Asa Hutchinson, a former governor of Arkansas, declared his intention to run for president on Sunday. In Bentonville, Arkansas, later this month, Hutchinson will make a formal statement, he added.
Hutchinson is joining the GOP primary at a contentious time in the race, as the current front-runner, former President Donald Trump, is being investigated for paying porn star Stormy Daniels hush money during his 2016 campaign for president.
“I will be exercising. “I believe I can be that kind of leader for the people of America,” Hutchinson said in an interview with Jonathan Karl on ABC’s “This Week.” “And the reason, as I’ve traveled 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 just appeal to our worst instincts,” Hutchinson said.
Former federal prosecutor Hutchinson called again on Sunday for Trump to drop out of the election, as he had done on Friday.
Hutchinson responded, “Yeah, he should,” when asked if Trump ought to get out of the race. “Yet at the same time, we are aware that he won’t. Moreover, there is no constitutional necessity.
Hutchinson said that the former president should concentrate on his defense rather than making a second run for the presidency because the indictment would turn into too much of a “sideshow.”
“First of all, the position is more significant than any one person. Accordingly, I do think that’s too much of a sideshow and distraction for the sake of the office of the presidency, and he needs to be able to focus on his due process,” Hutchinson said, acknowledging that the former president should be treated as innocent until proven guilty of the charges, which the Manhattan District Attorney’s office has yet to publicly announce.
Hutchinson has entered what is anticipated to be a heated Republican primary. Together with Trump, conservative businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley have started their own campaigns, while a number of others have indicated that they are considering entering the race.
Hutchinson is the only actual or potential candidate to date to urge Trump to withdraw from the race. Others have denounced the inquiry as being conducted as a partisan attack by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who presented the matter before the grand jury. Former Vice President Mike Pence termed the indictment “an atrocity,” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis branded the action “un-American,” and Haley said the case was more about “revenge” than justice.
Hutchinson has also criticized the situation. From what I’ve seen coming out of New York, I don’t like the idea of the accusations, he remarked on Sunday. Nonetheless, the procedure must be followed, and we must respect both the presidency and our criminal justice system.