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Larry Hogan reveals his one-word response to Trump endorsement

NORTH BETHESDA, Maryland — Larry Hogan summed up in one word his surprise over the unexpected, and unwelcomed, endorsement from former President Donald Trump: “What?!” “To this day, I haven’t seen the actual video,” the Maryland Republican Senate candidate told the Washington Examiner on Sunday during an interview at an Asians for Hogan fundraiser just […]

NORTH BETHESDA, Maryland — Larry Hogan summed up in one word his surprise over the unexpected, and unwelcomed, endorsement from former President Donald Trump: “What?!”

“To this day, I haven’t seen the actual video,” the Maryland Republican Senate candidate told the Washington Examiner on Sunday during an interview at an Asians for Hogan fundraiser just outside of Washington, D.C. “But I heard about it from my staff. And I was like, ‘What?!’”

Hogan, the former two-term Maryland governor who based his national profile on his centrist ideology and disdain for Trump, downplayed an endorsement from the presumptive GOP presidential nominee that could jeopardize his support among independents and centrist Democrats in the deep-blue state.


Trump told Fox News this month that he’d “like to see” Hogan win to “take the majority.”

“We have to straighten out our country, so I’d like to see him win,” Trump said. “He’s somebody that can win.”

Trump’s seal of approval came earlier this month just hours after Trump met privately with Senate Republicans in the nation’s capital, where he vowed to back GOP candidates and mended fences with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

Hogan characterized the endorsement as halfhearted, making the case that it’s unhelpful with the Maryland electorate but will ultimately have little impact because voters will rely on his eight-year stint as governor of the Old Line State.

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“We can’t control what they’re going to say and do. I didn’t ask for his support or his endorsement,” he said. “We’re not going to be campaigning [together], and it certainly doesn’t provide much help to a guy that ran 46 points ahead of him in Maryland.”

Hogan continued: “He’s not going to have any impact on the race in Maryland at all, and there’s not going to be much of a race for president in Maryland. It’s going to be Joe Biden.”

Democrats, including opponent Angela Alsobrooks, beg to differ.

Larry Hogan answers questions from reporters after his Back to Work BBQ campaign event on May 4. (Graeme Jennings/Washington Examiner)

Democrats have latched on to Trump’s approval to paint Hogan into a “MAGA” box and to use as evidence that his victory could deliver the keys to the Senate to Republicans.

“Democrats are trying to make a lot of hay out of it, and they’re trying to make it sound as if I’m some type of MAGA Trump supporter,” Hogan said. “They’re getting desperate. They latch on a lot of things that just aren’t true.”

The Alsobrooks campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

For Democrats to keep the majority, they must successfully defend all eight competitive Senate races this cycle, including Maryland. President Joe Biden must also win reelection.

Alsobrooks appeared with Vice President Kamala Harris on the campaign trail for the second time on Monday to mark the two-year anniversary of the Supreme Court overturning national abortion protections under Roe v. Wade. She struck a direct tie between Trump and Hogan over their party affiliation.

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“Donald Trump endorsed him because the two of them share something in common, along with Mitch McConnell and so many others,” Alsobrooks said. “They share the goal of handing over the Senate to the Republican Party.”

Trump’s endorsement came after weeks of rebuke from the campaign and daughter-in-law Lara Trump, co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, over Hogan’s refusal to come to the former president’s defense after his New York criminal conviction.Trump’s endorsement came after weeks of rebuke from the campaign and daughter-in-law Lara Trump, co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, over Hogan’s refusal to come to the former president’s defense after his New York criminal conviction.

“[It] was maybe hurting us a little bit with the small Trump base we have in Maryland,” Hogan said. “But then he came out and did the opposite and started heaping praise on me and saying he was supporting me, which hurt me with the other 70% of the people.”

Democrats, including Alsobrooks, have used abortion access as a rallying cry to motivate the base against Hogan. They’ve repeatedly slammed Hogan for vetoing a bill as governor that would have enabled non-physicians to perform abortions, which he said at the time would endanger the lives of women.

“When it comes to this fundamental issue, Marylanders just cannot trust Larry Hogan,” Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) said at Monday’s event with Alsobrooks and Harris.

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Hogan came out in support of codifying Roe in the days following his primary win last month. In his interview with the Washington Examiner Sunday, he boasted that he’s been the “leading voice against Trump and the MAGA agenda for more than eight years.”

“Most people don’t know who [Alsobrooks] is, so I don’t know that I’ll be mentioning her that often,” Hogan said. “But her main focus is just trying to convince people that the Larry Hogan they voted for is not the same Larry Hogan they’re going to vote for again.”

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In an additional statement released Monday on the anniversary of Roe’s downfall, Hogan pledged to “protect Maryland women from extreme voices who seek to undermine their autonomy.”

“In the Senate, I will work in a bipartisan way to codify Roe v. Wade as the law of the land,” he said. “A woman’s health care decisions are her own.”

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