MANCHESTER, N.H. – Two-term Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says he will potentially launch a Republican presidential campaign if he sees “there’s a possible road to victory, that there’s a lane and I have an opportunity.”
However, in an interview with Fox News in New Hampshire, Hogan cautioned that he would not run just for the sake of running, emphasizing “I’m not going to go on a wild goose chase or a suicide mission.”
Hogan was interviewed as he arrived on Monday for a jam-packed day and a half barnstorming swing through the state that, for a century, has held the first primary in the race for the White House.
The governor is meeting with several business groups on front lines of economy, including the New Hampshire Commercial Investment Board of Realtors, Associated Builders and Contractors New Hampshire/Vermont, and the New Hampshire Home Builders Association during his trip, which was first reported by Fox News on Sunday. He is also showcasing a new inflation relief plan from the pro-Hogan public advocacy group An America United.
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The five-point plan aims to provide struggling Americans with immediate economic relief. The proposals call for restoring America’s energy independence, stopping inflation tax hikes, reducing job-killing red tape, ending reckless federal government spending and suspending the federal gas tax.
“Our plan is almost exactly what we’ve accomplished in Maryland over the past eight years when I came in and turned an economy that was 49th out of 50 states and took it to number six. It was the biggest economic turnaround in America,” Hogan touted.
“I’m a Republican governor in the bluest state in the country with a 70% progressive legislature, but I cut taxes eight years in a row by $4.8 billion, something that you know, we ought to be looking at it the federal government,” the governor emphasized.
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Hogan said part of his goal in stopping in New Hampshire “is to actually listen to people, so I’m meeting with small business owners and people in various industries and hardworking folks…. to hear the kinds of things that they’re having to deal with. And I’m also going to talk about what we’ve accomplished in our state and, and what I think we need to do as a country.”
Hogan, who is a No Labels co-chair, kicked off his trip meeting with the New Hampshire chapter of the bipartisan advocacy group. The meeting was held at the Puritan Backroom, a famed eatery and conference center in Manchester, N.H. that for decades has been a must stop for potential or actual presidential candidates visiting the Granite State.
Hogan says any decision on launching a presidential run will come after he finishes his eight-year tenure steering Maryland.
“I’ve made a commitment to the people of my state that I was going to be governor and I really meant that. I’m going to try to finish the job and run through the tape and be the best governor I can be. And I do that job until next January,” he said.
Hogan added that “I definitely want to see what happens in the 2022 elections. And, you know, I think there’s plenty of time next year to be thinking about what happens the following year in 2024.”
“My decision will be based on what’s the best decision for my family and… if our team believes that we have a shot and if I think there’s enough people in the country that agree with the way I think and that our solutions are the best,” he emphasized.
Hogan stressed that his decision will not be dependent on whoever else may run for the nomination, saying “it wouldn’t matter me who runs or who else is in the race.”
HOGAN ARGUES GOP WON’T WIN BACK WHITE HOUSE WITH TRUMP AS 2024 NOMINEE
Former President Donald Trump repeatedly teases that he will run again for the White House, but Hogan, a vocal Republican critic of the former president, said that “I think that Trump’s effect on the party is diminished, and it’s continuing to.”
Hogan acknowledged that Trump remains the most popular and influential politician in the GOP, noting “it’s something to contend with.”
However, he argued that there is a growing percentage of “Republican primary voters that want to go in a completely different direction and are not supportive” of Trump.
Hogan told Fox News that he plans to return to New Hampshire later this year, and says he will also pay a visit to Iowa, whose caucuses have led off the presidential nominating calendar for half a century.
However, New Hampshire, where fiscally conservative voters outnumber social conservatives in the state’s GOP base, seems like a better fit for Hogan if he launches a White House bid.
Hogan said just the right words for a New Hampshire audience, telling Fox News that “you can’t really consider any kind of a national effort without coming to New Hampshire. It’s really the most important state.”
Fox News Emmett Jones and Haley Chi-Sing contributed to this report