(PresidentialHill.com)- Even though former President Donald Trump announced last week that he would be running for president again in 2024, potential Republican candidates don’t appear to be running for the hills.
Last Thursday, Asa Hutchinson, the popular Republican governor of Arkansas, mentioned that he’s “very seriously” contemplating launching a bid for president in 2024.
Speaking on the “CNN This Morning” program last week, Hutchinson commented on whether he would run for the White House in two years:
“Absolutely. I’m looking at it — looking at it very seriously. After the midterm elections, it’s more intense, and it’s an accelerated review, and after going to Iowa, I’m encouraged that a governor who’s actually solved problems, who has a conservative common-sense approach, can draw support and can be a good alternative. So, I’m encouraged by it.”
Hutchinson is termed as governor in Arkansas, meaning he wasn’t able to run for re-election. That means his current term, which will end in January, will be his last.
In speaking with CNN, Hutchinson also said that January would be a “decision point” for his potential presidential run.
He also commented on the results of the midterm elections, which overall were not very positive for Republicans — at least compared to what they were expecting to happen. Many predicted that there would be a Republican red wave, but that never materialized.
Republicans will take control of the House in the next Congress, but only slightly. And, at best, there will be another 50-50 split in the Senate, which would give Democrats the majority once again. It’s also possible that, depending on the outcome of next month’s runoff election in Georgia, Democrats could hold a 51-49 edge in the Senate.
But, Hutchinson said he didn’t believe that the results of the midterms were a rejection of GOP values. Instead, he said “it was a rejection of specific candidates. They were not focused on the problems of Americans.”
He was referring to Trump, of course, and some of the candidates who he backed who were unsuccessful in their bids for office. Many political pundits have surmised that one of the main reasons why the GOP didn’t perform up to expectations in the midterms was that voters are simply tired of Trump and ready to move on from him and his thinking — even Republicans.
That’s what Hutchinson was referring to. In fact, Mike Pence, Trump’s former vice president, had similar comments during a town hall he held with CNN last Wednesday. He said that candidates who campaigned on what’s ahead performed significantly better than candidates who focused on “relitigating the past.”
Pence then turned to the future, saying of the 2024 Republican primary:
“I think we’ll have better choices than my old running mate.”
Pence is also widely expected to run for president in two years.
Last week, Hutchinson was asked whether he thinks a crowded primary field in the GOP would be an advantage for Trump. Hutchinson replied that he thinks it’d be different in 2024 than it was in 2016, saying:
“If you look at 2016, the crowded field was (at) a disadvantage. It allowed Trump to pick one after the other and knock them out. People understand who Donald Trump is today and his style.
“I don’t think there’s going to be anything new in his approach. You got to be tough, you got to be resilient, and you’ve got to stick with it in the long term. But, I don’t believe it will be the same as 2016. He’s a known quantity now. We know the chaos that comes with him, and that’s really not the kind of leadership that’s good for America and really the future of our party.”