Asa Hutchinson announces 2024 presidential bid, calls for Trump to withdraw

Asa Hutchinson
FILE – Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson responding during an interview with the Associated Press, Dec. 13, 2022 in Washington. Former Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson have all acknowledged they’re each considering a presidential campaign, have been making visits to states that will vote first on the party’s presidential nominee next year, and have had discussions with political operatives about job openings. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File) Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Asa Hutchinson announces 2024 presidential bid, calls for Trump to withdraw

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Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) announced Sunday that he is running for president in 2024.

The former Republican governor, and frequent critic of former President Donald Trump, took aim at the GOP front-runner in his announcement, both indirectly and directly.

DONALD TRUMP INDICTED: ASA HUTCHINSON URGES EX-PRESIDENT TO DROP OUT OF 2024 RACE

“I have made a decision, and my decision is that I’m going to run for president of the United States,” Hutchinson, 72, said in an interview with Jonathan Karl on ABC’s This Week, adding that he will make his formal announcement later in the month.

“I am going to be running. And the reason, as I’ve traveled the country for six months, I hear people talk about the leadership of our country, and I’m convinced that people want leaders that appeal to the best of America, and not simply appeal to our worst instincts,” he continued. “I believe I can be that kind of leader for the people of America.”

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He reiterated his call for Trump to withdraw from the 2024 presidential race in light of his indictment, though he acknowledged that is unlikely for the former president to do so.

“Well he should,” Hutchinson said when asked whether Trump should withdraw his candidacy over the indictment. “But at the same time, we know he’s not [going to]. And there’s not any constitutional requirement.”

Hutchinson is one of the few major Republicans to break ranks to continue to denounce Trump amid his indictment, which has rallied GOP support.

“I don’t like the idea of the charges from what I’ve seen coming out of New York,” he said Sunday. “But the process has got to work, and we’ve got to have respect for our criminal justice system, but also for the office of the presidency.”

While Hutchinson is far behind Trump and DeSantis in the polls, he expressed confidence that he is capable of winning the nomination, due to the chaotic nature of the political scene, and adoption of retail politics.

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“Well, a lot of hard work and good messaging, but I’ve spent some time in Iowa and I love the response that I get there,” he responded when asked how he would break through. “And so, it’s still about retail politics in many of these states.”

He continued, “This is one of the most unpredictable political environments that I’ve seen in my lifetime. And so my message of experience, of consistent conservatism, of hope for our future and solving problems that face Americans, I think that that resonates. And so I want to campaign and whenever I make the final announcement, I’ll be everywhere, and I think it’s a plan that can work in this environment.”

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