Accuracy in Media

Larry Hogan, two-term governor of Maryland, has gotten plenty of media attention lately because of his willingness to criticize President Trump and perhaps even to challenge him in the Republican primaries.

Hogan took started another media lap on Thursday when he told Politico the Republican National Committee was “going to extraordinary lengths to shield the president from a potentially draining primary,” Alex Isenstadt reported in “Larry Hogan rips RNC for shielding Trump from primary challenge” – subhead: The Maryland governor, weighing a White House bid, said he expects to visit New Hampshire in the next few months.”

Isenstadt quotes the governor saying the Republican National Committee tries “to be fair arbiters of a process, and I’ve never seen anything like it and I’ve been involved in the Republican Party for most of my life.”

He wrote that Hogan’s complaint centers around a resolution passed at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting that gives the president “undivided support” ahead of the 2020 election and the fact Trump has “rolled out a 2020 campaign organization that incorporates the RNC and his campaign into a single entity” with merged field and fundraising programs.

“Traditionally, a presidential reelection committee has worked side-by-side with the national party committee but not overtaken it,” Isenstadt wrote.

The Washington Post ramped up the language in “Hogan blasts RNC for ‘unprecedented’ steps to shield Trump from a primary” by Ovetta Wiggins.

Hogan was “disgusted” by “RNC efforts to close ranks around Trump” and “troubled” by reports South Carolina Republicans may cancel their primary, Wiggins wrote.

He “criticized Trump since before the president was elected” and is now “speaking more frequently and in sharper tones about Trump and Washington politics.”

Hogan is a proven vote-getter among African Americans and women in Democrat-dominated Maryland, she wrote without evidence. He “represents a style of Republicanism that is lacking in today’s politics” and “has dramatically broken with mainstream GOP positions on issues like guns and immigration.”

This comes on the heels of a George Will column on Thursday headlined “Trump is trashing the Constitution. Larry Hogan shows how Republicans should respond,” and a story by Wiggins on Wednesday entitled “Maryland Gov. Hogan: President Trump is ‘his own worst enemy,’” which led with Hogan saying President Trump had made “’some real mistakes’ in declaring a national emergency over border security.”

Maryland was the only state with a Republican governor to join the group of 16 states that are suing the president over his emergency declaration. The attorney general did not need the governor’s permission to join the lawsuit – the Maryland General Assembly has granted the attorney general blanket authority to sue the federal government, the Post wrote.

But “Hogan said he agreed with the decision …,” the Post wrote.

Wiggins then gave Hogan four quotes to trash the president.

In one, Hogan said the president “looks ‘pretty weak’ in a general election but doesn’t appear at the moment to be vulnerable to a primary challenge.”

“The issue I’m concerned about is he has a very low reelect number,” Hogan is quoted as saying. No explanation for what a “reelect number” is was offered.

Wiggins also dredged up quotes from other interviews in which Hogan had described Trump as “his own worst enemy” and someone who “acts ‘irrationally’ and does things ‘in a way that aren’t great for the Republican Party and for the country or for him and his agenda.’”

Wiggins asked Hogan if he thought Trump was fit to be president. “Hogan, who did not vote for Trump in 2016, said he was ‘not in any position to judge the fitness of the president.’ He said he doesn’t like the tone that Trump uses.”

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