Nov 11, 2020 - Politics & Policy

"Unacceptable": GOP Govs. Baker and Hogan criticize transition delay

Combination images of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker

Combination images of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. Photo: Jim Spellman/Getty Images/Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Republican governors of Massachusetts and Maryland both criticized President Trump during separate news conferences Tuesday for holding up the presidential transition during the coronavirus pandemic.

What they're saying: Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker called Attorney General Bill Barr's decision to authorized U.S. attorneys to investigate alleged voter fraud "wildly inappropriate." "I'm dismayed to hear the baseless claims from the president, from his team, and from many other elected Republican officials in Washington," he said.

"[S]talling an orderly transition process, especially at a time like this, is equally unacceptable."
ā€” Baker
  • "I can't think of a worse time to stall a transition than amid a deadly pandemic that the federal government continues to own primary responsibility for responding to," Baker added.
  • He said if the Trump campaign has "legitimate legal challenges," the courts should deal with them as quickly and as fairly as possible.
"I'm aware of no legitimate claims of wrongdoing anywhere near the scale it would take to affect this outcome, and there's no credible third-party entity that's verified the president's claims in any way. Continuing to make these claims erodes trust in the system when in fact, the election system is working exactly as it was designed to do."

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said, "Most people realize that this election is over. It's really dangerous, I think, in the middle of this pandemic, this economic collapse, people dying across the country, to not know if we're going to have a transition."

  • Hogan questioned how long the "crazy" situation of stalling the transfer of power to President-elect Joe Biden would go on for "with no seamless package getting done, with no additional virus relief."
  • He added the delay was "a mistake for the country, it's a mistake for the Republican Party and, especially as we have the senate hanging in the balance in two runoff elections in Georgia, doing anything to tarnish the brand and ... cost us votes is a pretty, pretty significant thing."

Worth noting: Neither Baker nor Hogan voted for Trump in the presidential election, with the Maryland governor saying he would cast a write-in vote for the late President Reagan.

Go deeper