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The former Arkansas governor says Donald Trump should bow out of the race.
Former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson announced Sunday that he will seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
“I’m convinced that people want leaders that appeal to the best of America, and not simply appeal to our worst instincts,” 72-year-old Hutchinson said during an interview on ABC with John Karl. “I believe I can be that kind of leader for the people of America.”
Hutchinson will compete against former president Donald Trump, as well as former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, for the GOP nomination. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are also reportedly considering throwing their names into the ring.
But among the announced and potential big-name candidates, Hutchinson is so far the only one who has called on Trump to withdraw his candidacy. Trump was indicted on Thursday in connection with the hush money payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 campaign.
Asked whether he still felt Trump should remove himself from the race on ABC, Hutchinson said, “he should,” adding “we know he’s not [going to]. And there’s not any constitutional requirement.”
Hutchinson said that the presidency is “more important than any individual person,” and that Trump’s impending criminal proceedings are “too much of a sideshow and distraction.”
Later on Sunday, he told the Associated Press that it was important for voters to have a new option and “not simply go by default to somebody who is really wrapped around what happened in the past.”