Asa Hutchinson: I Won’t Endorse Trump or Biden in 2024

Joseph Lord
By Joseph Lord
March 18, 20242024 Elections
Asa Hutchinson: I Won’t Endorse Trump or Biden in 2024
Republican presidential candidate former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks during the 2023 First in the Nation Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., on Oct. 14, 2023. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Former Republican presidential candidate Asa Hutchinson says he won’t back either former President Donald Trump or President Joe Biden for the presidency in 2024.

“I have not endorsed Donald Trump for president, and I will not do so,” Mr. Hutchinson wrote in an op-ed for USA Today.

The former Arkansas governor accused the GOP of “clicking their heels in obedience to the victor and presumptive nominee” after President Trump’s defeat of each of his primary challengers.

Mr. Hutchinson cited two reasons for his refusal to back his own party’s standard-bearer:

First, “Trump embraces Putin instead of Ukraine freedom fighters.” And the second reason was President Trump’s alleged role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach.

Mr. Hutchinson accused President Trump of having “transfigured conservatism into isolationism by abandoning NATO and U.S. leadership among the nations of the world.”

He criticized “the ancient idea of economic protectionism,” which President Trump has advocated to force manufacturers to return to the U.S. from cheap labor markets in poorer nations.

“These ideas are not Republican principles but anathema to the success story conservative leaders have built over the last 50 years,” Mr. Hutchinson wrote.

“Trump disqualified himself on Jan. 6, 2021,” Mr. Hutchinson said, characterizing the breach as “a violent attack on our national Capitol … by those wishing to overturn the last election.

“This was not an act of patriots as Trump likes to say, but it was a real threat to democracy. When I saw the attack on law enforcement, the rule of law, and Congress itself, I said he should never again lead our country or our party,” Mr. Hutchinson said.

“Remarkably, many Republican leaders made the same point publicly but later made peace with the disgraced former president,” he continued, referencing Republicans like former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who initially blamed President Trump for the breach but later sought a rapprochement.

“To this day, [President Trump] continues to undermine our democracy by defending the actions of that dark day,” Mr. Hutchinson added.

Mr. Hutchinson additionally claimed that President Trump “does not care about the checks and balances in our system of government. He advocates for an all-powerful executive branch that can ignore Congress and the courts.”

After attacking President Trump, Mr. Hutchinson emphasized that he wouldn’t be backing the current president either.

“Another important point to make is that I also will not vote for President Joe Biden,” Mr. Hutchinson said. “Biden’s weak border policies, his poor economic record, and his slow growth energy policy do not justify reelection.”

Mr. Hutchinson didn’t make clear if he would instead be backing a third-party or independent candidate, or if he will merely refrain from voting for president this year.

However, he expressed hope that “there will be those in the trenches who will push back against this takeover of the Republican Party and who will join the fight to reclaim the future.”

Mr. Hutchinson left the race after receiving 0.2 percent of the vote in Iowa. His campaign was marked by low enthusiasm and consistently poor polling.

Much like former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, Mr. Hutchinson attempted to win by attacking President Trump but was ultimately unable to alter the clear will of Republican voters.

Mr. Hutchinson’s refusal to back President Trump also puts him in the same league as Mr. Christie, Ms. Haley, and a handful of congressional Republicans who have refused to endorse the former president.

From The Epoch Times

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.