Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Wednesday that he won’t support a national abortion ban, his first comments on the hot political issue since he announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate.

“I’m personally not a proponent of abortion, but I said I’m not going to take away that right for others to make that decision for themselves,” Hogan told CNN’s Dana Bash.

Hogan slammed what he said are “tired attacks” from Democrats on his position on abortion. Democrats have alleged that Hogan would fall in step with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who recruited Hogan to run and has pushed for a national ban.

Hogan said he supports states passing reasonable restrictions and described his stance as balanced.

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He also repeated his opinion that it’s not necessary to enshrine reproductive choice in the state’s constitution, a decision that will be before voters on the ballot this fall.

“I understand why this is such an important and emotional issue for women across Maryland and across the country,” Hogan said. “I already took a position on this bill. I said it wasn’t really necessary. There’s no threat to the protection of these rights in Maryland, where it’s already a law. Voters have already weighed in on it. It’s settled law.”

Hogan suggested that Democrats put the constitutional amendment on the ballot “to make it a political issue.”

The ex-governor’s remarks were immediately met with fire from the Democrats running for Senate, as well as from current Gov. Wes Moore, a Democrat.

“Anyone who thinks that there is no threat to women’s reproductive rights and abortion access is delusional,” Moore said in a statement to The Baltimore Banner.

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“We saw the Supreme Court dismantle decades of precedent overnight, and Republicans continue to roll back these protections and stand by as women’s reproductive rights are attacked across the country,” Moore said.

Moore noted that on his first full day in office, he released $3.5 million in state funding to train medical providers in abortion care — money that lawmakers set aside but Hogan declined to spend.

Hogan was not asked during the interview about whether positions on abortion would be a factor in confirming Supreme Court justices, or about his decision to veto a Maryland bill to expand which medical providers can offer abortion care. State lawmakers overturned that veto.

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Hogan’s interview on CNN was his first since declaring his run for Senate last Friday. He’s scheduled to appear on WBAL Radio on Thursday morning.

Hogan’s team has not made him available yet for an interview with The Baltimore Banner.

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Hogan told Bash that he never gave much consideration to running for U.S. Congress — until a bipartisan immigration deal broke down last week on the Senate floor.

“I made this decision a week ago,” Hogan said.

U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, a Democrat who has held the seat since 2007, is retiring.

“Who in their right mind would want to go in and be a part of that divisiveness and dysfunction,” Hogan said. “I’m only doing it because I think I have a unique voice and perspective and I’m very concerned that the country is off on the wrong track.”

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Republican leaders have said they’re optimistic about Hogan’s campaign and the chance it offers them to flip a seat in Congress long held by Democrats. Senate minority leader McConnell of Kentucky and Sen. Steve Daines of Montana, who leads the National Republican Senatorial Committee, reportedly worked to persuade the former governor to run.

Hogan’s remarks came one day after Democrats managed to snap up the House seat once held by former Rep. George Santos, a Republican, who was expelled from the body in December. Democrat Tom Suozzi defeated his Republican opponent Mazi Pilip in the closely watched special election for New York’s 3rd Congressional District. Suozzi’s win is significant in an election year when Democrats hope to retake a majority of seats in Congress.

Hogan referred to Santos’ congressional rise and fall as a disaster, but declined to opine about what the win by Suozzi, who previously held the seat for six years, means for the Republican Party long term. He pointed to his own approval rating as a conservative governor in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans two to one.

Still, political analysts say Hogan faces an uphill in a state that has not elected a Republican to the U.S. Senate since 1980.

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Hogan is not likely to get much support in the coming months from former President Donald Trump, who is also campaigning to appear on the ballot this fall. The former governor notably broke with members of his own party at times to criticize Trump.

Hogan told Bash he wasn’t afraid of standing up to people in both parties and said he’s focused on finding middle ground in a deeply divided Washington.

“Somebody has to step up and try to do something about it,” he said.

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