On Monday, Republican Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson lit into former President Donald Trump, saying he should not be the leader of the Republican Party.
Hutchinson also said that Trump lost the 2024 presidential election, despite the former president’s claims otherwise, and defended anti-Trump Rep. Liz Cheney, who was ousted from House leadership for frequent attacks on Trump.
The governor made his comments on ABC’s “The View.”
“The View’s” Joy Behar said to Hutchinson, “Liz Cheney was removed from Republican leadership by an overwhelming vote in the House last week.”
“You were a vocal defender of hers, saying she shouldn’t be ousted,” Behar continued. “Kevin McCarthy insists the GOP is a big tent party that email embraces free thought and debate.”
Behar then asked, “When you see what happened to Liz Cheney, what does that say to you as who has a place in the Republican Party? Do you question your own place there now?”
To note – Liz Cheney wasn’t removed from the Republican Party. She was removed from a leadership position that is highly involved in fundraising and messaging, which were both imperiled by her attacking the most popular Republican in the country.
Hutchinson replied, “No, I don’t question my place in the Republican Party. I’ve been fighting for the Republican Party for over 40 years, which dates me a little bit.”
Then he pivoted to Liz Cheney.
Gov. Hutchinson continued, “In terms of Liz Cheney, I know they did not want to have somebody outside the tent always talking about the election of January 6, but the fact is everyone in America sees this as a punitive measure for someone speaking their conscience, and that’s not good.”
“Secondly, it looks like the former president is directing who can serve in leadership, and that’s not good,” the governor said of Donald Trump.
Contrary to Hutchison’s claims, a CBS/YouGov poll shows that 80 percent of Republicans agree with Cheney’s ouster from leadership.
“There’s multiple voices that represent the Republican Party today,” Hutchinson said. “We should not de facto make the former president as the guardian of our party or the leader of our party.”
“There’s many different voices out there,” he stressed.
Hutchinson then included himself and Cheney as voices for the GOP.
“I want to be one,” he said. “Liz Cheney is certainly one.”
Hutchinson continued, “So we need to be united in the next election. We need to win in 2022, and to do that, we have to come together, and we have to come together around principles and not simply a personality.”
That’s when Behar brought up that polls show most Republicans don’t believe Joe Biden actually won the 2020 presidential election.
“Seventy percent of Republicans believe the lie that Joe Biden did not win the election,” Behar said.
“How can you say that it’s still the Republican Party?” she added. “You believe it, don’t you? Do you believe that Biden won the election?”
Hutchinson was adamant.
“Absolutely Biden won the election. Trump lost the election,” he said. “In terms of, yes, in Arkansas, yes, you have the majority of Arkansans still supportive of President Trump.”
“They like what he did in office,” the Arkansas governor admitted. “Regretfully many of them believe what has been said that the election was stolen.”
“The election was not stolen,” Hutchinson finished.
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