Republican Gov. Larry Hogan giving 2020 Trump challenge 'serious consideration'

PHOTO: Maryland Governor Larry Hogan speaks at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics as he mulls a Presidential run, April 23, 2019, in Manchester, New Hampshire.PlayScott Eisen/Getty Images
WATCH News headlines today: Mar. 12, 2019

Maryland Republican Governor Larry Hogan moved the ball forward regarding speculation surrounding a possible primary challenge against president Donald Trump on Tuesday, saying he's seriously considering a White House run, even if he's in no rush to officially jump in just yet.

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The widely popular Republican governor furthered speculation with a speech in the key primary state of New Hampshire on Tuesday, telling the "Politics & Eggs" crowd that gathered at New Hampshire Institute of Politics that he's currently mulling over a run for the White House.

"A lot of people have been approaching me, probably since around my inauguration in late January. People have asked me to give this serious consideration and I think I owe it to those people to do just that. That’s what I’m doing," Hogan said.

Hogan is the latest potential 2020 hopeful to speak at a “Politics and Eggs” event, which has become a required stop for anyone seriously considering a White House run, and the outspoken Trump critic took a few veiled swipes at the current president during his appearance.

PHOTO: Maryland Governor Larry Hogan speaks at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics as he mulls a Presidential run, April 23, 2019, in Manchester, New Hampshire. Scott Eisen/Getty Images
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan speaks at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics as he mulls a Presidential run, April 23, 2019, in Manchester, New Hampshire.

The governor and outspoke Trump critic also weighed in on the Republican National Committee pledging full support behind the president while taking some swipes at the president.

"I was pretty critical of that. Not that the Republican National Committee doesn’t have the right to support the sitting president. But to change the rules and to insist 100% loyalty to the dear leader it just didn’t sound much like the Republican party that I grew up in," the governor said.

Following the event, Hogan also weighed in on last week's report from special counsel Robert Mueller, calling it "very disturbing."

"It certainly did not completely exonerate the President as he said. There were some very disturbing stuff found in the report, and just because aides did not follow his orders, it's the only reason we don't have obstruction of justice," Hogan told reporters.

"...Maybe there was not collusion with the Russians, which, there was a lot of hype about that from the Democrats for a long time and so now he gets to say that didn't happen. But there was some really unsavory stuff in the report that did not make me proud of the president, and there's certainly nothing to crow about and nothing to celebrate in that at all," he added.

Hogan quipped at the start of his address that he's "not here to make any official announcements today," jokingly noting that he "just thought that April would be a beautiful time to visit New Hampshire.”

If Hogan jumps into the race, which he says he's in no rush to do and could wait as late until November to decide, he'd become the second Republican to challenge Trump for the party's presidential nomination after former Governor Bill Weld's announcement earlier this month.

When asked about Weld jumping into the race already, Hogan said he was glad to see it, but noted that his position as a current government official puts him in a different situation.

"Bill Weld, I think is a wonderful guy, and I talk to him just before he launched, but he’s not a sitting governor. It’s a different calculus for me," Hogan said.

"But I obviously have very strong concerns about the future of my party and the future of the country," he added. "I’m going to take as much time as it takes to make that decision."