Asa Hutchinson, the former Arkansas governor and a former congressman, announced on Sunday that he is throwing his hat into the ring for president in the 2024 elections. “I’m convinced that people want leaders that appeal to the best of America and not simply appeal to our worst instincts,” he said.
Hutchinson has called for former President Donald Trump, who is the current Republican nominee frontrunner, to drop out. “The office is more important than any individual person,” he said.
In November, Hutchinson said it was “very troubling” that Trump met with Nick Fuentes and Kanye “Ye” West at his Mar-a-Lago resort. “I don’t think it’s a good idea for a leader that’s setting an example for the country or the party to meet with an avowed racist or antisemite,” he said at the time.
Hutchinson traveled to Israel on an economic development trip in November 2021, and in June 2022, he signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Israel Innovation Authority. The partnership would “benefit both Israel and the United States,” he said, and described Israel as a global technology and development leader, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
The former governor’s Twitter feed includes more than a dozen references to meetings with Israeli officials and to Israel, as well as denouncements of antisemitism and well wishes on Jewish holidays.
In May 2018, he tweeted: “Today is an extraordinary chapter in America’s long-time friendship with Israel. I applaud Donald Trump for keeping his promise by opening the U.S. embassy in Israel’s capital of Jerusalem. This is an important step and necessary condition to achieve lasting peace in the area.”
When a court upheld a state ban on working with contractors that boycott Israel, Hutchinson tweeted that “Arkansas has long been a friend of Israel, and the recent ruling by the Eighth Circuit will ensure that friendship continues. The State of Arkansas will not work with those who wish to boycott America’s most critical ally in the Middle East.”
Hutchinson is the latest Republican to have officially launched his campaign following Trump; American entrepreneur, author and conservative political activist Vivek Ganapathy Ramaswamy; and former governor of South Carolina and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.