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New Republican Announces Candidacy For President, Taking On Trump

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


A new Republican has entered the fray for the party’s presidential nomination and is seizing the opportunity to take on former President Donald Trump.

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced on ABC News on Sunday that he would be a competitor for the nomination to presumably take on President Joe Biden in the presidential election should he wrest the nomination from Trump, ABC News reported.

“I have made a decision. And my decision is, I’m going to run for president of the United States. While the formal announcement will be later in April, in Bentonville [Arkansas], I wanted to make clear that, to you, Jonathan, I am going to be running. And the reason, as I’ve traveled the country for six months, 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,” he said to host Jonathan Karl.

“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. And that inspires me. And I believe I can be that kind of leader for the people of America,” he said.

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“Now you’ve got a lot of experience. You’ve been a prosecutor, you’ve been a member of Congress, you’ve been a governor, you’ve been the director of the [US. Drug Enforcement Administration], but most people outside of Arkansas don’t know who you are. How do you break through?” the anchor said.

“Well, a lot of hard work and good messaging, but I’ve spent some time in Iowa and I love the response that I get there. And so, it’s still about retail politics in many of these states. And also, this is one of the most unpredictable political environments that I’ve seen in my lifetime. And so my message of experience, of consistent conservatism, of hope for our future and solving problems that face Americans, I think that that resonates. And so I want to campaign and whenever I make the final announcement, I’ll be everywhere, and I think it’s a plan that can work in this environment,” the former governor said.

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“And how does the indictment of Donald Trump by the Manhattan D.A. change this race?” the anchor said.

“Well, that adds to the unpredictability of it. And I think it’s a sad day for America that we have a former president that’s indicted. And so it’s a great distraction, but at the same time, we can’t set aside what our constitution requires, which is electing a new leader for our country, just because we have this side controversy and criminal charges that are pending,” Hutchinson said.

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“And so we’ve got to press on, and the American people are gonna have to separate what the ideas are for our future, gonna talk about border security and the economy. We have to talk about those. We have to talk about the leadership of America in the world whenever you have Russia and China, taking advantage of any weakness that America shows. So we can’t be sidetracked for a year and a half,” he said.

“You suggested recently that if Trump were to get indicted that he should drop out of the race. Do you believe that now that he’s been indicted, should he drop out? Karl said.

“Well, I do. And for a couple reasons. I mean, first of all, the office is more important than any individual person. And 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,” the former governor said.

“But the second reason is, throughout my eight years as governor and as a political leader, I’ve always said that people don’t have to step aside from 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. And so there’s some consistency there. I do believe if — if we’re looking at the presidency and the future of our country, then we don’t need that distraction and he needs to be able to concentrate on the legal issues that he faces,” he said.

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