Former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has warned that fear of splitting the anti-Trump opposition within the GOP would be a “pretty good reason” to consider when weighing a 2024 presidential bid.
The blue-state Republican, who recently left office after eight years as a popular governor, has publicly hinted for months that he might run for president. But on Sunday, he appeared to lend credence to the idea that too many Republican candidates entering the 2024 field could crowd out any Republican who has a chance to unseat the former president.
“If you thought your candidacy would contribute to inadvertently helping Donald Trump, would that be a reason not to run? asked NBC Meet the press moderator Chuck Todd.
“That would be a pretty good reason to consider not running, absolutely,” Mr Hogan replied. “I mean, I don’t really care about my future in the Republican Party; I care about making sure we have a future for the Republican Party. And if we can stop Donald Trump and elect a great Republican conservative leader for common sense, that would certainly be a factor.”
Mr. Trump remains the heavy poll favorite to win the Republican nomination in 2024. Some polls have shown Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis winning a head-to-head matchup against the former president, but at least one other Republican — Nikki Haley — has announced that she also intends to be a candidate for the nomination.
Complicating the issue for the right: No Republican other than Mr. DeSantis has consistently polled above 10 percent in polls of the 2024 GOP electorate.
GOP pundits like CNN’s Ana Navarro have blamed the crowded 2016 Republican field for Donald Trump’s rise to power in the first place. The mainstream news media has also suffered its fair share of criticism for giving the now-former president’s speeches and other antics unnecessary airtime.
With Ms. Haley’s entry into the field this past week, fears of it happening again are already growing on the right. The Independent’s Erik Garcia was one of many who felt her candidacy could hurt Mr. DeSantis or whoever becomes the most credible alternative to Trump most of all.
Mr. Hogan saw his home state of Maryland fall back into Democratic hands at the executive level in November after a Trump-aligned right-winger, Dan Cox, won his party’s primary over Mr. Hogan’s chosen successor.