A is for Asa Hutchinson

A is for Asa Hutchinson

Arkansas; Governor 2015-23, U.S. House 1997-2001; age 72.

“In a country of well over 300 million people, there has to be a better leader than Joe Biden or Donald Trump,” a lot of Americans are saying. “Doesn’t there?”

Through a series of blog posts starting today, Principle Based Politics will take a look at the “somebody elses” who have thrown their hats into the 2024 ring, starting with the Republicans not named Trump, followed by Democrats not named Biden.*

*For some of our prior posts regarding the 45th and 46th presidents, please see Lame Ducks (Aug. 1, 2023); The Trump Suits (July 11, 2023); Too Old to be President (June 6, 2023); The M____est of All Time (May 9, 2023); The G____est of All Time (May 2, 2023); A Biden and Trump Rerun: Don’t Watch It (Jan. 10, 2023); and Joe Biden’s Final Two Years (May 3, 2022) .

These new posts will focus on what we can determine about the other candidates’ principles and their real positions on real issues. We will not analyze their personalities, gender, race, popularity/poll status, fundraising success, what others say about them, or their positions on what we believe to be non-issues. There is way too much written and said about all of these distractions already.

Proceeding alphabetically, we ask this question today: What about Asa Hutchinson?

Asa’s Positions

As a former federal prosecutor, undersecretary for border and transportation security for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from 2002 to 2005, and director of the Drug Enforcement Administration for two years before that, Asa Hutchinson promotes himself, foremost, as strong on border security and national defense. As to the latter, he does not want America to isolate itself from foreign conflicts such as the war in Ukraine. Isolation, Hutchinson believes, leads to weakness and leads to war. He does want America to strive for energy independence, however.

Beyond these policy positions, much of what Asa Hutchinson supports involves reduced government spending. First, he argues for “consumer choice in health care,” which means private insurance markets and patients – rather than the federal government – funding our health care systems. Without providing much detail, he also says he wants to lower taxes by reforming the federal tax code.

As will be the case in each of our candidate summaries, we provide here a link to the unbiased Ballotpedia page regarding Asa Hutchinson, which includes links to his campaign website and social media.

Principles of Hutchinson

Based on his issue positions and campaign conduct, Governor Hutchinson appears to manifest several of the leadership and governmental principles this blog espouses.

First, multiple aspects of the Hutchinson campaign indicate a belief in the principle of limited government. One thing we have not mentioned is that, as governor of Arkansas, Hutchinson vetoed a bill that would have banned gender-affirming care for transgender children. Hutchinson called that ban a vast government overreach. His belief in lower taxes and government spending also reflects a desire for limited government.

Integrity is another principle that comes through. Unlike most of his competitors for the Republican nomination, and obviously unlike Mr. Trump himself, Asa Hutchinson was quick to call for Trump to withdraw from the race when the former president was indicted with criminal charges. Hutchinson’s rejection of the ban on gender-affirming care also shows a willingness to shun a popular political line in his state and party.

While his website, like many, sometimes lacks specifics and could do better with the principle of transparency, at least Hutchinson has taken firm positions on the short list of issues mentioned above, which he could have evaded.

Based on the language on his website, Governor Hutchinson also appears to reflect our principles of peace and religious freedom.

We will continue to follow the positions and principles of Asa Hutchinson.

The next candidate up will be another Republican governor, Doug Burgum.

Written by Quentin R. Wittrock, founder of Principle Based Politics. 

Look for his posts each week, as this blog will explore and promote the idea of principle in politics, both as to individual elected leaders and our federal government as an institution.

Principle Based Politics does not endorse or support any particular candidate or party.

  • Gary Russell
    Posted at 13:17h, 08 August Reply

    Very well written/summarized.

  • Julia Hensel
    Posted at 13:29h, 08 August Reply

    Very informative analysis! Looking forward to the rest of the series

  • Dave Glesne
    Posted at 14:15h, 08 August Reply

    Grateful for your willingness to research and summarize the positions of candidates on the issues.

  • Angela Hermanson
    Posted at 18:34h, 08 August Reply

    Looking forward to this series! I’m sure I’ll learn a lot about the candidates, who I haven’t followed closely to date.

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