Asa Hutchinson says he won’t endorse Trump and won’t vote for Biden

Former Republican presidential candidate Asa Hutchinson said Monday he will not endorse Donald Trump, his party’s presumptive nominee for president, nor would he vote for President Joe Biden in November.

“I have not endorsed Donald Trump for president, and I will not do so,” the former Arkansas governor wrote in a USA Today op-ed.

Hutchinson, who was critical of Trump on the presidential campaign trail, argued in his op-ed that the former president had “disqualified” himself on January 6, 2021, when a mob of his supporters attacked the US Capitol, and that Trump “continues to undermine our democracy by defending the actions of that dark day.”

“Regretfully, Donald Trump has redefined the GOP in his image and has put personal ego above the common good,” Hutchinson wrote.

He also accused Trump of embracing Russian President Vladimir Putin over the Ukrainian people, leaning into isolationism by “abandoning” NATO and US leadership on the world stage, and endorsing “economic protectionism” with his plan to impose tariffs on US allies and adversaries.

“These ideas are not Republican principles but anathema to the success story conservative leaders have built over the last 50 years,” the former governor wrote.

But Hutchinson also said he will not vote for Biden, arguing that the Democratic incumbent’s “weak” border policies, “poor” economic record and “slow growth” energy policy don’t “justify reelection.”

Hutchinson launched his campaign for president in April 2023, highlighting his extensive government service and his two terms as the conservative governor of Arkansas. He was one of the few Republican presidential hopefuls who spoke out against Trump, but he failed to attract significant support over the other Trump alternatives.

He ended his campaign in January and later endorsed former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley for president. Haley, who became Trump’s last-standing major challenger, exited the GOP primary after Trump’s dominating performance in the Super Tuesday contests earlier this month.

Hutchinson is not the only former GOP presidential candidate who has said he cannot endorse Trump.

Last week, Trump’s former vice president, Mike Pence, offered a stunning repudiation of his onetime ticket mate, telling Fox News: “Donald Trump is pursuing and articulating an agenda that is at odds with the conservative agenda that we governed on during our four years. That’s why I cannot in good conscience endorse Donald Trump in this campaign.”

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