By Paul Steinhauser
Published March 11, 2019
MANCHESTER, N.H. – Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s headed next month to the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House, increasing speculation that the GOP governor is seriously considering a 2020 primary challenge against President Trump.
Fox News on Monday confirmed that Hogan will be in New Hampshire on April 23 to headline “Politics and Eggs.” The speaking series hosted by the New Hampshire Institute of Politics and the New England Council is a must-stop for White House hopefuls.
Fox News reported last month that Hogan’s camp was in talks with the New England Council to appear at “Politics and Eggs.”
Hogan, who won re-election last November to a second four-year term steering the reliably blue state of Maryland, indirectly criticized the president during his January inauguration.
And, last month – in an interview with CBS News – he said that “I’m being approached from a lot of different people” about launching a primary challenge against the president. “And I guess the best way to put it is I haven’t thrown them out of my office.”
He also took aim at Trump’s chances in 2020, saying, “I’m not saying he couldn’t win, but he’s pretty weak in the general election.”
Still, Hogan acknowledged the extremely long odds against an intra-party challenge to a sitting president, highlighting that “nobody has successfully challenged a sitting president in the same party in the primary since 1884.”
The 62-year-old governor also told Politico last month that “at this point in time, I don’t see any path to winning a Republican primary against this president, or anybody doing it. But things have a way of changing ... I don’t know what the lay of the land is going to look like this summer, or in the fall.”
In that same interview, Hogan criticized the Republican National Committee for allegedly protecting the president, saying: “I’ve never seen anything like it and I’ve been involved in the Republican Party for most of my life. It’s unprecedented. And in my opinion it’s not the way we should be going about our politics.”
Hogan is set to be the second potential GOP primary challenger to headline the forum this year. Last month, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld – a very vocal Trump critic – announced at the event that he was forming an exploratory committee as he moved toward launching a longshot GOP primary bid.
John Kasich, who in January finished serving two terms as Ohio governor, is another vocal Trump critic who’s mulling a primary challenge. Kasich, who finished second to Trump in New Hampshire’s 2016 GOP presidential primary, returned to the Granite State right after November’s midterm elections, sparking further speculation about his 2020 intentions.
Keeping the door open, he told Fox News at the time, “I really don’t know what I’m going to do.”