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Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces 2024 White House Bid

As governor, Hutchinson signed a near-total abortion ban and kicked more than 18,000 people off Medicaid.

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks before a meeting of the Republican Party of Orange County at the Hilton Orange County in Costa Mesa, California on March 20, 2023.

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Sunday that he will run for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, casting himself as a “different” kind of Republican than Donald Trump and his most fervent GOP allies.

But Hutchinson’s record as governor of Arkansas — a post he held from 2015 to 2023 — indicates that his policy positions on abortion rights, immigration, federal spending, healthcare, and other key issues closely align with those of extremist Republicans.

“I am going to be running,” Hutchinson said in an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” with Jonathan Karl. “And the reason is, I’ve traveled the country for six months, I hear people talk about the leadership of our country. I’m convinced that people want leaders that appeal to the best of America, and not simply appeal to our worst instincts.”

Hutchinson said following news of Trump’s indictment at the hands of a Manhattan grand jury that the former president should drop out of the 2024 race, a position he reiterated in his ABC interview.

“For the sake of the office of the presidency, I do think that’s too much of a sideshow and distraction,” said Hutchinson, who in 2016 described Trump as “exactly the kind of transparent, straight-talking leader America needs.”

As governor of Arkansas, Hutchinson signed into law a near-total abortion ban and — with permission from the Trump administration — made his state the first to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients, a move that kicked more than 18,000 people off the program.

A federal judge struck down the work requirements in 2019.

“Asa Hutchinson now wants to rewrite history — but his support for Trump and the MAGA agenda speaks for itself,” Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison said in a statement Sunday. “As governor, Hutchinson signed one of the strictest abortion bans in the country, ripped healthcare away from thousands of Arkansans, and advocated for taking away the ACA’s protections for those with preexisting conditions. He’s just another extremist joining the ever-expanding race for the MAGA base.”

While Hutchinson did not outline in any detail the policy platform he intends to run on, he told ABC: “I think that we need to have border security. I think we need to have a strong America. We need to spend less at the federal level.”

Hutchinson joins a GOP presidential field that includes Trump, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and far-right activist Vivek Ramaswamy. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is also expected to run.

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