Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson is “very seriously” considering a 2024 presidential campaign, he told “CNN This Morning” on Thursday.
“Absolutely. I’m looking at it – looking at it very seriously. After the midterm elections, it’s more intense, and it’s an accelerated review, and after going to Iowa, I’m encouraged that a governor who’s actually solved problems, who has a conservative common sense approach, can draw support and can be a good alternative. So, I’m encouraged by it,” Hutchinson told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins.
Hutchinson also said that the midterm results weren’t a rejection of Republican values but “it was a rejection of specific candidates. They were not focused on the problems of Americans.” Hutchinson, whose gubernatorial term ends in January and is term-limited from seeking the office again, pointed to that month as a “decision point.”
The Republican governor’s comments come amid speculation about who – if anyone – will challenge former President Donald Trump, who formally announced his decision to launch another White House bid earlier this week. Trump’s campaign launch and his ability to lead the GOP has been met with internal strife and criticism following the losses of several Trump-endorsed election deniers during the midterm elections, and several notable Republicans – including former Vice President Mike Pence and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis – have hinted that they may challenge the once-undisputed Republican Party torch-bearer.
At a CNN town hall Wednesday night, Pence observed that candidates who talked about the future outshone those who focused more on “relitigating the past.”
“I think we’ll have better choices than my old running mate,” Pence told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
When asked by CNN on Thursday if the prospect of a crowded Republican primary field could be an advantage for Trump, Hutchinson said he thinks it will be different compared to 2016.
“If you look at 2016, the crowded field was (at) a disadvantage. It allowed Trump to pick one after the other and knock them out. People understand who Donald Trump is today and his style,” Hutchinson said. “I don’t think there’s going to be anything new in his approach. You got to be tough, you got to be resilient, and you’ve gotta stick with it in the long term. But I don’t believe it will be the same as 2016. He’s a known quantity now, we know the chaos that comes with him, and that’s really not the kind of leadership that’s good for America and really the future of our party.”