Hutchinson: GOP needs more voices of ‘reality’ to ‘move beyond the Trump era’
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) on Sunday said Republicans need more voices of “reality” to “move beyond the Trump era” after he was asked about one-time Trump allies who are now criticizing the former president, including several who served in his Cabinet.
Speaking to CNN’s “State of the Union” co-anchor Dana Bash, Hutchinson said he supports vocal criticism of Trump that has recently come from former Vice President Mike Pence, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and others in the GOP.
“We need more of those voices, not fewer. And I expect those voices to increase,” Hutchinson said. “And it shouldn’t be in a harsh … tone. It should be in a voice of reality, that this is exactly where we are as a party and where we need to go to reach out to those independents and expand the base of the party and move beyond the Trump era.”
Hutchinson also criticized Trump for meeting last week with white supremacist Nick Fuentes and Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West.
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The Arkansas governor, who says he is “seriously mulling” a 2024 White House bid, urged the party to move on from Trump shortly after the midterm elections, joining a number of Republicans who blame the former president for losses in the last three elections.
A red wave failed to materialize on Election Day. Democrats held on to a narrow Senate majority and the GOP ended up with a much slimmer majority than expected in House.
Trump, who has declared his 2024 candidacy, has blamed the stinging midterm losses on other Republican leaders, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
Hutchinson on Sunday said the losses in the midterms were explainable by the choice of candidates the GOP put forward on Election Day not necessarily the primary, many of whom were endorsed by Trump.
“We can’t have candidates that win a primary, but lose November,” Hutchinson said. “You can’t have a candidate that can’t attract suburban voters and independents. And so everyone has recognized that now.”