WASHINGTON — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Sunday he is weighing a presidential run in 2024 and his decision won’t be affected by whether former President Donald Trump decides to join the race.
Hutchinson, a two-term Republican governor who is restricted under Arkansas law from seeking a third term, said it was time for the national GOP to move on from Trump in regards to the candidates he’s endorsing in 2022 as well as “the direction he wants to take our country.”
Asked on CNN’s “State of the Union” if he was mulling a presidential run, Hutchinson replied: “I am. But you have got to get through, of course, this year, but that’s an option that’s on the table.”
Making clear he was “not aligned” with Trump, Hutchinson added: “I think he did a lot of good things for our country, but we need to go a different direction. And so that’s not a factor in my decision-making process.”
Hutchinson in recent months has become a fixture on cable television — at times drawing the ire of Trump — in defending his veto of legislation targeting transgender youths in the state and warning fellow Republicans about tying their fortunes too closely to the former president. After the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, which led to Trump’s impeachment by the House, Hutchinson said he wanted Trump’s administration to end. He’s also made it clear since early 2021 that he would not back a Trump 2024 bid.
Trump is still the most beloved figure of Republican voters, who control primary elections. However, many GOP members are looking at presidential campaigns on platforms that oppose Trump. They include Governor Hutchinson. Larry Hogan from Maryland, Reps. Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney both of Illinois.
Florida governor is one of the other candidates who are considering running. Former Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Governor, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are all candidates who may be interested in running for the office. However, they were less open about what their plans would look like if Trump entered. Nikki Haley (former governor in South Carolina, and U.N. diplomat) has indicated that she would withdraw from any potential bid for Trump.
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