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MANCHESTER, N.H. – EXCLUSIVE — GOP Gov. Larry Hogan argues that President Biden’s repeated jabs the past week targeting “MAGA Republicans” who have embraced “semi-fascism” is “pretty divisive, angry rhetoric.”
Hogan, in an exclusive national interview with Fox News during a brief stop in the battleground state of New Hampshire, charged that campaign politics are behind the president’s attacks on the GOP’s right wing — which is still very much under the influence of former President Trump — and that Biden’s aiming for an “electoral advantage” for the Democrats as they try to hang on to their razor-thin House and Senate majorities in November’s midterm elections.
However, the two-term Maryland governor, who is known as a Trump critic, reiterated his concerns that Republicans could “blow” what could be a wave election by “moving too far to the right” and “by focusing on re-litigating the past” instead of zeroing in on the pocketbook issues crucial to American voters.
Hogan sat down with Fox News Digital on Tuesday afternoon, around the same time the president, in a speech in Pennsylvania spotlighting his plan to tackle crime and beef up police funding, once again took aim at what he claims is the far-right extremism and lawlessness of “MAGA Republicans”
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“You can’t be pro-law enforcement and pro-insurrection,” the president charged as he referred to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by right-wing extremists and other Trump supporters, which disrupted congressional certification of Biden’s 2020 Electoral College victory. “You can’t be a party of law and order and call the people who attacked the police on January 6 patriots. You can’t do it.”
Biden’s latest language followed comments from last week that made national headlines and received plenty of pushback from Republicans.
“What we’re seeing now is either the beginning or the death knell of an extreme MAGA philosophy,” Biden told Democratic donors at a gathering in Maryland last Thursday. “It’s not just Trump,” he went on, “it’s the entire philosophy that underpins the — I’m going to say something: It’s like semi-fascism.”
At an ensuing Democratic National Committee rally that evening, the president charged that “MAGA Republicans don’t just threaten our personal rights and economic security, they’re a threat to our very democracy.”
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The president’s attacks, fueled by the latest comments from Trump in the wake of the Aug. 8 FBI search of the former president’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida in search of classified government materials, appear to be an effort to transform the midterms from a referendum on record inflation and Biden’s improving (but still well underwater) approval ratings into a choice election between Biden and Trump, and the future of American democracy.
Hogan emphasized that “Joe Biden ran saying he was going to try to bring the country together and that we needed to lower some of the kind of divisive angry rhetoric and yet this is pretty divisive, angry rhetoric and name calling and a little bit over the top and so I think it’s a mistake.”
“But I get the electoral advantage and why he’s doing that because he’s… got a tough race up in the midterm elections, and he’s trying to move things away from I would say, from his failed record as president and the fact that the Democrats, who control everything in Washington, have moved too far to the left. And so, attacking the right wing of the Republican Party… the MAGA base… it’s probably good politics, but I don’t think it’s the right thing for the country,” Hogan stressed.
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Hogan lamented that that his party is facing serious issues that could derail its expected success in November’s midterms.
“This should be a really huge red wave because of the failures of the Biden administration. We should sweep the U.S. Senate, House, we should pick up governors seats and state legislative seats and legislative bodies. Unfortunately, we’re not doing that because,” he argued.
“I warned about the only way we could screw it up was by blowing it, by moving too far to the right, and by focusing on re-litigating the past and talking just about President Trump and the stolen election in ’20,” Hogan said.
Trump has repeatedly made unproven claims that the 2020 president election was “rigged” and “stolen.” In two social media posts on Monday and Tuesday, the former president urged officials to “declare the 2020 Election irreparably compromised and have a new Election, immediately!”
Hogan stressed that Republicans need to focus on “the pocketbook issues, the things that the average American and swing voters care about, and that’s their concern about the economy and inflation. They’re concerned about crime and cities. They care about their kids’ education. They don’t really want to see all of this angry, divisive rhetoric. And so, I don’t think it’s smart when Joe Biden does it. And I don’t think it’s smart when the Republicans do it either.”
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Hogan, who is term-limited and cannot run for re-election in blue state Maryland, has been crisscrossing the country in recent months on behalf of fellow Republicans on the ballot in November. He stopped in the Granite State to headline a fundraiser for GOP state lawmakers.
His trip to New Hampshire — which for a century has held the first presidential primary — was his second this summer. Two weeks ago, he stopped in Iowa, whose caucuses for a half century have kicked off the presidential nominating calendar.
Hogan told Fox News last month that he would potentially launch a 2024 Republican presidential campaign if he sees “there’s a possible road to victory, that there’s a lane and I have an opportunity.”
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On Tuesday, asked about his latest visits in the early voting states, the governor noted “we’ve been to probably 15 different states. Sure, Iowa and New Hampshire are obviously very important states in the 2024 race.”
“But I really am out here in New Hampshire trying to help the House Republican caucus and make sure that the Republicans can maintain their state legislative control,” he said. “I’ve been traveling around helping gubernatorial candidates and Senate candidates and congressional candidates where I think I can make a difference.”
Source URL: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/republican-governor-says-he-knows-biden-keeps-blasting-maga-republicans-angry-rhetoric