Election /

Asa Hutchinson Formally Enters 2024 Presidential Race

'It is time to bring out the best of America,' said the former governor of Arkansas

Former Governor of Arkansas Asa Hutchinson formally launched his bid to be the 2024 Republican presidential nominee.

The former federal attorney described himself as a “consistent conservative”  while speaking from a podium with a sign reading “For America’s Best.”

“I ran as a conservative Republican when being a Republican was like having a career-ending handicap,” said Hutchinson at his April 26 event in Bentonville, his hometown and the original location of Walmart. “And now, I bring that same vigor to fight another battle, and that battle is for the future of our country and the soul of our party.”

Hutchinson said he stands alone “in terms of my experience, record, and leadership.” 

“From Congress to DEA to Homeland Security, I have served our country in times of crisis,” Hutchinson said. “As governor of Arkansas, we cut taxes and created record surpluses.”

In addition to his work with state and federal governments, Hutchinson served on a National Rifle Association task force analyzing school safety following the 2013 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. He recommended putting an armed guard at every school in the country.

Hutchinson left the governorship in 2023 due to term limits. 

As he concluded his tenure as governor earlier this year, Hutchinson made back-to-back trips to Iowa, the state that for a half century has kicked off the presidential nominating calendar,” reports Fox News. “And he’s returned to Iowa a handful of times the past couple of months. He’s also made visits over the past year to New Hampshire and South Carolina, which vote second and third in the GOP primary order.” 

Hutchinson had been a rumored contender for the Republican presidential nomination for several years. He told CNN in May of 2022 that former President Donald Trump’s decision to run would not impact his decision to enter the race.

I think we ought to have a different direction in the future. I’m not aligned with him on some of his endorsements and also the direction he wants to take our country,” Hutchinson said during the interview, per Breitbart. “I think we did a lot of good things for our country, but we need to go a different direction. So, that’s not a factor in my decision-making process.”

Hutchinson told ABC News on April 2 that he intended to enter the Republican presidential race. He joins former governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, talk radio host Larry Elder and Trump, who announced his campaign in November

South Carolina Senator Tim Scott launched an exploratory committee but has not formally entered the Republican race. Former Vice President Mike Pence and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis have not publicly revealed their plans for 2024. 

Hutchinson’s formal announcement was preceded by President Joe Biden’s long-awaited announcement that he is seeking reelection in 2024.

“The question we are facing is whether in the years ahead we have more freedom or less freedom. More rights or fewer,” Biden said in a pre-recorded video that was shared online on April 25.”This is not a time to be complacent. That’s why I’m running for reelection.”

In his speech, Hutchinson described Biden’s leadership as damaging and stressed the need for new leadership moving forward.

“I am confident we will even survive through the destructive policies of the Biden administration, but the time for change is now,” said Hutchinson, per AP News. “It is time to bring out the best of America.”

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