WASHINGTON, D.C. – Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is pushing back on the liberal media’s description of him as solely a moderate Republican and critic of former President Donald Trump, a narrative trumpeted since Hogan became a more nationally known figure following the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
In an interview with Fox News Digital during the National Governors Association (NGA) winter meeting, Hogan said that although he wasn’t one to “toe the line” when it came to an issue in which he didn’t agree with someone from his own party – specifically Trump – he was still a “common sense conservative” who fell right of center on most issues.
Hogan was serving as the chair of the NGA when the coronavirus began rapidly spreading across the U.S. in March 2020 and became a national voice as a state-level leader working with other governors to combat the virus.
During that time, Hogan was portrayed by the media as a leading Republican voice criticizing the Trump administration over its response to the pandemic. That trend has since continued with a number of outlets continuing to refer to him as a “Trump critic,” “anti-Trump,” and “non-Trump,” while highlighting any instance of perceived opposition to the former president.
In one recent article, Politico noted Hogan was working across the country to support Republicans Trump was actively targeting for defeat in the 2022 midterm elections, many of whom supported his impeachment following the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol.
“For a year I was the face of the governors who were on the front lines. I was not always 100 percent in lockstep with everything that the president was doing, so I would speak out and say when I thought they needed to do better on behalf of all the governors, which was my role,” Hogan said.
“They always call me a moderate. I’m really a common-sense conservative, a lifelong Republican whose right of center on just about everything,” he said. “But I didn’t always toe the line and say exactly what – I wasn’t swearing allegiance to or agreeing with a guy on every single issue when I didn’t.”
Hogan added that he thought he was one of the few governors who wasn’t afraid to speak up and tell people exactly what he’s thinking.
“I just give answers rather than spin,” he said.
Hogan has made a name for himself for being one of the most bipartisan governors in the country. For instance, he was named as the national co-chairman for the group No Labels, an advocacy group that champions bipartisanship. In one of the group’s campaign ads in December of 2020, he applauded the COVID-relief bill passed by Congress after a long stalemate. A recent poll even showed Hogan with a higher favorable rating among Maryland Democrats than Republicans. Of the 74% of Maryland voters say they approve of the job Hogan is doing, 77.9% of Democrats said they approve, compared to 68.9% of Republicans, according to a Gonzales poll. But Hogan’s interest in bipartisanship has produced some critics in the process who say he’s been a little too chummy with Democrats.
“I don’t think so,” Hogan told Fox News Digital when asked if there’s such a thing as being “too bipartisan.”
“I’m in the bluest state in America – a state that President Trump lost by 33 points,” he continued. “To get anything done, I absolutely have to work across the aisle to get things done. My legislature’s 70% progressive Democrats. We’ve made enormous progress, including last year, the largest tax cuts in history. Nearly unanimously through a Democratic legislature. I was the only Republican governor in America to cut taxes with a Democratic legislature. There are certain things we stand up and fight on, but there are also a lot of things where we can find middle ground.”
Hogan said similarly that Virginians “shouldn’t be shocked” by the cordial transfer of power between Ralph Northam and new Gov. Glenn Youngkin earlier this month. The two were seen repeatedly shaking hands and laughing as Northam handed over the keys to the mansion.
“I can tell you there’s a lot of things that Republican and Democratic governors work together on,” Hogan remarked. “We really are CEOs of our individual states. We all do want to solve problems for our constituents, even if we disagree sometimes on the solutions. I had a great relationship with Gov. Northam. I told Gov. Youngkin he was going to be a good guy during the transition to work with, and he was a gentleman.”
“I don’t think it’s surprising at all,” he continued. “A lot of the governors that are here this weekend, we all get along great on a personal level, even if sometimes we don’t always agree on the issue.”