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Former Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson running for president in 2024

The former Arkansas governor says opponent and former President Donald Trump should drop out of the race now that he's been indicted.
Posted at 9:51 AM, Apr 02, 2023

Former Republican governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas says he's running for president in 2024.

"I have made a decision, and the decision is, I'm going to run for president of the United States," Hutchinson announced on ABC News.

Hutchinson said he was inspired to run by people calling for a "consistent" and "optimistic" leader.

"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," the former governor said. "I believe I can be that kind of leader for the people of America."

Hutchinson has a history of experience, serving formerly as a prosecutor, a member of Congress, director of the Drug Enforcement Administration, in addition to his prior role as Arkansas governor. But his name may not be widely known outside the state.

Hutchinson said his breakthrough will come through hard work and good messaging. He said he spent some time in other states like Iowa, which was encouraging. 

His messaging will be of consistent conservatism, hope and solving problems.

Hutchinson said his Republican opponent and former President Donald Trump should drop out of the presidential race now that he's been indicted, calling it a distraction and saying the nation needs to "press on."

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"The office is more important than any individual person, and so for the sake of the office of the presidency, I do think that it's too much of a sideshow and distraction, and he needs to be able to concentrate on his new process, and there is a presumption of innocence," Hutchinson said.

"I've always said that the people don't have to step aside for public office if they're under investigation, but if it reaches the point of criminal charges that have to be answered, the office is always more important than a person," he continued.

Hutchinson said he believes Trump will still pursue his run for president despite the charges.

The former governor said he plans to make a formal announcement on his presidential bid later in April.