GOP Gov.: GOP Needs to ‘Move Beyond the Trump Era’

Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson

( – The Republican Party should “move beyond the Trump era,” and it needs more “reality” voices to do that, Arkansas GOP Governor Asa Hutchinson declared over the holiday weekend.

On Sunday’s CNN program “State of the Union,” Hutchinson made it clear he backed recent Trump criticism by other Republican figures such as Trump’s former vice president, Mike Pence, and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

“We need more of those voices, not fewer. And I expect those voices to increase,” Hutchinson declared.

“It shouldn’t be in a harsh … tone. It should be in a voice of reality, that this is exactly where we are as a party and where we need to go to reach out to those independents and expand the base of the party and move beyond the Trump era,” added the Arkansas governor.

In his TV interview, Hutchinson blamed Trump not only for the weaker-than-expected GOP results in this month’s midterms but also for the party’s losses in 2018 and 2020.

According to the three-term Arkansas governor, the Republican losses in the midterm election could be explained by the party’s candidates on Election Day, not so much in the primaries, as many of those had Trump’s endorsement.

“We can’t have candidates that win a primary, but lose November. You can’t have a candidate that can’t attract suburban voters and independents. Everyone has recognized that now,” Hutchinson stated.

The Arkansas governor, who was term-limited and couldn’t reelect on November 8, revealed he was considering running for president in 2024.

Hutchinson emphasized Trump should have distanced himself from the Republican Party’s “extreme” side but didn’t do that when he had the chance.

“So what Donald Trump did and his failure to condemn it is really the minority of the party. It’s an extreme side of it. And that’s what you have got to distance yourself from. And he failed to do that,” the Arkansas governor told CNN anchor Dana Bash.

He blasted Trump for his controversial meeting last week with rapper Kanye West and far-right neo-Nazi Nick Fuentes at the former president’s Florida home.

“You could have accidental meetings. Things like that happen. This was not an accidental meeting. It was a set-up dinner with Kanye,” Hutchinson said.

“But you certainly have every occasion that the question of white supremacy or neo-Nazism, or denying the Holocaust comes up. You have got to be absolutely clear in your communication that this is not acceptable dogma, it’s not acceptable conversation, it’s not acceptable history, and you have to disavow it. It is as simple as that,” the Arkansas governor elaborated.