Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has decided to enter the 2024 presidential race.
The 72-year-old sat down with ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl to inform him he intends to enter the GOP primary.
“I have made a decision. And my decision is I’m going to run for President of the United States,” Hutchinson said.
“I’m convinced that people want leaders that appeal to the best of America and not simply appeal to our worst instincts,” he added.
EXCLUSIVE: Former GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson announces during an interview with @JonKarl that he will be running for president.
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) April 2, 2023
“How does the indictment of Donald Trump by the Manhattan DA change this race?” Karl asked.
“That adds to the unpredictability of it, and I think it’s a sad day for America that we have a former president that’s indicted, so it’s a great distraction,” Hutchinson replied.
“You suggested recently that if Trump were to get indicted that he should drop out of the race. Do you believe that now that he’s been indicted? Should he drop out?” Karl asked.
“Well I do,” Hutchinson answered.
“First of all, the office is more important than any individual person…For the sake of the Office of the Presidency, I do think it’s too much of a sideshow and distraction, and he needs to be able to concentrate on his due process and there is a presumption of innocence.”
“I’ve always said that people don’t have to step aside from public office if they’re under investigation, but if it reaches the point of criminal charges that have to be answered, the office is more important than a person,” Hutchinson added.
ABC News reported:
The former governor told Karl he is inspired by his travels around the country over the last six months and acknowledged it would take “a lot of hard work and good messaging” to raise his national profile and break through a crowded primary field.
“It’s still about retail politics in many of these states, and also, this is one of the most unpredictable political environments that I’ve seen in my lifetime. So my message of experience, of consistent conservatism and hope for our future in solving problems that face Americans, I think that that resonates,” Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson joins a field of Republican presidential hopefuls that already includes former President Donald Trump, former South Carolina Governor and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.
Although more Republicans are expected to join the primary in the coming months, Trump’s shadow looms large following his recent indictment by a Manhattan grand jury — making him the first current or former president to face criminal charges.
Watch the full ABC News interview: