OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
The entry of former Maryland GOP Gov. Larry Hogan into the race for a U.S. Senate seat is not sitting well with some hosts and contributors to CNN, with one calling it Senate Majority Leader “Chuck Schumer’s nightmare.”
Hogan, a Republican who managed to win in deep blue Maryland, announced he would run for retiring Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin’s seat, Fox News reported.
During an “Inside Politics” segment, CNN host Dana Bash noted that Hogan is “incredibly popular” when asking CNN political director David Chalian to “put this in perspective.”
“That is Chuck Schumer’s nightmare,” Chalian told Bash. “To take a bad map for Democrats and make it worse—and it is a very rough map for Democrats.”
Currently, Democrats hold a 51-49 seat majority in the upper chamber, but the party is defending 23 of 34 seats this year, some of which are very likely to flip to Republicans in states like Montana, Ohio, and West Virginia.
“Now you’re taking a blue state and bringing a very popular former Republican governor onto this map,” Chalian said. “Maryland was not on anybody’s board of something that they would have to spend money on or be concerned about, and that’s going to drain resources away from the fights in Montana and Ohio.”
Later, he added, “This is a presidential election year. So, if you’re a Democrat like John Tester running in a deep red state that Joe Biden’s going to lose badly, it’s already a rough scenario. And that may be the only thing that gives Democrats hope in Maryland: that it is a presidential year and that maybe even with Larry Hogan’s popularity, Maryland is too blue to even help get him over the line. We’ll see.”
In a video released on Friday, Hogan said he was running “not to serve one party but to stand up to both parties, fight for Maryland, and fix our nation’s broken politics.”
“It’s what I did as Maryland’s governor, and it’s exactly how I’ll serve Maryland in the Senate. Let’s get back to work,” Hogan added.
Hogan, known for his criticism of former President Trump, had considered a bid in the 2024 Republican presidential primary and was even suggested as a potential candidate for the No Labels ticket. However, he recently resigned from his leadership position in the third-party movement. Hogan has now thrown his support behind GOP contender Nikki Haley for the 2024 election, who seems to have no shot at winning the nomination.
Sen. Steve Daines of Montana, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said in a statement, “Governor Hogan is a great leader for Maryland, and that’s why he remains overwhelmingly popular in the state. We look forward to welcoming him to the United States Senate.”
Meanwhile, some Republicans don’t want Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to remain as their leader in the Senate.
Sen. Ted Cruz is one of them.
He did not mince words late last week after the chamber failed to advance a “bipartisan” piece of legislation that was advertised as a border security bill but which sent billions more dollars to Ukraine, Israel, and other countries.
The Texas Republican made it clear he believes it is time for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to step down from the party’s leadership and quite possibly even leave the chamber altogether.
During a press conference, Cruz was asked if he believes it is time for McConnell to step down after the deal collapsed amid pressure from conservatives and GOP constituents who complained that the bill did more to secure Ukraine and other foreign nations than it did the U.S. border.
“I think it is,” Cruz responded as he pointed out that all the GOP senators standing with him wanted McConnell to step aside. “I think a Republican leader should lead this conference and should advance the priorities of Republicans.”