Former Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson announces White House bid


Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has announced that he will run for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, challenging former President Donald Trump, who remains the front-runner despite pending criminal charges.

“I’m convinced that people want leaders to appeal to the best parts of America, and not simply to our worst instincts,” Hutchinson, 72, said in an interview. ABC New on Sunday, noting that a formal announcement would come later this month in his hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas.

The GOP primary field is still in its infancy. Trump announced a third presidential campaign last year, when Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina and US ambassador to the United Nations, became the first major rival to challenge him when she announced in February. Several other Republicans, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former Vice President Mike Pence are making moves suggesting they are considering presidential bids.

-Source: CNN
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Ex-GOP governor calls Trump’s vote at CPAC ‘annoying’

Hutchinson doubled down on his announcement by calling for Trump to drop out of the race now that the former president is facing criminal charges.

“The office is bigger than any one person.” So I think the job of the presidency is too much of a side hustle and too much of a distraction,” Hutchinson said. “He is apt to concentrate on his own time.”

Asked why he wouldn’t join the chorus of Republicans attacking Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to indict Trump, Hutchinson said that while he disagreed with Bragg’s decision, “We don’t want to destroy confidence in our entire criminal justice system simply because we don’t like the principles of the case.”

Comparing himself to those critics, Hutchinson declared, “I am different.”

The president previewed his voting pitch, arguing that the uncertainty swirling around Trump, along with the substance of the allegations against him in multiple jurisdictions, “Americans should stop.”

And he argued that he was going to send a campaign to the dog.

“This is the worst political environment I’ve ever seen in my life,” Hutchinson said. “So my message of experience, consistent conservatism, hope for our future and solving the problems that face Americans, I think resonates.”

Hutchinson ended his tenure as governor of Arkansas in early January, stopping him from seeking a third term but freeing him to pursue an invitation to the White House.

On his last day in office, he went to Iowa, the first popular contest of the 2024 calendar, and since he has announced the visits of other decisive early voters. A frequent critic of Trump, he has hinted at a potential presidential run for months, with repeated demands for a new direction for the GOP.

“I think there are more voices now in the opposition, or the alternative to Donald Trump getting the best on the right,” Hutchinson told CNN’s Dana Bash last month.

After Trump’s indictment by a Manhattan grand jury last week, Hutchinson was the rare Republican to drop the former president from the 2024 race, telling CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Friday that the case was “a big distraction.”

Some Republican strategists say the crowded 2024 primary field will be beneficial to Trump, who still enjoys significant support within the party, and could shore up the anti-Trump vote, allowing the former president to walk away with the nomination.

But Hutchinson has repeatedly stated that a large field early in the competition is the last good part.

“In the early stages, many candidates who have an alternative vision that the president is good for our party, good for the debate, will be good for the debate coming up in August,” Hutchinson told reporters last month.

“So, certainly, it’s going to be narrow, and it’s probably going to be narrow pretty quickly. We need a lot of self-evaluation coming in, but I think there are more voices now that just provide ways of reporting and problem solving and good ideas on our part,” he added.

Although not widely known nationally, Hutchinson has had an extensive career in government – previously as a federal prosecutor, member of Congress, and in the George W. Bush administration, all before the 2014 presidential election.

As president, Hutchinson oversaw the proposal of tax cuts and legislation that came close to banning abortion once Roe, v. Wade was overthrown, and computer science education was expanded in schools overhauled state Medicaid expansion program.

-Source: CNN
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blushing Hutchinson split

Bash asks the GOP governor why he signed a bill that would force kidnapping victims to bring their children to the border

During his tenure, he occasionally clashed with the Republican-controlled legislature, including when he vetoed a bill in 2021 that would have banned sex-affirming treatment for anyone under the age of 18. Explaining his veto, Hutchinson’s bill “circumvents a great deal of government.” The Legislature’s veto is over.

In the same year, he signed a ban on abortion, but said he would prefer if the bill was reserved for reasons of rape or incest.

In what may set him apart from other Republican candidates for president, Hutchinson has hit the US with the coronavirus pandemic. He urged his constituents to get the vaccine but refused the Biden administration’s mandate to get the vaccine. While he approved a public ban against private orders, he later said he regretted doing so.

Born and raised in Arkansas, Hutchinson received an accounting degree from Bob Jones University in South Carolina and graduated from the University of Arkansas School of Law.

President Ronald Reagan tapped him to be the US attorney for the Western District of Arkansas in 1982, making him the youngest federal prosecutor at the time at 31. He served in that role until 1985, when he gained prominence. It is dangerous to report a white supremacist group when he puts on a woolen vest, he ends up directing the group to help the FBI.

Having lost bids for the US Senate in 1986 and for Arkansas attorney general in 1990, Hutchison was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1996 from the state’s 3rd Congressional District. He was succeeded by his brother Tim, who was elected to the Senate.

In the House, Hutchinson was one of the GOP lawmakers behind the 1999 impeachment trial of fellow Arkansan Bill Clinton, making the case that the Democratic president had committed perjury and obstruction of justice. Clinton was ultimately acquitted by the Senate on both counts of impeachment.

Hutchinson resigned from Congress in 2001 to serve as head of the Bush Administration’s Medical Enforcement Administration. In 2003, he began a three-year stint at the Department of Homeland Security, serving as undersecretary for border and transportation.

Hutchinson lost his bid for governor of Arkansas in 2006. After the 2012 shooting massacre at Sandy Hook High School in Newtown, Connecticut, he was established by the National Rifle Association to investigate how to protect schools and how to improve that part of the school gun lobby’s safety initiative. In 2014, he won his first two terms as governor of Arkansas, as the state continued to move to the right.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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Ava Grey

Hi there! I'm Ava Grey, an enthusiastic article writer with a passion for the arts, fashion, and staying informed about current events. As a journalism student at the New York Academy of Art, I'm driven to use my writing to create positive change and spark meaningful conversations. I'm particularly interested in contemporary art and sustainable fashion, and I love exploring how people use these mediums to express themselves and communicate their values. I believe that staying informed and hearing different perspectives is essential for personal growth and learning, and I'm always eager to engage in lively debates and discussions.

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