The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

Former GOP presidential candidate Asa Hutchinson holds out hope for 2024

The former Arkansas governor doesn’t think a Trump victory is guaranteed
Luke Fountain
Asa Hutchinson reiterated his endorsement for GOP candidate Nikki Haley during his Saturday speech.

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson represented the lone voice of dissent amid a field of Mock Convention Republican speakers voicing their support for former President Donald Trump.

Hutchinson, a Republican who served two terms as governor, gained national attention last year when he announced his presidential candidacy for 2024.

His unsuccessful campaign was one of few to openly criticize Trump. Hutchinson built his message on a return to an “earlier era of the Republican Party.”

His words to the Washington and Lee community on Feb. 11 reflected those principles. Hutchinson responded to questions from General Chair Ramsay Trask, ’24.

Throughout Washington and Lee’s Mock Convention, the majority of speakers seemed to view Trump as the inevitable Republican Party presidential nominee—Hutchinson, however, was not ready to make that assumption.

Calling 2024 the most unpredictable year of his lifetime, he suggested that significant upheaval could still occur before the end of the primary elections.

Specifically, he referenced Trump’s impending court cases throughout the country, which Hutchinson described as “a lot of clouds on the horizon” for the former president.

Hutchinson also reiterated his endorsement of Nikki Haley, Trump’s only Republican challenger.

He justified this position by criticizing Trump’s response to the 2020 election. From Hutchinson’s perspective, Trump’s refusal to accept the election results is “just flat wrong.”

Aside from offering opposition to Trump, Hutchinson also took time to reflect on his own legacy.

Harking back to the presidency of Ronald Reagan, 72-year-old Hutchinson said there are three core values that he would like to pass on to future generations: consistent conservatism, pragmatism, and optimism.

Some viewers, however, expressed dissatisfaction with the format of Hutchinson’s interview.

Wesley Mazzucco, ’27, said he would have preferred Hutchinson to be given more speaking time.

Despite representing a unique anti-Trump perspective, the former governor’s interview was among Mock Convention’s shortest, only lasting for roughly 20 minutes.

Though Mazzucco did not find Hutchinson to be an exceptional speaker, he said he still “resonated with him” and would have liked to hear more.

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    Jenny Lou GattisFeb 16, 2024 at 2:18 pm

    I am very proud of our ex governor and the way he has chosen ethics over loyalty to Trump…more Republicans should be feeling the same way…Our current governor is walking right in Trumps footsteps…all she cares about is loyalty to Trump and how she can advance her political career thru him…I am sorry that the majority of them feel just like Trump and Sanders…Thank you former Mr.Governor Hutchinson