Maryland’s Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who says he is being encouraged to launch, cast doubt on the potential GOP primary challenges that former governors John Kasich and Bill Weld could mount against President Trump.
In an exclusive interview with CBS News’ political correspondent Ed O’Keefe, the popular blue-state GOP governor was asked about Weld’s announcement last week that he will form an exploratory presidential committee to try to steal the Republican nomination from Mr. Trump. Hogan said the former maverick Massachusetts governor has not reached out to him about his White House aspirations and dismissed his chances of successfully challenging an incumbent Republican president.
“I don’t know how seriously most people are taking his candidacy, quite frankly. I mean, he’s been out of politics for quite a while,” Hogan added. “He’s switched parties back and forth a couple times. And not sure he’s the right guy. But I certainly respect his right to get out there and say the things he believes.”
Although he acknowledged that Kasich ran a “pretty good race” for the Republican nomination in 2016, Hogan said he’s not sure the time is right for the former Ohio governor and frequent critic of the president to challenge Mr. Trump in what would likely be a bitter primary fight.
“He ran a pretty good race last time. But now that he’s a former governor and been out there for at least five years running for president…I’m not sure if the time is right for that or not,” Hogan said.
Hogan told CBS News that the president is likely to fend off a GOP primary challenger, but may be vulnerable in the general election against the eventual Democratic nominee. Asked about his own presidential ambitions, the Maryland governor said he’s being courted by the anti-Trump wing of the Republican Party to run, but that he has not made a decision.
“I would say I’m being approached from a lot of different people and I guess the best way to put it is, I haven’t thrown them out of my office,” he said.