Outgoing Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Monday that he "absolutely is considering" a race for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024, telling Newsmax there is a "need in our party and our country to have different leadership in the future."
"Absolutely I'm considering that, as others are, and I think the message on the Republican side is that there's going to be options," the Republican governor, who is leaving office at the end of the year because of term limits, said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America."
Hutchinson noted that former President Donald Trump is the lone candidate who has already announced his candidacy, but as there is a need for "different leadership," there will "be a contest" about who becomes the party nominee.
"I'm going to be in the mix on that because we want to be able to showcase what we can do as governors in solving problems, addressing inflation, getting our energy production back in line, and bringing the experience that we have to stop violent crime in our country," said Hutchinson.
He added that the "message is very important," and urged viewers to "stay tuned for next year."
Hutchinson also on Monday discussed the runoff race in Georgia, where voters on Tuesday will pick a between incumbent Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker.
"I'm delighted that Gov. Brian Kemp is heavily engaged in that," said Hutchinson. "I think he's going to make a real difference … I'm pulling for Herschel, of course."
Hutchinson said Republicans didn't have the success they wanted nationally in last month's midterm elections.
"There were certain candidates who did not appeal to independents and suburban voters, and they lost," said Hutchinson.
People who were problem-solvers and relied on Republican principles, however, won their races, he said.
"We had a red wave in Arkansas," said Hutchinson. "There was a red wave in Iowa, and successes around the country. Any failure to win the Senate was not a rejection of Republican principles, and I think that's what we're fighting for."
And in Georgia, "it's really about [whether] you are going to be supporting the [Joe] Biden liberal agenda or are you going to be supporting Republican principles and trying to move our country in a different direction," said Hutchinson.
Hutchinson also on Monday spoke out about the Biden administration's handling of the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border and said the White House is trying to "diminish it" as an issue.
"Hopefully it gets better but they're not changing their policy," said Hutchinson. "They're not changing their messaging. It's a human tragedy. These are migrants that are coming in. They're being smuggled in. The cartels are controlling the border and it's costing human lives as well as undermining our rule of law in our country."
He said in his travels nationwide people are talking about fentanyl and how the drug is causing harm to families.
"We have got to bring that under control," Hutchinson said. "It's going to take asylum reform and investment for our system to process those cases quickly. We're going to have to be able to remove people quickly when they don't qualify for asylum."
Hutchinson noted that he was in charge of border security during former President George W. Bush's administration, and while they didn't get immigration perfect, it's "unacceptable" now that more than 2 million people are coming in.
The border crisis is affecting Arkansas, said Hutchinson, because of drugs and associated crime.
"I can name a number of families that have lost sons and daughters because of fentanyl being laced with some other drug that the son or daughter was taking, and this is a human tragedy," said Hutchinson.
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