Sign In  |  Register  |  About Menlo Park  |  Contact Us

Menlo Park, CA
September 01, 2020 1:28pm
7-Day Forecast | Traffic
  • Search Hotels in Menlo Park

  • CHECK-IN:
  • CHECK-OUT:
  • ROOMS:

Asa Hutchinson takes different tack on Trump indictment than other 2024 GOP rivals

Republican presidential candidate Asa Hutchinson, the former Arkansas governor, weighs in on Donald Trump and his own 2024 presidential campaign in an interview with Fox News Digital.

Unlike his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination, Asa Hutchinson is urging former President Donald Trump to drop out of the 2024 race and deal with his mounting legal issues.

That's advice the former president isn’t taking.

"Obviously that’s his choice and he’s not going to do it. That’s his right," Hutchinson said Monday in a Fox News Digital interview.

Hutchinson emphasized his view that "the office of the presidency is more important than any one person," and that while Trump has "the presumption of innocence… what he faces is very distracting."

TRUMP'S 2024 GOP RIVALS REACT TO THE FORMER PRESIDENT'S INDICTMENT: 'POLITICALLY MOTIVATED'

But Hutchinson, a former two-term Arkansas governor who announced on Sunday that he’s launching a GOP presidential campaign and that he’ll formally declare his candidacy at an event in his home state later this month, said, "I fully expect him [Trump] to be in the mix as a candidate through all the primaries and the voters are going to have a decision to make."

Trump, who’s the early front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination as he runs a third time for the White House, is scheduled in court to answer to an indictment by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, making him the first former president in U.S. history to be charged with a crime.

Trump is expected to be arraigned Tuesday for allegedly giving hush money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in 2016 to keep her quiet ahead of that year’s presidential election over her claims she had sexual encounters years earlier with Trump. The former president denies sleeping with Daniels and denies falsifying business records to keep the payment concealed.

WHO'S IN AND WHO'S ON THE SIDELINES — YOUR GUIDE TO THE 2024 GOP PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION RACE

Hutchinson says he’s a bit surprised that other actual or potential 2024 GOP contenders haven’t been as vocal in calling for Trump to drop out.

"A little bit of surprise because people need to be clear. If you’re going to run for the nomination, you’re running against Donald Trump and you have to define the differences and you have to be clear in your view on it. That’s what I’ve tried to do, and I think the voters are entitled to that," Hutchinson said. "To me, it’s not a hard question. When you look at what’s good for the country and our party, we need a change in leadership. That’s what I’m fighting for, and I think that’s what others believe fundamentally, but we need to say it."

But Hutchinson says he’s not surprised that Trump appears to be enjoying a polling and fundraising bump.

"There’s a lot of loyalty to the former president. They [Republicans] believe he is being unfairly targeted. I’m not surprised by that," said Hutchinson.

"I myself don’t like the approach of the district attorney in New York, but I do understand that we have a criminal justice system that has to work, and we just have to let the process work," Hutchinson said in an interview Monday with Fox News Digital.

The conservative former governor, who’s a vocal GOP Trump critic, emphasized that when it comes to Republican voters, "Everybody knows Donald Trump. There’s not going to be any surprises with him. They know that you’re going to get a lot of chaos. You’re going to get a lot of confusion. You’re going to get a lot of ‘I’m the victim’ and that’s a given."

LONGSHOT POTENTIAL 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE ASA HUTCHINSON GETS HELP FROM SUPER PAC

A former federal attorney turned two-term congressman who served as Drug Enforcement Administration administrator and Department of Homeland Security undersecretary under President George W. Bush, Hutchinson says his track record in public service has proven him a "consistent conservative."

Hutchinson, who steered the National Governors Association last year, had been mulling a 2024 White House run for months. He told Fox News Digital interview last summer that he wanted a role in helping to shape the future of the GOP and "that might lead to a presidential campaign down the road." 

Hutchinson left office in Arkansas in January due to term limits, and was succeeded by Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary during the Trump administration and the daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. 

CLICK HERE FOR LIVE FOX NEWS UPDATES ON THE TRUMP INDICTMENT

As he concluded his tenure as governor, Hutchinson made back-to-back trips to Iowa, the state that leads off the GOP presidential nominating calendar. He’s also made visits over the past year to New Hampshire and South Carolina, which vote second and third in the Republican primary and caucus schedule.

But he’s been spending plenty of time the past couple of months in Iowa, with his most recent trip coming last week.

THIS GROUP IS AIMING TO HELP ASA HUTCHINSON IN 2024

"I think Iowa is important," he told Fox News. "I like Iowa. I think it’s a fit. I love the people there and the response that I get. We intend to compete in Iowa. But that doesn’t mean we’re not going to compete in New Hampshire and South Carolina." 

Hutchinson is currently polling at just 1% in the latest Fox News poll in the GOP presidential nomination race. But the early voting states emphasize candidate-to-voter retail style politics, which could benefit a contender like Hutchinson, who likely won’t have the name recognition and war chests of actual or potential 2024 rivals like Trump or Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. 

In his announcement on Sunday, Hutchinson said he’s "convinced that the American people want leaders that appeal to the best of America and who do not simply appeal to our worst instincts and that inspires me."

But asked by Fox News if GOP presidential primary voters will be receptive to his positive conservative message, Hutchinson said, "We’re going to see. But I believe people are tired of looking back, and chaos and frustration, and they want that optimism about our future."

"To me that’s exciting to have that debate," he emphasized.

Longtime Republican consultant Ryan Williams noted that the 72-year-old Hutchinson "has a long record in public service, serving in the both the House and executive branch of the federal government and as a governor. He can run a campaign on being a competent executive, serving our country in Congress and in the Department of Homeland Security."

But Ryan, a veteran of multiple GOP presidential campaigns, said, "Unfortunately for Hutchinson, the base of the party that turns out in primaries doesn’t really value experience. He’s not particularly exciting and he doesn’t really stand out for any one thing in particular in a crowded field of candidates… He’s someone who’s been around politics for a long time and his time is likely behind him at this point."

Data & News supplied by www.cloudquote.io
Stock quotes supplied by Barchart
Quotes delayed at least 20 minutes.
By accessing this page, you agree to the following
Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.
 
 
Copyright © 2010-2020 MenloPark.com & California Media Partners, LLC. All rights reserved.