Former Republican Arkansas governor and frequent Donald Trump critic Asa Hutchinson announced Sunday that he is running for president in 2024.
His will unmistakably be an uphill climb as he appears to be running with the sole intent of being a counterpoint to the popular former president.
Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” the candidate expressed his belief that “people want leaders that want the best of America.” He said that voters do not want leaders “who appeal to their worst instincts.”
Hutchinson left office in January after eight years in the governor’s mansion. He recently called the 45th president’s entry into the 2024 race the “worst scenario” for the GOP and claimed that Trump’s third try at the White House will probably work in favor of President Joe Biden.
Limited by state law to two terms, Hutchinson joins a growing field of Republican contenders that only promises to get crowded in the near future. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy are already announced candidates.
BREAKING: Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he's running for president in 2024, offering himself as an alternative for Republicans ready to turn away from Donald Trump. Hutchinson, 72, left office in January after eight years as governor. https://t.co/OMsqNPzAHi
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 2, 2023
It is further expected that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will toss his hat into the ring by summer. Other possible candidates include former Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
It is hardly a shock that the longshot Hutchinson is now an announced candidate.
Late in his second term as governor, the Republican made multiple visits to Iowa. This was a clear signal that he was interested, and he called his reception in the state that traditionally kicks off the presidential nominating calendar “very welcoming.”
Democrats were quick to pounce on Hutchinson for his previous support for former President Trump.
DNC Chair Jaime Harrison quoted the former governor as praising the 45th president as “the kind of transparent, straight-talking leader America needs.” He blasted Hutchinson’s so-called “MAGA agenda,” which is how Democrats attempt to label every GOP candidate as an “extremist.”
But his Trump endorsement is yesterday’s news, and now candidate Hutchinson rallies against the man he once supported. When the indictment of the former president was handed down Thursday, the former Arkansas governor called on Trump to withdraw from the 2024 race.