Outgoing Republican Maryland Gov.dropped some big hints about his political future, even as he told a room of about 1,700 supporters and donors there would be no big announcement Wednesday night.
"I understand there has been some speculation about my future," he joked with the crowd in Hanover, Maryland during an event to celebrate his time as governor. Adopting a more serious tone, he did tell the audience he'd be talking to family and friends next year to "determine how I can best serve our great nation."
"I think you all know that I do you care very deeply about this country," he said. "And I've never been more concerned about the direction of our nation. What I can tell you tonight, is that I am not about to give up on the Republican Party or on America."
Asked by CBS News about former President Donald Trump'swith white supremacist Nick Fuentes, Hogan called it "disgraceful and unconscionable" but said he wasn't surprised. Days after Trump announced his third bid for the presidency, he dined at his residence in Mar-a-Lago with Fuentes and Kanye West, who has come under heavy criticism for antisemitic remarks he made on social media. Later, Trump claimed he did not know who Fuentes was.
Hogan, on the question of whether his party is responding forcefully enough to Trump's dinner with Fuentes and West, said, "on the one hand, it's so disgraceful and more people should be speaking up."
And yet, "on the other hand, we need to stop talking about Donald Trump," Hogan said. He added, "The party and the country need to move on from him."
Bookending his remarks were highly produced videos by Hogan's political group, "An America United," which highlighted the Hogan administration's purported successes, and his response to the pandemic and the. Both videos ended with phrases alluding to the future: "Stay tuned" and "This is just the beginning."
Hogan held a fundraiser for his new federal PAC, "A Better Path Forward," upstairs from his main event. He also held a summit in Annapolis, Maryland, Wednesday where he hosted notable Republicans, including former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, and former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.
While talking to reporters, Hogan alluded to $1.2 million being raised at Wednesday night's event.
"Tonight, 1,700 people gave us 1.2 million reasons why we should consider staying in politics," he said.
Robert Costa contributed to this report.
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