Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said Sunday there are signs of authoritarianism in the Republican Party, warning the GOP risks losing any potential gains during the upcoming midterm elections if it keeps touting “unelectable people” aligned with the far-right segment of the party.
Hogan, a longtime critic of former President Donald Trump, made the comments on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday. Host Major Garrett asked the governor if he was concerned his preferred candidate to replace him at the end of his term in early 2023, Kelly Schulz, lost her Republican primary to a Trump-backed state official that touted his right-wing views.
“You know, this should be a really huge year for Republicans just because of the failures of the Democrats, who are in control of everything, and Biden’s low approval ratings,” said Hogan, who called the GOP gubernatorial candidate, Dan Cox, a “QAnon whack job.” “But we could blow it by nominating unelectable people. And that’s exactly what’s happening across the country and why the wave is going to be more of a ripple.”
When asked if he was bashing Republican nominees to the detriment of his own party, the governor said he “just told the truth.”
The comments come amid burgeoning hope among some Democrats that a slate of recent victories — including the passage of the landmark Inflation Reduction Act to address climate change and the White House’s move to cancel up to $20,000 in student loan debt for millions of Americans — could help the party retain control of one or both chambers of Congress. Democratic officials have also hoped to energize voters amid a string of Republican victories, including the Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade and efforts by GOP legislatures to limit voting rights.
Hogan said there are signs of divisive, toxic rhetoric on both sides of the political spectrum, which he called “really bad for America.”
“If Republicans are calling Democrats socialists and communists and we have the president of the United States calling Republicans fascist, I don’t think it adds to the overall discussion,” the governor said. “We ought to just talk about the differences we have on the issues and focus on the problems that most people in America want us to focus on.”
CBS’s Garrett went on to ask if Hogan saw any “strains of authoritarianism” on his side of the political landscape.
“There’s no question we see some signs of that,” the governor said. “And I’m one of the ones speaking out.”