Social media users blasted former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan after attacking Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., and his education initiatives as “big government” and even “authoritarian.”
Hogan appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday morning to discuss Republican prospects in 2024, where he has been seen as a potential presidential candidate. Host Chuck Todd questioned the moderate Republican on important issues for conservative voters.
Todd used DeSantis’ Parental Rights in Education bill as an example of the issue of education being important to voters, but Hogan accused DeSantis of pushing authoritarian policies.
“I’m a small government, common sense conservative, and to me, it sounds like big government and authoritarian, ‘You have to agree with me, and I’ll tell you what you can and can’t do.’ But it’s an issue. It’s not the most important issue. Most people are worried about the economy, inflation, and they’re concerned about crime, but education is one of the things that we’ve got to talk about,” Hogan said.
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Several conservatives criticized Hogan’s mindset for the 2024 election, calling it a losing strategy.
“Yes, not wanting your grade school kids taught gender ideology that everyone agreed was insane 15 minutes ago means you’re in favor of ‘big government.’ Go ahead and campaign on that, Larry,” RealClearInvestigations senior writer Mark Hemingway wrote.
Political activist and potential 2024 presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy tweeted, “It’s painful to watch Republicans recite tired slogans they memorized in 1980. The thing that made Reagan cool was he stood up to the orthodoxies of his time without fear. Sadly his disciples today think they honor him by parroting what he said, instead of thinking independently.”
“Larry Hogan is wrong about this. Public authorities control public schools. They always have and will. The question is whether the education blob gets to run out of control and impose its political agenda on the schools or not,” National Review editor Rich Lowry tweeted.
Republican communicator Matt Whitlock argued, “By ‘cracking down on teaching race or gender’ they’re referring to taxpayer funded advocacy for reparations and prison abolition and having teachers discuss sex and gender identity with 5 year olds. Anyone who accepts the premise of this argument from media isn’t a conservative.”
“You’re not going to be the nominee by walking into Meet the Press and gladly accepting their framing of the issues,” The Spectator contributing editor Stephen Miller joked.
“It’s not ‘big government’ if DeSantis is reforming something the government *already controls and funds,*” Washington Examiner commentator Tiana Lowe tweeted.
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Elsewhere in the interview, Hogan acknowledged that education concerns are important issues for voters, he insisted that DeSantis’ law is “demanding” for things to be done his way.
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“No, I think it’s an important issue, and I do hear it and people are concerned about this as I travel across the country because most people just don’t think we should be talking about things like sex to young kids and the parents want to be more involved in the decisions about what their kids are being taught. However, I think some of this rhetoric is, you know, demanding that things be done a certain way or that you can’t say this and can’t say that. You have to be careful,” Hogan said.