Larry Hogan argues for a ‘bigger tent’ GOP as 2024 rumors swirl
Maryland’s governor offers some advice for the Republican Party moving forward.“I don't know what the future holds in November, but I know that the Republican Party is going to be looking at what happens after President [Donald] Trump and whether that's in four months or four years,” Hogan said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, whose wife is from South Korea, claimed in an editorial for The Washington Post that President Donald Trump called South Koreans “terrible people” during a Republican Governors Association dinner in February.
According to Hogan, a Republican, the remarks were made during one of Trump’s “unscripted rally speeches that seemed to go on for at least an hour too long.”
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“He talked about how much he respected President Xi Jinping of China; how much he liked playing golf with his buddy ‘Shinzo,’ Prime Minister Abe of Japan; how well he got along with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un,” Hogan wrote in the editorial, published Thursday. “Then, the jarring part: Trump said he really didn’t like dealing with President Moon from South Korea. The South Koreans were ‘terrible people,’ he said, and he didn’t know why the United States had been protecting them all these years. ‘They don’t pay us,’ Trump complained.”
Hogan wrote that his wife, Yumi Hogan, was “sitting there as the president hurled insults at her birthplace,” but managed to endure the speech “politely and silently.”
Yumi Hogan, born in Naju, South Korea, immigrated to the United States in her 20s, married Larry Hogan in 2004 and is the first Korean American first lady of a U.S. state.
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© ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS via Getty Images Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and his wife, Yumi Hogan.
The remainder of Hogan’s editorial points out that Trump’s disparaging comments are ironic considering the White House’s “patchwork response” to the coronavirus pandemic in comparison with South Korea’s coordinated, widespread tests.
Hogan said the White House “failed to issue public warnings, draw up a 50-state strategy or dispatch medical gear or lifesaving ventilators from the national stockpile to American hospitals,” leaving America’s governors in a “sink or swim” situation.
“Luckily, I had a special ally on my side: Yumi Hogan,” Hogan wrote, explaining that his wife was instrumental in securing Maryland’s purchase of 500,000 COVID-19 tests from South Korea by participating in calls with Korean Ambassador to the U.S. Lee Soo Hyuk.
The purchase, which was negotiated between the Maryland government and Korean health care company LabGenomics, was announced in April as “Operation Enduring Friendship,” and according to Hogan, cost $9 million ― “a bargain considering the $2.8 billion in revenue we projected the pandemic would cost Maryland.”
Yumi Hogan: Maryland's first lady capitalizes on her South Korean heritage to secure test kits
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland said he couldn't depend on the Trump administration for assistance with coronavirus testing. So instead, he relied on his wife. © Steve Ruark/AP Yumi Hogan, Maryland's first lady, helped her husband procure half a million coronavirus test kits from her native South Korea as the state faced burgeoning cases in April.
Hogan’s decision to purchase tests from South Korea was critiqued by Trump shortly after it was announced, with the president saying the Maryland governor “didn’t understand too much about what was going on,” and “could have saved a lot of money” if he had carried out tests through federal laboratories instead.
“The president’s comments that day seemed to confuse test kits with testing labs, but whatever,” Hogan wrote in his editorial. “It was a great day for Maryland.”
The White House fired back at Hogan’s editorial the same day it was published, with press secretary Kayleigh McEnany calling the governor’s words “revisionist history” and referencing the fact that Hogan had praised Trump during a video teleconference on March 19 for his “great communication.”
“What is so striking to me about reading that op-ed is Governor Hogan begins with this dramatic April 18th scene where South Korea delivered tests, but just the day prior, he said something entirely different,” McEnany added. “He, in fact, thanked the President for the progress we’ve seen in federal and state coordination in recent weeks.”
McEnany hits back at Hogan after Maryland governor slams Trump over coronavirus
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany slammed Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s remarks in a Washington Post op-ed about President Trump’s shortcomings during the coronavirus pandemic “revisionist history,” and pointed to the governor's past praise of Trump.“It's really striking, his comments, especially when you compare them to his past comments,” said the press secretary during a briefing Thursday.
McEnany did not address Hogan’s remarks regarding Trump’s comment on South Koreans.
Speaking to CNN, Hogan responded to McEnany’s claims, saying that McEnany was “tak[ing] a piece of a conversation.”
“When I think progress has been made, I give them credit,” he said, adding: “When the president and his team are doing something right, I praise them, and when they’re doing something wrong, I’m not afraid to say so.”
Hogan is about to embark on a virtual tour for his book, “Still Standing: Surviving Cancer, Riots, a Global Pandemic and the Toxic Politics that Divide America,” which is scheduled for a July 28 release and outlines his rocky relationship with Trump over the coronavirus pandemic. The governor briefly considered running for the 2020 Republican presidential nomination before deciding against it, though he hasn’t ruled out another attempt in 2024.
Read Hogan’s full editorial here.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost
Larry Hogan Isn’t Coming to Save the Republican Party .
The governor of Maryland is betting his future on a kinder, gentler post-Trump GOP. Good luck with that.“There are so few Republicans willing to say anything that’s not 100 percent in lockstep with the president,” he told me with a chuckle during a recent phone interview.