(The Hill) – Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on Sunday criticized the GOP gubernatorial primary winner in his home state, calling him a “QAnon whack job” and declaring that his victory was the result of “collusion between Trump and the Democrats.”
“It was kind of unprecedented collusion between the Democratic Governors Association and Donald Trump,” Hogan told ABC “This Week” co-anchor Jonathan Karl of the GOP primary win of candidate Dan Cox.
Hogan alleged that Cox’s win was assisted by campaign ads by the Democratic Governors Association (DGA), as part of a move purportedly aimed at helping Republican candidates unlikely to win the general election beat out their GOP opponents in the primaries in order to lead to a Democrat winning to lead the state in November.
“So, it was a win for the Democrats. It’s a big loss for the Republican Party and we have no chance of saving that governor seat. We actually had a chance if they hadn’t gotten together and done that,” Hogan said, adding that he believed the DGA had spent $3 million to help advertise Cox, while the candidate himself had spent just $100,000.
Cox won the Maryland GOP primary with Trump’s endorsement and has backed Trump’s baseless claims about a stolen 2020 presidential election. He’s also clashed with Hogan, who is term-limited, but has reportedly considered a 2024 presidential bid.
In a Sunday appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Hogan reiterated the notion of collusion, which he said “propped this guy up and got him elected.” He told co-host Jake Tapper that he expects “fringe candidates” like Cox to lose, adding that he doesn’t think there’s “any chance” the Republican nominee will win Maryland.
“There’s no question that we lost a battle, and we’re losing a few battles. But the fight is long. It’s not — it’s long from being over. I mean, we have another couple of years before the next election … There’s going to be a long battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party. And this is just the beginning.”
After the midterms, Hogan said on CNN, the GOP will need to reassess itself.
“We’re going to have to start thinking about, between November’s election and the election two years later, what kind of a party are we going to be? And can we get back to a more Reagan-esque big tent party that appeals to more people? Or are we going to double down on failure?”