Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announces 2024 presidential bid

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announces 2024 presidential bid

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Arkansas will end enhanced unemployment benefits June 26.

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is running for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, he announced Sunday.

“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,” he told ABC’s “This Week.”

Hutchinson said he thinks his experience, messaging and hope for the future will resonate with Americans. He plans to campaign and “be everywhere” once he makes the formal announcement about his presidential bid later this month, he said.

Former President Donald Trump is also vying for the presidency in 2024. A New York grand jury voted Thursday to indict Trump in connection with a $130,000 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election, and Hutchinson said he thinks the indictment is cause for Trump to drop out of the race.

Trump’s indictment marked a “sad day for America,” Hutchinson said, but it is also a “great distraction.” He said it is important to maintain the integrity of public office, so Trump should concentrate on his due process.

“I do believe if we’re looking at the presidency and the future of our country, then we don’t need that distraction and he needs to be able to concentrate on the legal issues that he faces,” he said.

Hutchinson served as governor of Arkansas since 2015, and he has been positioning himself as an alternative to Trump. His successor, Trump’s former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, was sworn in on Jan. 10, which freed him up to pursue a shot at the presidency.

Since Trump’s indictment Thursday, Hutchinson has been firm about his calls for Trump to drop out of the primary. Hutchinson shared a statement on Twitter that said Trump “should not be the next president,” and he echoed that sentiment in an interview with NPR Saturday before reiterating it again on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday.

Hutchinson has also acted as undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security and director of the Drug Enforcement Administration. He was also a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas.

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