Hutchinson Mostly Ignores Trump in Formal Launch

Republican instead focuses on Biden's record
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2023 6:35 PM CDT
Hutchinson Mostly Ignores Trump in Formal Launch
Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson poses for a photo with members of the Springdale High School band before formally announcing his Republican campaign for president on Wednesday in Bentonville.   (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Asa Hutchinson, former governor of Arkansas, had already said he was seeking the Republican nomination for president. But saying that in interviews didn't give him a chance to lay out his policy goals or assess his competition. On Monday, Hutchinson delivered a formal announcement in Bentonville, his hometown, that included much of that, NBC News reports. What it did not include was a critical word directly about former President Donald Trump, the apparent front-runner for the party's nomination. Instead, the 24-minute speech concentrated on President Biden.

Hutchinson, 72, was governor for eight years, ending in January. "I stand alone in terms of my experience, my record and leadership," Hutchinson said Monday. He's also held a job in the Department of Homeland Security, was head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, and served in Congress. "This campaign is about courage. It is about making the tough decisions ... and we've got our work cut out for us," Hutchinson told the crowd. The issues on which he disagrees with Biden's record include the economy, border security, crime, and foreign policy, he said, per USA Today. Biden's administration "has turned its back on the American worker," he said.

Without naming Trump, whom he has called on to drop out of the race, Hutchinson did distance himself from the isolationist approach of the former president during his term. "Isolationism only leads to weakness and weakness leads to war," he said. "Americans want peace and the best way to secure and preserve peace is to have the most prepared military in the world." (More Asa Hutchinson stories.)

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