Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) announced Sunday that he is running for president in 2024, becoming the fourth Republican candidate to officially enter the race for the White House.
Hutchinson, 72, revealed his bid during an interview with ABC News. He told the network's Jonathan Karl that "while the formal announcement will be later in April...I want to make it clear to you, Jonathan, I am going to be running." Hutchinson added that he was "convinced that people want leaders that appeal to the best of America, and not simply appeal to our worst instincts."
However, Hutchinson, who served as the governor of Arkansas from 2015 to 2023, acknowledged that he'll need "a lot of hard work and good messaging" to break through what is expected to be a crowded GOP candidate field.
Hutchinson has been a voice of Republican opposition against former President Donald Trump, currently the party's frontrunner, and reiterated his call for Trump to drop out of the race after his indictment by the Manhattan district attorney. "The office is more important than any individual person," he said. "So for the sake of the office of the presidency, I do think that's too much of a sideshow and distraction and he needs to be able to concentrate on his due process, and there is a presumption of innocence."
"I do believe if we're looking at the presidency and the future of our country, then we don't need that distraction," Hutchinson added. Unlike a large swath of Republicans, Hutchinson said he did not feel Trump's indictment was politically motivated, replying, "I'm different," when Karl mentioned the recent GOP attacks on the legal system.
Hutchinson has "been a fixture in Arkansas politics since the 1980s, when the state was predominantly Democratic," The Associated Press noted, and has tried to paint himself as a moderate alternative to Trump.