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Politics

Hogan calls meeting with Obama productive

Gov.-elect Larry Hogan said Friday that his White House meeting with President Barack Obama along with six other newly elected governors had been a "very productive dialogue."

Speaking just outside the West Wing after meeting with the president for about 45 minutes, Hogan said he was very impressed with the administration team that took part in the daylong session with a bipartisan group that won statehouse races Nov. 4.

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"I'll agree that all of the problems that we face are not Republican problems or Democrat problems, and it's going to take bipartisan solutions and sitting down together, reaching across the aisle and trying to come up with common sense solutions," Hogan said. "And I think today was a good start in that direction."

Obama, who had campaigned for Hogan's Democratic opponent in the election, made a brief statement to reporters in the Oval Office with Republican Gov.-elect Greg Abbott of Texas seated next to him before the fireplace.

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Hogan, four other governors-elect and Alaska Gov. Bill Walker sat facing each other on the two couches flanking Obama and Abbott.

Obama said the new governors "represent a variety of states," but have "a common interest" in promoting economic opportunity for their people.

"That happens best when we work together," Obama said. "My main message to them is 'we're here to help.'"

Hogan was one of four newly elected Republicans to take part in the meeting. Besides Abbott, the others were Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and Bruce Rauner of Illinois. The Democrats who attended were Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania and Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island.

Walker, the only one to have been sworn in already, is an independent. Four of the nation's 11 incoming governors did not attend.

Vice President Joe Biden's office released a statement describing his lunch meeting with the seven. According to the statement, Biden stressed the importance of the federal and state governments acting as partners in infrastructure projects and workforce development.

michael.dresser@baltsun.com


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