Former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson announced his candidacy for the 2024 Republican nomination for president over the weekend and spent most of his time taking pot shots at Donald Trump so the liberals at ABC would pay attention to him.
Hutchinson, who brings as much positive energy to this race as a goth kid at Chuck E. Cheese, sat down with “This Week” host Jonathan Karl on Sunday to discuss why he made his decision.
“And the reason is,” he explained, “I’ve traveled the country for six months, I hear people talk about the leadership of our country. I’m convinced that people want leaders that appeal to the best of America, and not simply appeal to our worst instincts.”
The former governor, who will be kicking off his official campaign tour in Bentonville, Arkansas later in April, also added that he hopes to bring “optimism, common sense” and “consistent conservatism” to the White House.
EXCLUSIVE: Former GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson announces during an interview with @JonKarl that he will be running for president.
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) April 2, 2023
Never Trump 3.0: As Annoying as You Remember
If you’re a millennial like I am, Asa Hutchinson is probably giving you dark flashbacks of George W. Bush. A southern conservative with an establishment streak who uses buzzwords like “common sense.” We all remember how those eight years went. Much like Bush these days, Hutchinson has also made it clear he is no fan of Trump.
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When asked by Karl whether or not the former POTUS should drop out of the primary to allow a new Republican to face Biden in the general election, Hutchinson firmly said yes.
“I mean, first of all, the office is more important than any individual person. And so for the sake of the office of the presidency, I do think that’s too much of a sideshow and distraction and he needs to be able to concentrate on his due process and there is a presumption of innocence.”
Hutchinson was obviously referring to the bogus and entirely-politically motivated indictment of Trump by a Soros-backed New York prosecutor. The thing is though, we’ve heard this whole song and dance before by Never Trump Republicans who genuinely never gave Trump a chance to begin with.
It may feel like a million years ago, but the 2016 race was entirely about Republicans accusing him of being too controversial and not serious enough. Most of those same Republicans would also go on to kiss his feet in 2017 after he was inaugurated and then beg for his endorsement in later elections if they weren’t already sitting comfortably in a new role within the administration.
Well, most Republicans except Carly Fiorina, who didn’t get a job in the Trump White House and later went on to endorse Joe Biden in 2020 out of undeniable spite.
The 2020 Republican primary was really no different. Oh, don’t remember that one? It’s OK since nobody but the few who ran campaigns against Trump last time remember that actually happened. Former Republican congressman turned left-wing parrot Joe Walsh, former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford (who found his way back from ‘hiking the Appalachian trail’), and ‘liberal-tarian’ former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld all attempted to primary Trump in 2020 by name calling and bringing up dead scandals.
This attempt by the three to challenge Trump was barely a blip on the political radar.
Either way, calling Trump names and bringing up his indiscretions doesn’t work. One could argue in 2020 that contributed to his loss against Biden, but did it really? If it was that bad, why is Trump still the leading GOP candidate in every poll and survey conducted among conservatives?
Let Them Take Him
There’s an infamous scene in “The Walking Dead” season 2 where one of the characters, Shane, shoots an ally in the leg while they’re both being chased by zombies so he can save himself while the zombies eat his friend. Hutchinson saying Trump should drop out while dealing with the New York investigation kind of hits the same way, especially since none of the other GOP candidates have even stooped that low.
Former Ambassador Nikki Haley, not necessarily a fan of her old boss, had the integrity to call out the indictment as “revenge” and for “political points.” Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy also stated that this indictment would become a “national disaster.”
“I know there’s going to be some that say I should be tougher on the prosecutor, I should be tougher on the unfairness of this. I’ve expressed my view that I wouldn’t bring those charges if I was a prosecutor. But let’s let the system work. And what I don’t want to do as a leader is undermine everything that is good about America, which is our criminal justice system,” Ramaswamy railed.
While Hutchinson said in the interview that Trump is “entitled to the presumption of innocence,” he also said that Trump should have been disqualified over the events of January 6th, so anyone thinking he wouldn’t say anything to try and convince people not to support Trump should probably find another excuse.
In his own words, he had already said he’d “do everything” to make sure Trump wasn’t the nominee in 2024.
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