Md. Gov. Hogan offers advice on unifying US, cautions Biden about Democrats’ ‘lurch leftward’

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan had some advice for Joe Biden on how to achieve the president-elect’s mission of unifying the country after a contentious election that continued to show deep division even four years after President Donald Trump took office.

Hogan gave his “unsolicited advice” in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal on Sunday.

“If he is going to heal and unify the nation, he must start by recognizing that this goal is in conflict with the Democratic Party’s lurch leftward,” he said.

In his victory speech Saturday, Biden “pledged to be a president who seeks not to divide but unify, who doesn’t see red states and blue states, only sees the United States.”

Hogan said America is “fed up with bitter partisanship, divisiveness and dysfunction,” and called on Biden to be a unifier rather than a “progressive activist.”

Hogan said the “far-left agenda” is widely unpopular in Maryland, and that his 2018 Democratic challenger, Ben Jealous, ran on “far-left priorities,” which he said Maryland voters soundly rejected.

Hogan was reelected with 55.4% of the vote, and became the second Maryland Republican governor to be reelected since 1954. Biden won the state’s 10 electoral votes, with more than 63%.

In a caucus call Thursday, key Democrats, including Virginia Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger, said the GOP attacks against them as wild-eyed “socialists” are damaging, as are some of the party’s most liberal proposals, The Associated Press reported. Spanberger, from the 7th Congressional District, was projected the winner on Sunday against Republican Del. Nick Freitas.

Hogan appeared on CNN Sunday morning and told Jake Tapper that Trump should at least acknowledge that he will concede.

He said it may take a few more days clear up some outstanding votes, but some members of the Republican Party have already accepted the results and congratulated Biden, including Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, former Florida Gov. Jeb. Bush, former President George W. Bush, former Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Hogan himself.

“Hopefully, the president’s team will do the right thing,” Hogan said.

Despite what he said were a few irregularities, Hogan said he had not seen any evidence of widespread voter fraud.

“We want to make sure every single vote is counted fairly. And I think, you know, there are legal processes, if you think there are mistakes. But I don’t think we’re going to see anything that’s going to overturn this election,” Hogan said. “This is the way our system works, whether you like it or not, it’s time to get behind the winner of the race.”

Tapper said Republican leaders are “acting like babies” by not congratulating Biden.

Hogan said he thinks some of them are making a mistake, and he hopes that will change in the next few days when the results of the last three states come in, where he thinks Biden’s lead could actually increase.

“You know, I wasn’t a supporter of Joe Biden’s. But I am a supporter of the democratic process, and the way we’ve always conducted our elections,” said Hogan, who symbolically voted for former President Ronald Reagan in 2020.

Tapper also pressed Hogan on whether he’s thinking about running for president in 2024.

Hogan said a lot of people are encouraging him to think about it, but he’s focused on the coronavirus pandemic and Maryland’s economic recovery.

“We have a long time to talk about this over the next four years, all right? Let’s get beyond the 2020 race first,” Hogan said.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters and republished with permission. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today.

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