Former Republican governor of Arkansas Asa Hutchinson has declared his candidacy for the GOP presidential primary in 2024 and has urged former President Donald Trump to withdraw from the campaign.
The revelation was made by Hutchinson, a vocal opponent of Trump, during an interview with Jonathan Karl of ABC’s “This Week” that aired on Sunday. Hutchinson visited Iowa last week, making it his third journey to the crucial state this year. He joins South Carolina’s Nikki Haley, another former Republican governor, in attempting to prevent Trump from securing the Republican nod once more.
Hutchinson declared, “I have come to a decision, and my decision is that I am going to run for president of the United States. And the reason is that after traveling the nation for six months, I’ve heard individuals complain about our nation’s leadership. People want leaders who represent the best of America, not just our worst impulses, I’m sure of that.”
Later this month, an official statement will be made in Bentonville, Arkansas, Hutchinson informed Karl. If chosen, he promised to bring “consistent conservatism,” optimism, and common sense to the job.
Hutchinson responded, “I do,” when asked if he believed former President Trump ought to withdraw from the contest.
Hutchinson said, “I mean, first of all, the office is more essential than any particular person. He needs to be able to focus on his due process because there is an assumption of innocence, and for the sake of the office of the administration, I do believe that is becoming too much of a sideshow and distraction.”
This contrasts with other confirmed Republican presidential contenders like businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and Haley. Ramaswamy cautioned that an indictment of Trump would result in a “national disaster,” while Haley claimed the indictment was solely intended to score “political points” and “revenge.”
Hutchinson clarified that he does not think contenders must withdraw during an inquiry, only when they are charged with a crime.
Former federal prosecutor Hutchinson, who stated after the prosecution’s news that Trump is “entitled to the presumption of innocence,” had previously urged the former leader to “step aside” in the event of an arrest. The former governor has also asserted in the past that Trump’s involvement in the January 6, 2021 scandal “disqualifies” him from receiving the Republican candidacy.
Regarding the arrest of Trump, Hutchinson said to Karl, “I know there will be some who say I should be harsher on the prosecution, I need to be harsher on the unfairness of this. I’ve stated my opinion that if I were a lawyer, I wouldn’t file those allegations. Let the mechanism operate, though. And as a leader, I don’t want to weaken the criminal justice system, which is one of the best things about America.”
Hutchinson promised “to do everything” in January to prevent Trump from winning the Republican primary.