Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) urged some GOP presidential candidates to quit the 2024 race, arguing that “there’s too many people in the field” to consolidate around a candidate other than former President Trump.
“If you don’t make the debate stage, you likely should consider getting out,” he said in an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation” set to air Sunday, adding, “If you’re unwilling to challenge Donald Trump, you should get off the stage.”
Hogan pointed to GOP hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy as an example, calling the conservative entrepreneur a “cheerleader and fill-in for Trump” who “obviously is trying to apply for a job” with the former president.
“If you’re in there running for vice president or you’re trying to be a cabinet secretary or you’re trying to become famous or write a book or get on television, you should get the heck out of the race,” the former governor added.
“We need to narrow it down to find a leader who can get the Republican Party back on the right track and that can get us back to winning elections again,” Hogan continued. “And it’s not going to happen with 11 people in the race.”
Trump remains the clear frontrunner in the race for the Republican nomination. A new poll from The Wall Street Journal released Saturday showed the former president leading the pack with 59 percent support. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sat in a distant second with 13 percent support, followed by former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley with 8 percent support.
When asked whether his message applies to former Texas Rep. Will Hurd — who has struggled to gain traction in the polls and did not qualify for the first GOP primary debate last week — Hogan said the former congressman is a “great friend” but suggested he bow out of the race.
“Will is a great friend. I have tremendous admiration for him. I agree with him on so many issues. But he’s not going to be president,” Hogan said.
“I think he contributes a lot to the discussion. He and I see a lot of things eye to eye,” he added. “But I don’t think at this point he should be in the race.”
Hogan, who like Hurd has been an outspoken critic of the former president, announced he would not run for president in 2024 after giving it “serious consideration.”
“It was a tough decision. But I’ve decided that I will not be a candidate for the Republican nomination for president,” he said in March.
The former governor, however, has signaled he would support a potential third-party candidate if President Biden and Trump are the eventual nominees. He is the honorary chairman of “No Labels,” a nonpartisan political group that has been preparing to launch a third-party candidate.
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