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Trump supports Hogan in Maryland, teases Virginia Gov. Youngkin as potential vice presidential candidate

Trump supports Hogan in Maryland, teases Virginia Gov. Youngkin as potential vice presidential candidate
Trump supports Hogan in Maryland, teases Virginia Gov. Youngkin as potential vice presidential candidate


Donald Trump said he would support longtime Republican critic Larry Hogan in Maryland's Senate race, ending speculation that the former president would attack Hogan and delighting Democrats eager to keep the must-win seat in their hands .

Asked about Hogan, Trump told Fox News on Thursday that Republicans need to take the majority and that he would like to see him win. I know other people have made strong statements, but I can just say that, from my perspective, I am for the party and for the country.

Hogan spokesperson Michael Ricci responded to Trump's support with a statement: Governor Hogan has made it clear that he does not support Donald Trump, just as he did not in 2016 and 2020.

Hogan's opponent, Prince George's County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks, and other Democrats were quick to capitalize on the former Maryland governor's connection to Trump, who lost the state of more than 30 percentage points in 2020.

Hogan left office in 2023 with high approval ratings and has long avoided traditional party-building tasks since taking office. He planned to skip the Republican National Convention once again, and his campaign confirmed Thursday that he does not plan to attend the Maryland Republican Party's annual fundraiser, where Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) , a Trump ally, is the keynote speaker.

Asked in the same Fox interview with Aishah Hasnie about Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R), Trump said he might consider making Youngkin his running mate, although it was in light-hearted comments that he countered with a teasing assertion that his choice was one of the House or Senate members he had met earlier in the day in Washington.

Youngkin, who is not among the eight people Trump's team is known to be vetting, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the former president's remarks, which came a day after the two had their first face-to-face meeting at Trump National Golf. Club in Northern Virginia.

As the popular Republican governor of Maryland, Hogan antagonized Trump for years during the coronavirus pandemic and sparked a new wave of anger within Trumpworld for calling on the public to respect the verdict in the hush money case of Trump.

Chris LaCivita, Trump's senior strategist who said on social media that Hogan ended his campaign with that comment, said Thursday that he, too, would prefer Hogan win the Senate seat. We would clearly prefer that Larry Hogan represent Maryland in the U.S. Senate rather than a Democrat.

As for whether Hogan accepts Trump's support, LaCivita said, Donald Trump was in Washington to talk about a unified Republican Party. Period. Lara Trump, co-chair of the Republican National Committee and daughter-in-law of Donald Trump, said this month that Hogan does not deserve the respect of any Republican and raised the possibility that the RNC would not help finance the Senate race .

Yet other key Republican leaders who recruited Hogan for the race stuck by him regardless, including National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Daines (R-Mont.)

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokeswoman Amanda Sherman Baity responded with the party's new line of attack on Hogan: Donald Trump wants Republican Larry Hogan in the Senate.

The Maryland Democratic Party quickly sought to raise money from Trump's comments. Donald Trump wants Larry Hogan because Trump knows Hogan would be the deciding vote for Republicans to run the U.S. Senate. The issues couldn't be clearer, according to a fundraising solicitation. With this endorsement, we know that Trump will flood the state with resources to support his chosen candidate.

Trump's support for Hogan helped sharpen Democrats' line of attack against the former two-term governor. They are arguing to voters in this deeply Democratic state that they might have liked him in the House of Representatives, but he would give Republicans in the U.S. Senate the power to implement Trump's agenda or thwart a second term of President Biden.

The stakes in this race couldn't be higher, Alsobrooks said in a statement Thursday afternoon. Just last week, Senate Republicans banned access to contraception. A few hours ago, Senate Republicans voted against protecting IVF. And earlier, Donald Trump supported Larry Hogan so that he could have a Republican majority.

Early Thursday evening, Alsobrooks' campaign cited Trump's support for Hogan in a fundraising appeal, writing that the former president's endorsement proved the GOP was truly going all-in to win the seat free Maryland and push the Senate into the red.

We are likely about to see a flood of MAGA dark money, the likes of which our state has never seen, and we must be prepared to respond, the campaign wrote.

Hogan has gone to great lengths to distance himself from Trump and some mainstream Republican orthodoxies since winning his May 14 primary. He declared himself pro-choice for the first time and took out a statewide ad arguing that Republicans could not count on his vote in the Senate. He invested $1 million in an advertising campaign to spread these two messages.

In the neighboring purple state, Youngkin walked a tightrope with Trump, who lost Virginia by 10 percentage points in 2020 but was tied with Biden in the Old Dominion in two recent polls. Youngkin embraced Trump in 2021 as he sought the GOP nomination, but kept him at arm's length as he courted moderate voters in the general election. Youngkin only endorsed Trump in March, a day after the former president easily won the GOP presidential primary in Virginia. Trump, who had supported Youngkin, sometimes complained that the governor didn't give him enough credit for his victory.

Do you like him as VP? Hasnie asked Trump about Youngkin on Thursday.

He's great, Trump replied. And I think I might consider that. Yes. I haven't been asked this question, but he would be on this list. He is very good. We had a great meeting.

But when asked in the same interview if his choice was in the room with him Thursday, when he met with members of Congress, Trump said: Probably. Yeah. Probably.

Tensions rose during the first two years of Youngkins' term as the governor mulled a presidential run, leading Trump to mock him on Truth Social in November 2022. Young Kin (it's now an interesting vision. Seems Chinese, doesn't it?) in Virginia couldn't I won without me…, Trump posted.

Trump and Youngkin met for more than an hour Wednesday evening at the golf resort, on an upper floor with stunning views of a waterfall and the course, according to two people familiar with the meeting who spoke on condition of anonymity to share private information. conversations. Also present at the meeting were LaCivita, Youngkin's political adviser, Matthew Moran, and Jeff Goettman, the governor's chief of staff.

They talked about energy and other issues facing the country and the commonwealth, and discussed polls showing a close race in Virginia, including polling data that Youngkin presented to Trump. Youngkin shared some tactical ideas for running in the purple state and discussed themes he thinks could play well for the former state president, including parental rights in education.

There has been no discussion of the vice presidency or any Cabinet position for the term-limited governor, who is due to leave office in January 2026.

Vozzella reported from Richmond. Lateshia Beachum contributed to this report.




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