GOP Rino Asa Hutchinson Says He Might Run, Despite Trump Rumors

( There have been many rumblings at who could potentially run for president on the Republican side come 2024.
This week, another name was added to that list, and it’s a somewhat surprising one — Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.
Over the weekend, Hutchinson said he was considering running for the Republican nomination for president in 2024, regardless of whether former President Donald Trump decides to run or not. He wasn’t officially announcing his campaign, but did strongly suggest that he’s considering a run.
Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union” program on Sunday, Hutchinson told host Dana Bash:
“You’ve got to get through, of course, this year, but that’s an option that’s on the table. I’ve made it clear: I think we ought to have a different direction in the future.”
What he was referring to with that last line was the fact that he doesn’t believe Trump — or people who align with the former president’s values — should be in charge of the GOP any more. Hutchinson himself was a former ally of Trump’s, but the two had a falling out during Trump’s time in the White House.
Hutchinson won’t be able to run for re-election as governor of Arkansas due to term limits in the state.
Speaking on CNN over the weekend, Hutchinson didn’t just take aim at Trump. He also criticized another popular potential GOP candidate, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
In particular, Hutchinson criticized the decision by DeSantis to sign a bill that revokes the self-governing status that Disney had in the state for years.
Pointing to the conservative roots of the Republican Party, Hutchinson said he didn’t think that government should be “punitive against private businesses because we disagree with them.”
He continued:
“To me, that’s the old Republican principle of having restrained government. Let’s do the right thing. It’s a fair debate about these special privileges, but let’s not go after businesses and punish them because we disagree with what they said.”
Those words certainly sound like they’re coming from someone who has grand political aspirations on the federal level, versus someone who wants to stay local.
Back in 2020, Hutchinson threw his support behind Trump’s re-election campaign, but since then, he has strayed from Trump’s policies.
Last year, he even defended the fact that he vetoed a bill that would’ve banned sex transitions by medical procedure for children, saying at the time that conservatives needed to “restrain ourselves.”
At one point, he signed a bill that made masks mandatory in Arkansas, but said back in August that he “wish that had not become law.”
Hutchinson now joins a growing list of people who have hinted that they might run for president in 2024, though no one has officially announced a campaign yet. Many are apparently waiting until Trump makes his plans official.
In addition to the Arkansas governor, other potential GOP candidates include Trump’s former vice president Mike Pence, Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan — all of whom are anti-Trump.