Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Sunday he will run for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, calling himself a “non-Trump” candidate who nonetheless wants to reach out to Trump voters.
“I have made a decision, and my decision is, I’m going to run for president of the United States,” Hutchinson told ABC’s “This Week.” He said he’s planning a formal campaign kickoff in April.
“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 simply appeal to our worst instincts.” Hutchinson continued. “And that inspires me when I see everyday Americans just saying: Give us good leadership, give us common sense, consistent conservatism and optimism about our great country.”
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“And that inspires me. And I believe I can be that kind of leader for the people of America,” Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson is one of former President Donald Trump’s most vocal critics in the GOP presidential field. Prior to when Trump’s indictment became public, Hutchinson told USA TODAY that the former president should drop out of the presidential race if he were to be indicted.
Trump is ‘too much of a sideshow and distraction’
“When you’re looking at Trump, it’s going to be a circus,” said Hutchinson.
Among Trump’s rivals in the 2024 GOP primary, Hutchinson, a former federal prosecutor, was one of few candidates who did not leap to a full-throated defense of Trump after his indictment.
Hutchinson called Trump’s indictment “too much of a sideshow and distraction” for the GOP primary, reiterating in his view that Trump should drop out.
Hutchinson said Trump has a “presumption of innocence” but “needs to be able to concentrate on his due process.”
Despite his criticisms of the former president, Hutchinson calls himself a “non-Trump” candidate, seeking to portray himself as an alternative to Trump rather than a candidate against Trump.
“I want to be able to speak to the Trump voters, I want to be able to speak to all of the party and say this is the leadership that I want to provide,” Hutchinson said.