ANNAPOLIS, MD. (WJZ) — As Gov. Larry Hogan begins his second term as governor, there is growing speculation about his ambitions for a higher office.
Will the Maryland governor run for president in 2020?READ MORE: DoorDash Driver & Mother Of 3 Killed In Attempted Robbery In Baltimore
“People are talking to me about it. I’m watching with great interest of all this talk. I’m flattered people are saying that and including me in those discussions. My focus, my plan right now is to stay here for four years and do the best job I can in Maryland but, as I’ve said, you never say never,” Hogan said.
Hogan’s re-election in blue-state Maryland is evidence he could attract voters across party lines. He has also been vocal in his criticism of President Donald Trump.
“My thoughts are very clear,” He said. “I’m not protesting every day about every issue, but I stand up and certainly let people know when I disagree or when I think something is going on that I don’t think is right,”
However, the governor said he is also very aware that among Republicans the President’s approval rating is above 80 percent. A factor Hogan’s friend Chris Christie believes will discourage him from running.
“Unless those numbers were to change I wouldn’t see Larry doing anything because Larry’s a smart politician. He isn’t the second Republican in Maryland history to be re-elected because he’s dumb. Larry’s really smart and he’s a good politician and he’s a good person,” Chris Christie said.
Hogan has a proven record of working with a Democratic legislature with a bi-partisan approach, managing to sign new gun control, lower health insurance rates and address climate change.READ MORE: Winter Storm Expected To Be 'Coast Hugger,' But I-95 Corridor Will See Snow
“It’s not easy, to overcome differences and partisanship, but you can, and it’s what people want,” Hogan said.
At his inauguration last month, he was praised by a one-time rival of President Trump- Jeb Bush.
“Larry’s at the top of the list of leaders I admire today because what’s happening here in Annapolis is the antithesis of what’s happening in D.C. these days,” Bush said.
While Gov. Hogan insists he’s committed to running this state for four more years, he also admits he “hasn’t closed the door,”
“I wouldn’t be on some fool’s errand just to run some suicide mission, I’d only run if I thought I could actually win,” Hogan said.
As for the White House, they are projecting great confidence with a spokeswoman saying, “The President is ready for any candidate that would decide to run against him. We have a great record to run on, especially when you look at the economy,”MORE NEWS: Memorial Service Announced For Baltimore Firefighters Killed In Collapse