Hutchinson fearful of missing debate stage

From Region 8 News at Six
Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 5:18 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The GOP Presidential Debate is only days away.

For the first time since 2016, an Arkansan will have a chance to make the stage.

Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced his bid for the presidency in April.

Since then, Hutchinson has spent most of his time in Iowa and New Hampshire, attempting to win over voters and raise his name in the polls.

Along with working voters, Hutchinson has been working to meet all requirements to make the presidential debate.

The former governor said he’s near meeting the requirements but still has a few quotas.

“You have to have a total of 40,000 individual donors. We aren’t there yet. We’re getting closer every day. We’ve got about five days left, so every day counts,” Hutchinson said.

Despite multiple polls showing Hutchinson pulling 1% of nomination votes, he says he still has a shot at winning the nomination, even if he misses the first debate.

“You can conceivably miss the first debate and make the criteria for the second debate. But I’m in Iowa right now, I’ve been in New Hampshire, and people in Arkansas, everyone is excited about the first debate,” Hutchinson explained.

To make the stage, all candidates are expected to sign a pledge of support to whoever is chosen as the party’s nominee.

Hutchinson was initially hesitant to sign the pledge due to former President Donald Trump leading the polls, but the former governor said he didn’t believe it would be a problem now.

“I expect to be able to support the nominee of the party because I expect it to be someone other than Donald Trump,” Hutchinson said.

Should he make the debate stage, Hutchinson said he would discuss major policy initiatives if he were to win the White House.

“First, you would reverse most of the Biden executive orders that restricted our energy production. Secondly, we’ll submit a border security bill that will put more resources on the border. Thirdly, we’ll declare the cartels in Mexico as foreign terrorist organizations, then we’re going to control federal spending,” Hutchinson explained.

Should polling hold and Hutchinson misses out on the nominee, he said he’ll do what he can to help the country.

“I’m going to continue to what I can to protect America and move us in the right direction. I’ll look forward to supporting the nominee of the party, but we’re focusing all our energy on this primary contest, the importance of it, and winning it,” Hutchinson added.

The GOP Presidental Debate will take place Tuesday, Aug. 22.