Gov. Larry Hogan joined a bipartisan group of governors on the National Governors Association (NGA) conference call Thursday afternoon with President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
Hogan was the NGA chair from July 2019 to June 2020, but he’s still on the bipartisan leadership team as an at-large member.
The 10 governors currently serving on the NGA leadership team—five Republicans and five Democrats—joined the call with the President-elect to discuss national strategies for responding to the coronavirus.
Following the call, Biden and Harris delivered remarks about the substance of the conversation with the governors.
Biden said, “All the governors no matter their political party,” shared the priority of defeating the coronavirus and they all acknowledged that—political parties aside—”they are all Americans first.”
Biden, Harris, and the governors discussed five shared priorities when it comes to responding to the coronavirus:
- Getting economic relief to communities around the county.
- “Delivering a safe and equitable and free vaccine” to 330 million Americans, Biden said.
- Helping states with title 32 funding for national guard;
- Implementation of a universal mask mandate around the country; and,
- Expanding testing by making it more available and accessible.
This afternoon, @KamalaHarris and I met with a bipartisan group of governors from the @NatlGovsAssoc’s Executive Committee. We might be Democrats and Republicans, but we’re Americans first — and together, we’re going to beat COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/pEkHtf4l4d
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 19, 2020
Biden says he is not planning on shutting down the economy, but his administration will rejoin the World Health Organization.
“I’m not going to shut down the economy, I’m going to shut down the virus,” Biden said. “No national shutdown because every region, every community is different.”
Hogan Reacts to Bipartisan Governors Call with Biden, Harris
Following the conference call, Hogan spoke positively about the discussion on social media.
He tweeted, “I want to thank President-elect @JoeBiden, Vice President-elect @KamalaHarris, leaders of the president-elect’s COVID-19 advisory board, and fellow members of the @NatlGovsAssoc Executive Committee for taking time today to discuss the ongoing fight against COVID-19.”
I want to thank President-elect @JoeBiden, Vice President-elect @KamalaHarris, leaders of the president-elect’s COVID-19 advisory board, and fellow members of the @NatlGovsAssoc Executive Committee for taking time today to discuss the ongoing fight against COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/1rtIEtpGpH
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) November 19, 2020
A news release from the governor’s office says during the call, Hogan called for “collaborative discussions between federal and state officials.” It says he also pushed for another stimulus bill.
Hogan’s talking points during the call are visible in one of the photos he shared on social media following the meeting. The bulleted talking points say:
- “I want to begin by congratulating you, Mr. President-Elect and Madam Vice President-Elect on your recent victory and on overwhelmingly carrying the great state of Maryland.
- This is obviously a very challenging time and on the day you were declared the winner, I said that I think the election is a mandate for cooperation.
- Now more than ever, we need to come together as Americans, and I look forward to working with you and your team to reach bipartisan, common sense solutions to the serious problems we face.”
On Thursday evening, Hogan was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer on CNN about the NGA call and about President Donald Trump refusing to concede the election.
Hogan is one of the few elected Republicans to acknowledge Biden as the President-elect (Hogan told Blitzer he believes he was “the first.”). Several other Republicans have been silent about Biden’s victory or have repeated Trump’s baseless accusations of voter fraud.
Blitzer asked Hogan if the other Republican Governors on the call—Charlie Baker (Mass.), Gary Herbert (Utah), Asa Hutchinson (Ark.), Kay Ivey (Ala.)—acknowledged Biden as the President-elect.
President-elect Biden took a great first step by reaching out to the @NatlGovsAssoc to discuss our ongoing response to #COVID19. Tonight on @CNNSitRoom, I discussed the importance of moving forward in a bipartisan way in order to effectively fight this deadly pandemic. pic.twitter.com/B2qmPaq5Nd
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) November 20, 2020
“I don’t want to get into details of the conversation… obviously they got on the call with the President-elect and Vice President-elect,” Hogan said, adding he believes the Republican governors on the call would acknowledge Biden and Harris would be inaugurated come January.
Asked if what Trump is doing, refusing to begin a proper transition for the incoming administration, is an assault on our democracy, Hogan answered: “We’ve got to get on with the transition because we can’t afford to be delaying… it is outrageous, Wolf, and it is an assault on our democracy…we haven’t seen any evidence of widespread voter fraud.”