Asa Hutchinson, a former governor of Arkansas, has announced that he would run for president in 2024, positioning himself as a viable alternative for Republicans seeking to distance themselves from Donald Trump.
In an interview with ABC’s “This Week” broadcast on Sunday, Hutchinson said, “I’m certain that Americans want leaders that want the best of America, not those who appeal to their darkest instincts.”
In April, he promised to make an official announcement in Arkansas.
Hutchinson declared, “I have made a decision, and I decided that I’m going to run for president of the United States.”
Hutchinson, 72, resigned in January after serving as governor for eight years. In recent months, he has intensified his criticism of the outgoing president, branding a second Trump nomination as the “worst situation” for Republicans and asserting that it would probably help President Joe Biden’s chances in 2024.
Hutchinson enters a GOP lineup that includes a former U.N. official and Trump. Vivek Ramaswamy, an entrepreneur and ambassador Nikki Haley.
Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, is anticipated to enter the campaign this summer, while the U.S. Among those thinking about running are South Carolina senator Tim Scott and former secretary of state Mike Pompeo.
Term-limited Hutchinson has been a mainstay in Arkansas politics since the 1980s when the state was essentially Democrat.
He was one of the House managers pursuing the impeachment case against President Bill Clinton and a former lawmaker.
Hutchinson headed the Drug Enforcement Administration under President George W. Bush and was a Department of Homeland Security, an undersecretary.
As the state’s budget surpluses increased, Hutchinson promoted several income tax reductions as governor.
He ratified various abortion restrictions, including one that outlawed the practice when the U.S. Last year, the Supreme Court invalidated Roe v. Wade. On the other hand, Hutchinson expressed sorrow that the law did not make an exception for rape or incest.
Hutchinson offended Trump and social conservatives last year by vetoing a bill that would have prohibited children from receiving gender-affirming medical care.
The prohibition was passed by Arkansas’ majority-Republican legislature after Hutchinson’s veto was overridden, though a federal court has temporarily stopped it.
For the veto, Trump referred to Hutchinson as a “RINO” – a Republican In Name Only. Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who took over for Hutchinson, has stated that she would have signed the bill.
Hutchinson claimed the Arkansas prohibition went too far and that he would have signed the act if it had solely focused on surgery.
Hutchinson also signed other limitations on transgender youth into law.
Hutchinson has backed Trump’s initiatives but has grown more skeptical of the former president’s bluster and fabrications regarding the 2020 race.
According to him, Trump’s desire to amend the Constitution to overturn the election did harm the nation.
Hutchinson slammed Trump for meeting with the anti-Semitic rapper Ye and white nationalist leader Nick Fuentes, who both have praised Adolf Hitler.
Hutchinson has contrasted the meeting with his history as a U.S. attorney who prosecuted white supremacists in the 1980s in Arkansas.
Hutchinson opposed the federal healthcare reform and supported preserving Arkansas’ Medicaid expansion after becoming office.
Nonetheless, he kept a law work requiring that a federal judge ban it.
Hutchinson attempted to combat false information about the virus during the COVID-19 pandemic by holding daily news conferences and town halls nationwide to urge people to get immunized.
When Hutchinson scheduled eight executions within two weeks in 2017, just before one of the state’s lethal injection medicines was slated to expire, he outraged opponents of the capital sentence.
Four of the executions were ultimately carried out by the state.
At his news conferences at the state Capitol, the former governor was frequently backed by charts and graphs, and his policy discussions were more well-known than his vehement remarks.
Every Sunday morning, he tweets out Bible scriptures rather than engaging in Twitter arguments.
EXCLUSIVE: Former GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson announces during an interview with @JonKarl that he will be running for president.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) April 2, 2023