The Republican Party has become a "sort of a circular firing squad" over the push by some to keep former President Donald Trump as its leader while fighting over the results of the 2020 election, Gov. Larry Hogan said Sunday.
"It's sort of a circular firing squad where we're just attacking members of our own party instead of focusing on solving problems or standing up and having an argument, (or debating) the Democrats on some of the things the Biden administration is pushing through," the Maryland Republican said on NBC's "Meet the Press," adding that the fight is part of the "battle for the soul of the Republican Party."
His comments come as a push grows, with support from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise and several others to replace Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., with Rep. Elise Stefanik, N.Y., as House Republican Conference chair.
Cheney has been under fire for months after voting with a handful of other House Republicans to impeach Trump on charges of inciting an insurrection in connection with the events at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, and over her arguments against Trump's claims that the 2020 election was unfair.
Hogan said he is concerned about the push to oust Cheney from her leadership role because of her views against Trump, which comes as other lawmakers who voted for Trump's impeachment have come under calls for censure from the GOP.
“It bothers me you have to swear fealty to the dear leader or you get kicked out of the party. It just doesn’t make any sense,” Hogan said, adding that he thinks many Republicans are afraid of speaking out because "they're concerned about retaliation...they're concerned about being attacked within the party."
Hogan has been widely seen as a potential 2024 candidate and is often critical of Trump and on Sunday called for more focus on upcoming elections and less on the former president.
“We’ve got to get back to winning elections again and we have to be able to have a Republican Party that appeals to a broader group of people,” Hogan said.
“We had the worst four years we’ve had ever in the Republican Party losing the White House, the House of Representatives, and the Senate," said Hogan.
Meanwhile, he said he tries "to be honest" with voters in his state when they ask him why he won't launch an investigation into potential voter fraud from the 2020 election.
"In my state, I ran 45 points ahead of the president," said Hogan. "I'm ahead of him among Republicans, among conservatives, and Democrats and independents. I think what most people want, really, is for people to tell them the truth. We can disagree on what happened in the election. Voters still support me in spite of the fact that I don't happen to support conspiracy theories."
He added that he thinks most voters are "kind of fed up with crazy things coming out of both parties."
"They really want elected officials that are willing to work together, get things done and come up with bipartisan, common-sense solutions," said Hogan. "I've proven that two years in a row by winning overwhelming with Republicans, Democrats, and independents. People are fed up with the politics we have in Washington today."
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