Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, who vetoed a ban on trans surgeries for children, is launching a bid for the GOP presidential nomination.
Speaking to ABC’s Jonathan Karl, Hutchinson, who was succeeded in his role by former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in January, confirmed that he would be running for president in 2024, throwing his hat into the ring in an increasingly crowded field.
“I’ve travelled 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,” Hutchinson said, adding that an official announcement would take place in Arkansas sometime later this month.
The presidential bid from Hutchinson was not well received by many conservatives online, pointing to his record in his former elected offices of governor and representative in the House, including being weak on China, and his 2021 veto of a law designed to protect children.
HB1570 aimed to prevent underage children from receiving life-change hormone treatment and “gender reassignment surgery,” but Hutchinson vetoed it because it would’ve created “new standards of legislative interference with physicians and parents as they deal with some of the most complex and sensitive matters involving young people.”
He slammed the bill as nothing but a product of a “culture war,” and that it was a “vast overreach.” The veto was overridden by the Republican majority, but the legislation was later blocked by judges.
On Friday, Hutchinson told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that following his indictment by the Soros-funded Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, that 45th President Donald Trump should drop out of the 2024 race, claiming his case was a “big distraction.”
“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,” Hutchinson reiterated to Karl on Sunday.
“I’ve always said that people don’t have to step aside from public office if they’re under investigation, but if it reaches the point of criminal charges that have to be answered, the office is always more important than a person,” he added.
When asked whether he trusted the process in New York, Hutchinson claimed that it was “important” that the grand jury supposedly found “probable cause,” and that conservatives shouldn’t “erode confidence in our entire criminal justice system” by questioning what many see as political persecution.
“There are a lot of Republicans attacking that judicial system and that legal system right now,” Karl said. “And I’m different,” Hutchinson answered. He noted that when combining the investigation into Trump in New York, with the case in Georgia over alleged election interference, and the investigation into classified document mishandling, Americans should give “pause.”
Karl asked Hutchinson directly whether he would support Trump if he were the eventual Republican nominee, to which he replied that he didn’t believe Trump “should be the next leader of our country.”
Jenna Ellis, the former Trump attorney, said that Hutchinson’s comments were the “most idiotic… from any so-called Republican so far” on the indictment. “That would only encourage MORE politically-motivated prosecutions of political opponents. Let the voters decide,” she added.
This news and commentary by Jack Hadfield originally appeared on Valiant News.