Republican Governor Says Donald Trump Is 'Worst Scenario' for GOP in 2024

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said a Trump nomination for the presidency would be "almost the scenario that Biden wishes for"

Asa Hutchinson, Donald Trump
Asa Hutchinson and Donald Trump. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty; Win McNamee/Getty

Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson believes a GOP nomination of Donald Trump in 2024 would be the "worst" scenario for the party, saying a re-match between the former president and Joe Biden would be "almost the scenario that Biden wishes for."

"And that's probably how [Biden] got elected the first time," Hutchinson, whose terms as governor ends in January, said in a new interview with the Associated Press. "It became, you know, a binary choice for the American people between the challenges that we saw in the Trump presidency, particularly the closing days, versus Biden, who he made it that choice."

Elsewhere in his interview, Hutchinson slammed Trump's recent call for a termination of the Constitution so his electoral loss could be overturned, saying, "any leader, former president that says suspend the Constitution is tearing at the fabric of our democracy. And so we want to make sure that the people know that it's Republicans that support the rule of law."

Hutchinson — who is considering running for president himself — has previously said he won't support Trump's next run for president just because he's a member of the same party, explaining to CNN in 2021: "I would not support him for re-election in 2024."

Trump, who lost re-election to Joe Biden in November 2021, officially announced his candidacy for 2024 in November.

Hutchinson previously supported a potential Trump reelection bid, but in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters — who had listened that same day as Trump baselessly claimed that the country was being stolen out from under them — the Arkansas Republican said he had changed his mind.

"He will only define our party if we let him define our party," Hutchinson said in a 2021 appearance on CNN's State of the Union.

The governor continued: "He has a loud megaphone, but we have to have many different voices, and in my view we can't let him define us for the future because that would just further divide our country and it would hurt our Republican Party."

Hutchinson's break underlines the current division in the GOP in the wake of the November midterm elections, which saw many Trump-backed candidates suffer losses in what some viewed as a rebuke of the former president.

Trump's early announcement of a 2024 run comes amid investigations into his conduct on Jan. 6, 2021 — when a mob of rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol on his behalf in an attempt to stop Joe Biden's election victory from being certified — and his handling of classified documents after leaving office.

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