2024 Watch: Arkansas Governor Hutchinson keeps ‘options open’ and wants to be ‘bold messenger’ for GOP


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EXCLUSIVE: Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson says he wants “to be a leading voice for a new direction for our party and our country.”

The limited-time governor, who is in his final year as Arkansas leader, will travel to New Hampshire on Monday. Asked by Fox News ahead of his trip why he’s going to the state that for a century hosted the first primary in the presidential race, Hutchinson replied “I want to have a bold message and the best place to start is New Hampshire.”

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Hutchinson, a former federal attorney turned two-term congressman who served as administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration and undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security during the administration of President George W. Bush, will cover “Politics and eggs” at Saint Anselm College. The New Hampshire Institute of Politics lecture series has been a must-stop for White House hopefuls for two decades.

“I have a record as governor, a record in Congress, and those are illustrations of what we can do in the future, and I will be a bold messenger for that,” Hutchinson pointed out in his exclusive national interview. with Fox News.

And he noted that “it’s why I speak at Politics and Eggs…it gets attention every time you speak at a political event in New Hampshire, and I welcome the opportunity to ‘influence the debate and shape the debate.’

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In his final year as governor, Hutchinson said he was “supporting a number of Republican congressional candidates” who are running in the midterm elections, helping to “reinforce the message of our candidates this year, to present ideas that work and that we can cause problems – to solve and not just create chaos.”

The governor emphasized that “it’s critical that we focus on this year’s election and that’s what we’re doing…it’s about having the right message for this election year and for me, the Republican Party must speak about future ideas and the direction of our country, the strength of America. I think we must speak about ideas and not about the past and I think my voice is useful for candidates who want to look to the future. ‘coming.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson speaks to the press after a National Governors’ Association meeting with President Joe Biden at the White House in Washington, DC on January 31, 2022. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm/ AFP) (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

It’s a message that other potential 2024 GOP candidates, including former two-term New Jersey Governor Christie, former Vice President Mike Pence and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have also adopted.

And it’s also an indirect blow to former President Donald Trump. The former president, who remains the most popular and influential politician in the GOP as he repeatedly flirts with another run for the White House in 2024, constantly questions his 2020 election loss to the current President Biden.

“It’s an unnecessary distraction,” Hutchinson said of Trump’s unproven claims that the last presidential election was “rigged” and “stolen.”

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“Every election should be about how we’re going to help people, how we’re going to apply our principles to government. How we’re going to lead and solve problems,” the governor said. “If you have candidates who don’t talk about inflation issues, our supply chain issues, our military strength and our support for Ukraine, then we’re missing the boat because those are issues that people care about and that’s what they want to know about solutions. That’s the important message for this year and beyond.

Hutchinson, the current president of the National Governors Association, said he would not make a decision for 2024 until November’s midterm.

But he said “I’m not ruling it out. It’s something that’s a consideration, an option. I’m certainly not ruling it out, because it’s too critical a time for our nation and it’s a time decisive and I want to not only engage in the debate now, but keep my options open down the road.”

Pence back in Iowa

The former vice president spent Saturday in Iowa, the state whose caucuses for half a century have led both the GOP and Democratic Party nomination calendars.

Pence partnered with Republican Rep. Randy Feenstra, whose district is located in the heavily red northern and western parts of the state, where conservative Christian voters are predominant. Pence hung out with Feenstra during a visit to Iowa last summer.

He also addressed the second convention of the Republican Congressional District of Iowa, in support of Representative Ashley Hinson.

And the former vice president also traveled to Ames, Iowa, to headline the annual Story County GOP Lincoln Highway Dinner.

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Pence has been a frequent visitor to the key presidential primary and early-vote caucus state over the past year as he criss-crosses the country to help fellow Republicans run in the midterm elections. .

Cruz back in Nevada

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Trump’s runner-up in the 2016 Republican presidential primary, spent Thursday and Friday in Nevada, the state that holds the fourth contest in the GOP nominating calendar.

Cruz campaigned at several events across the state with former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, the leading Republican Senate candidate hoping to defeat Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto in November.

DeSantis heads to Nevada

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, another potential Republican White House hopeful in 2024, will team up with Laxalt in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

“Governor DeSantis stands in the breach against the far left and he’s winning,” Laxalt said in a statement announcing the governor’s upcoming visit to Florida.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) welcome segment in Orlando, Florida.  February 26, 2021. REUTERS/Joe Skipper/File Photo

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) welcome segment in Orlando, Florida. February 26, 2021. REUTERS/Joe Skipper/File Photo
(Reuters)

DeSantis, who has become hugely popular with conservatives across the country over the past two years thanks to his pushback against coronavirus pandemic restrictions and his culture wars crusade, is second only to Trump in most polls. the hypothetical 2024 GOP nomination race.

Trump’s massive war chest

Fifteen months away from the White House, Trump’s reputation as the Republican Party’s fundraising giant remains firmly intact.

Former President Donald Trump holds a rally in Selma, North Carolina on April 9, 2022.

Former President Donald Trump holds a rally in Selma, North Carolina on April 9, 2022.
(AP)

The former president’s three political committees raised just over $19 million in the first quarter of fundraising from January to March.

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And the three entities – Trump’s Save America PAC, Save America JFC (joint fundraising committee) and MAGA PAC – said they ended March with a whopping $124 million in cash in their coffers.

The latest fundraising numbers were first shared with Fox News on Tuesday.


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