Last week's midterm elections should have been a "huge red wave" of Republican wins, but they weren't, and that's former President Donald Trump's fault, which means it's time for the party to reassess his role in it, Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Sunday.
"It’s basically the third election in a row that Donald Trump has cost us the race, and it’s like, three strikes, you’re out," Hogan told CNN's "State of the Union." "It should have been one of the biggest red waves we’ve ever had."
Hogan, who was term-limited this year from seeking a third gubernatorial election, hedged on a question about his presidential ambitions for the 2024 race, telling anchor Dana Bash that "I still have to do my day job until Jan. 18."
But, he told her that his party "still didn't perform" in the midterm elections, except for "commonsense conservatives who won by "talking about issues people cared about, like the economy and crime and education."
Other candidates who "tried to relitigate the 2020 election and focused on conspiracy theories and talked about things voters didn't care about, they were almost all universally rejected," said Hogan.
Hogan refused to endorse Trump-endorsed Republican Dan Cox to succeed him in Maryland. Cox won the GOP primary, but Democrats took back the governor's seat, with Democrat Wes Moore elected as the first Black governor in the state.
Republicans, meanwhile, must figure out a "more hopeful, positive vision," the outgoing governor said. "We have to get back to a party that appeals to more people, that can win in tough places like I have done in Maryland."
As for Trump, "he's still the 800-pound gorilla, and it's still a battle," said Hogan, who also thinks the former president's expected announcement this week that he will run for president in 2024 will affect the Senate runoff race in Georgia between Democrat incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock and GOP challenger Herschel Walker.
Hogan also on Sunday referred to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who was re-elected last Tuesday, as "one of the important voices for the party."
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