The 2024 election is still years away but that hasn’t stopped some Republicans from carefully dropping hints about their presidential aspirations. Donald Trump has made it clear he’s considering a third presidential campaign and while many fellow conservatives are anxiously waiting to see if he follows through on his plans before mounting their own campaigns some aren’t so intimidated by Trump.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said on Sunday that he’s considering running for president despite the considerable ground he would have to make up with voters.
The Washington Examiner reports:
“You’ve got to get through, of course, this year. But that’s an option that’s on the table,” Hutchinson told CNN’s Dana Bash on State of the Union on Sunday. “I’ve made it clear: I think we ought to have a different direction in the future.”
Hutchinson then took a thinly-veiled shot at Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his decision to revoke Disney’s self-governing status last month.
Hutchinson pointed back to the Republican Party’s conservative roots, saying he doesn’t think the government should be “punitive against private businesses because we disagree with them.”
“To me, that’s the old Republican principle of having restrained government,” he said. “Let’s do the right thing — it’s a fair debate about these special tax privileges — but let’s not go after businesses and punish them because we disagree with what they said.”
Hutchinson invoked the idea that conservatives need to “restrain ourselves” last year when he defended vetoing a bill that would ban medical sex transitions for children. And after signing a bill that mandated masks in his state, Hutchinson said in August, “I wish that had not become law.”
If Hutchison decides to run, he has ground to make up, both in terms of appeasing voters who disapprove of his recent party-line bucking and in name recognition.