It was a “great thing” for Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin, Virginia, and the United States that former President Donald Trump “never stepped foot” in Virginia during the race for the governor’s mansion, Maryland GOP Gov. Larry Hogan said Sunday.
“[Youngkin] did a terrific job and connected with voters,” Hogan, who is anti-Trump, told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “Terry McAuliffe tried to make it all about Donald Trump. Every time he opened his mouth, he talked about Trump.
“And Youngkin tried to focus on solutions to problems and focused on issues. And voters want to hear more about what you’re going to do for them – rather than what you want to say for or against the former president.”
Trump is already involved in endorsing several candidates for the upcoming midterm elections and planning to hit the campaign trail, and Hogan said he is concerned about that.
“If the former president interferes with the primaries and tries to help nominate folks that are unelectable in a general election in swing districts and purple states, that’s going to hurt,” Hogan said.
Trump will not be going away, he added, but if Republicans want to be successful at winning elections, then they need to focus on the future.
“I agree [with] my friend Gov. [Chris] Christie who said we can’t look back and constantly relitigate what happened in 2020,” Hogan said. “Glenn Youngkin did a good job of not alienating that base, but Trump never stepped foot in the state.”
However, the Democrats also have an issue where President Joe Biden is concerned, as he “ran as a centrist” who would bring the nation together, the governor said.
“The out-of-control wokeism and the far-left progressive caucus that almost screwed up the infrastructure bill is going to hurt him,” Hogan said.
The infrastructure bill that has been passed should have been a bigger victory for Biden, he added.
“He nearly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory,” Hogan said. “It should have been an overwhelming win back in August, and I think he should not have let it get sidetracked by the progressives in the House.”
Hogan also Sunday said he does agree with Biden that vaccines are key to ending the COVID-19 pandemic, but he thinks he is not going about making that happen the right way if he is relying on mandates.
“There are legal constitutional questions that have to be answered,” Hogan said. “The president can mandate federal employees who work for him, but I’m not sure it’s a good idea. I think we should continue to try to make sure we get everybody vaccinated.”
Meanwhile, Hogan’s second and final term as governor is coming up next year and supporters are pushing him to run for the U.S. Senate, but he said Sunday “it’s not something that I’m taking a serious look at.”
The governor said he is concerned about the direction of the country and will stay involved in the future of the Republican Party, but he brushed aside a question about whether he wants to run for president, telling CNN, “we’ll figure out what the future holds, but I’ll be part of the discussion.”