Maryland Gov. Wes Moore needles the GOP presidential contenders over the 'divisive' worldview offered in their first debate: 'I'm just not sure who they're actually speaking to'

  • Gov. Wes Moore questioned who the GOP contenders spoke to in their first presidential debate.

  • "I'm not hearing the conversations about national abortion bans," he said of his own constituents.

  • During an interview with Insider this summer, Moore spoke of the need to defy partisan divides.

Gov. Wes Moore of Maryland criticized the tenor of the first Republican presidential debate, arguing that the contenders were not speaking to the everyday concerns of most Americans.

During a Thursday appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Moore, who was first elected to office last November, said that the GOP candidates had not focused on addressing concerns that resonate with most Americans, but instead spent time debating more polarizing issues.

"We watched eight people on the stage talk about things like national abortion bans," the governor said. "We watched eight people on stage talking about how much they would want to cut Medicaid and Social Security. We watched eight people obviously say that law and order doesn't matter. Because convictions to them wouldn't matter."

Moore then said that when he travels throughout Maryland, the issues he hears from people aren't aligned with what the GOP presidential contenders offered Americans this week, regardless of their political affiliation.

"I don't care what part of the state of Maryland I'm going to — in Democratic areas or traditionally historically voting Republican areas — what they were saying was not speaking to them," he said.

"I'm not hearing the conversations about national abortion bans," he continued. "I'm not hearing conversations about 'Is climate change a hoax?' when 70% of my state is water-lined and waterlogged areas, and we see the impacts of this every single day. So they just weren't speaking to the people of my state, or frankly, I'm just not sure who they're actually speaking to."

This isn't the first time that Moore has spoken about the need to defy ideological divides on major issues.

During an interview with Moore conducted in his office at the Maryland State House in late June, he told Insider that people were "exhausted" from the partisan rancor that has come to define much of American politics.

On the very same day that Moore spoke with Insider in the capital city of Annapolis, he had just come from Cecil County, a GOP stronghold that borders both Delaware and Pennsylvania. Some people might wonder what a Democratic governor would hope to accomplish by visiting a jurisdiction like Cecil, where Moore earned 36% of the vote last fall despite winning statewide with nearly 65% of the vote.

But to Moore, there was a greater meaning in his appearance that day.

"I did not win Cecil County, but one thing that people continue to comment every time we go to these areas is not just an appreciation for showing up — not just more than many Democrats — but we're showing up more than many governors have ever showed up to a lot of these areas," he told Insider.

"But the political divisiveness is something that I'm hearing all across the state, too," he continued. "I think people are exhausted and I think people are tired. I think people continue to get their information from the Beltway that there's almost this inability to be able to reach a measure of compromise on getting things done."

Read the original article on Business Insider