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Arkansas GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson floats 2024 presidential run, says he is 'not aligned' with Trump

Hutchinson is in final year as governor

Published: May 2, 2022 7:53am

Updated: May 2, 2022 8:47am

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is considering a bid to become the Republican nominee in the 2024 presidential race, setting up a potential challenge to former President Trump, with whom Hutchinson says he's "not aligned."

The former congressman and head of the Drug Enforcement Administration is in his final year as governor of Arkansas, after which must retire because of term limits.

Hutchinson was asked Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" whether he was considering a run for higher office, to which he responded, "I am. But of course you've got to get through this year. That's an option on the table."

The governor also said his decision on whether to run will not be impacted by Trump deciding to seek reelection. 

"I've made it clear I think we ought to have a different direction in the future and so I'm not aligned with him on some of his endorsements, but also the direction he wants to take our country," he said. "I think he did a lot of good things for our country, but we need to go a different direction. And so that's not a factor in my decision-making process."

Last year, Hutchinson drew the ire of the former president when he vetoed a GOP-backed bill passed by the Arkansas state legislature to ban some types of treatment for transgender identifying youths. The governor called the bill government overreach, though the legislature ultimately overrode his veto.

Trump subsequently labeled Hutchinson a "lightweight RINO," an acronym for Republican in Name Only, and said, "That's the end of him."

Last week, Hutchinson was in New Hampshire, a popular stop for anyone mulling a presidential run, where he said he is determined to fight to protect the U.S. southern border and crack down on skyrocketing rates of illegal immigration and criminal cartel activity.

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