ROCK, ARK. (AP) — Asa Hutchinsonwho recently completed two terms as governor of Arkansas, said Sunday he will seek the Republican presidential nomination, positioning himself as an alternative to Donald Trump. in the last few days after he was indicted by a grand jury in New York.
Hutchinson said Trump should drop out of the race, arguing that “the office is bigger than any one person.”
Hutchinson, who announced his candidacy on ABC’s “This Week,” said he’s running because “I believe it’s time for me to be the candidate for America, the country and the future.” He added: “I think people want leaders to appeal to the best parts of America and not simply appeal to our worst emotions.”
He is the first Republican to enter the race since Trump became the only former US president to ever face criminal charges. Hutchinson’s petition will prove the GOP’s appetite for those who speak out against Trump. Others who have criticized Trump include former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan voted against the campaignfeeling the difficulty of obtaining principally.
Hutchinson, in a press conference with the Associated Press after Sunday, said it is important to vote to have another leader and “not to simply go by default to someone who has been surrounded by reality in the past.”
“I don’t think you’re a threat. I think you’re honest and genuine, so I can offer what I want,” he said.
Trump’s signal has persisted in the Republican base, especially in the party, even those who consider him a challenger to the nomination and defended against impeachment in New York. Hutchinson had notably told Trump on Friday that he would “retire” after calling the charge a “distraction.”
In addition to Trump, Hutchinson joins a Republican field that also includes former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and entrepreneur Vivek Ci. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to jump into the race this summer, while US Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Vice President Mike Pence among them we must consider
“I think I’m going to express my beliefs and my vision for the country,” Hutchinson told the AP. “I think it was highlighted in the last week, how I handled Trump’s address, how I handled how we need to move forward as a party and as a country.”
The official announcement of the campaign will come on April 26 in Bentonville, his hometown, and also the home of Walmart headquarters. In the coming weeks, he will play in Iowa, Indiana and Kentucky.
He said he’s very competitive in places like Iowa, where campaigning involves “political networking” like chatting with potential voters over lunch. He also said he is financially competitive, although “it’s certainly not going to be on the level of the Donald Trumps of the world.”
Hutchinson, 72, left the post of governor in January after eight years. He called the criticism of the former president in recent months, another Trump presidential nomination “the worst” for Republicans and said the future will be President Joe Biden’s. guess 2014
The term-limited governor has been a political fixture in Arkansas since the 1980s, when the state was predominantly Democratic. A senior congressman, one of the House impeachment agents in the impeachment case against President Bill Clinton. was wearing.
Hutchinson served as President George W. Bush He was head of the Drug Enforcement Administration and undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
As president, Hutchinson advocated a series of tax cuts as the state’s budget surplus grew. He signed several abortion restrictions into law, including a ban on the process that took effect when the US Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade last year. But Hutchinson said he regretted that the measure did not contain exceptions for rape or incest.
Hutchinson earned the ire of Trump and social conservatives last year when he vetoed the legislation prohibiting gender-affirming medical care for children. Arkansas’ Republican-majority legislature intervened, Hutchinson intervened and enacted the ban, which was temporarily blocked by a federal judge.
Trump called Hutchinson a “RINO” — in name only a Republican — for the concession. Hutchinson’s successor, former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee, is a secretive SandersHe promised that he had signed the laws.
Upon taking office, she signed the law into law, intending to reinstate the current investment ban, making it easier for smaller providers of such care to apply.
Hutchinson, who endorsed Sanders and other restrictions on transgender youth into law, said Arkansas’ ban went too far and that he would have signed the measure if it had only focused on surgery.
Despite supporting Trump’s policies, Hutchinson has become increasingly critical of the former president’s rhetoric and lies surrounding the 2020 presidential election. He said Trump’s call to end parts of the Constitution to overturn the election would harm the country.
Hutchinson also criticized Trump for meeting leader Nick Fuentes with white-nation studio and rapper Yewho praised Adolf Hitler and spewed an antisemitic conspiracy theory. Hutchinson drew the meeting into his career as US attorney, who prosecuted white supremacists in Arkansas in the 1980s.
An opponent of the federal health care law, Hutchinson was supported by his role in maintaining the Arkansas version of Medicaid expansion. Opus, however, defended his claim that the law had been blocked by a federal judge.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Hutchinson tried to push back against misinformation about the virus with daily news interviews and a series of town halls he held around the state, which encouraged people to get vaccinated.
The president is known more for talking than for fiery speeches, often surrounded by papers and graphs in the Capitol to deliver the state of the nation message. Instead of reading fights on Twitter, read the Bible versions every Sunday morning.
Associate writer Michelle L. Price in New York contributed to this report.