 GOP presidential run, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday night will highlight that he’s a “common sense conservative from the Reagan wing of the Republican Party.”
And the term-limited governor who’s a vocal Republican critic of Donald Trump will take a sledgehammer to the former president and other potential GOP White House hopefuls looking to carry the America First mantle, saying in a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California that the GOP “won’t win back the White House by nominating Donald Trump or a cheap impersonation of him.”
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Hogan becomes the latest GOP leader and potential 2024 presidential contender to trek to the Reagan Library to take part in a speaking series titled “Time for Choosing.” Portions of his prepared speech were shared with Fox News ahead of the governor’s address.
And ahead of his speech, which is titled “A Better Path Forward,” Hogan’s team released a campaign style video promoting his address.
Taking aim at Trump, Hogan will emphasize that “Americans are completely disgusted with the toxic politics, and they’re sick and tired of all the lies and excuses.” He’ll add that “excuses, lies, and toxic politics will not win elections or restore America. Only real leadership will do that.”
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And Hogan, who’s in his eight and final year steering the blue state of Maryland, will target a GOP still very much under the firm grip of the former president, charging that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”
The governor, who many on the right view as a moderate Republican, will stress that “a party that lost the popular vote in seven out of the last eight presidential elections, and that couldn’t even beat Joe Biden, is desperately in need of a course correction.”
Criticizing Trump’s constant re-litigating of his 2020 election loss to President Biden, Hogan will stress that “the truth is the last election was not rigged and it wasn’t stolen. We simply didn’t offer the majority of voters what they were looking for.”
And jabbing at Republicans who downplay the significance of the deadly Jan. 6, 2021 storming of the U.S. Capital by right wing extremists and other Trump supporters aiming to upend congressional certification of Biden’s Electoral College victory, Hogan will say that “January 6th was not enthusiastic tourists misbehaving. It was an outrageous attack on our Democracy, incited by the losing candidate’s inflammatory false rhetoric.”
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Looking back to the GOP’s loss of the House of Representatives majority in the 2018 midterms and the loss of the White House and Senate majority in the 2020 midterms, Hogan will highlight that “the last four years were the worst four years for the Republican Party since the 1930s, even worse than after Watergate when Ronald Reagan had to rebuild the party from the ashes.”
“Trump said we would be winning so much we would get tired of winning,” Hogan will note. “Well, I’m tired of our party losing.”
Former President Donald Trump holds a rally in Selma, North Carolina on April 9, 2022.
The governor will also note that his father – a House Republican who served on the Judiciary Committee during Watergate and paid the political price after becoming the first GOP member in the chamber to support of the impeachment of then- President Richard Nixon – along with Reagan were “the two leaders who inspired me to become a Republican.
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Hogan, in his prepared text, repeatedly praises Reagan, who’s known as the father of the modern conservative movement.
“As Reagan understood, successful politics is about addition and multiplication, not subtraction and division, and we have been doing far too much subtracting and dividing. Ronald Reagan was not afraid to stand up and criticize the failures of our party. He said ‘don’t be afraid to see what we see,’” Hogan will say.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R-MD) holds a news conference at the Maryland State Capitol in Annapolis, Maryland, July 22, 2020.
And he’ll spotlight that “Reagan knew that a major course correction was essential if we were to get back to winning elections and governing again.”
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Hogan has left the door wide open to a possible 2024 run. In announcing earlier this year that he would not make a 2022 run for the Senate, the governor said that his decision “does not mean that I plan to sit on the sidelines when it comes to the serious challenges facing our country and our democracy. I’m going to continue to call it like I see it, and I’ll keep speaking out about the divisiveness and dysfunction in Washington and about fixing the broken politics.”
And looking ahead, Hogan noted that “my current job as governor runs until January 2023, and then we’ll take a look and see what the future holds after that.”
Paul Steinhauser is a politics reporter based in New Hampshire.