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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says he won't launch "suicide mission" against Trump

Democrats, Republicans react to Mueller report

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, says that while he's still seriously "considering" challenging President Trump in a GOP presidential primary, he isn't about to "launch some sort of a suicide mission." 

Hogan told attendees as the traditional "Politics and Eggs" breakfast at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire on Tuesday that he needs to see a "path to victory" before he mounts a primary challenge. But the governor did say he has been strongly encouraged to run, and that he has "very strong concerns" about the future of the Republican party and "the future of my country."

"I happen to believe debate and discussion and talking about the issues is good. Having the ability to have different viewpoints is good. The stifling of debate, the (Republican National Committee) cutting off any discussion is bad," said Hogan. The governor, who has been touring the country, also suggested that having some Republican challengers could even help make Mr. Trump a "stronger candidate."

"I think the more the merrier, if you have 20 people on Democratic side and we're going to be hearing about that for the next year and a half...but we have nobody on the other side," said Hogan. 

In recent months, the 62-year-old cancer survivor has repeatedly criticized President Trump, even going so far as to sue the Trump administration over the president's national emergency declaration over border security. While Hogan said he's stood up to the president on a variety of issues, he said his real issue at the moment is political gridlock in Washington. 

"We're not getting Congress to do anything, there's no real leadership, we're not brining people together," he said. Asked later in New Hampshire about the potential wrath from Mr. Trump coming his way should he decide to run, Hogan replied: "It probably would not be the most pleasant thing, but I battled cancer for months so I'm not worried about it."

Hypothesizing about a Hogan presidency, the governor said that whether he runs for president or now, he'll "try to do something about infrastructure." For now, Hogan said his goal is to help build the Republican party into a "bigger tent that can appeal to more people."

"We're doing the opposite right now," said Hogan. He said in his opinion, the GOP is "shrinking the base" to primarily white males, something he claims is "not going to win national elections."

"Having more voices saying more things -- showing the Republican Party does have diverse thought and were not monolithic -- I think is very healthy for the party and the country."