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Gov. Asa Hutchinson on 2024:

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Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas continued to vocalize his support of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol attack. He told CBS Mornings that what the country witnessed on Jan. 6 was a threat to democracy and took former President Donald Trump to task. 

“That was a threat to our institutions of government. And that’s not the behavior we want to see in a responsible president. I think the question for the January 6th committee is, one, you get facts out to the public, which is important to know. Secondly, they’re trying to make a case that there’s criminal conduct on behalf of the president. I question whether they have made that case. I don’t believe they have,” Hutchinson said.

He said while the testimony is important, he isn’t sure if there’s enough evidence for the Department of Justice to indict Trump, but he was clear that he is not supporting the former president if he launches a 2024 reelection bid. 

The governor said he is considering a 2024 presidential run but is focused on the upcoming midterm elections. Several candidates are running to replace Hutchinson as governor of Arkansas as he is term-limited.

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“While we’re totally focused on 2022, obviously there’s talk about 2024, and I had to make it clear that Trump has disqualified himself, in my judgment, from his actions on January 6th and leading up to that,” he said. “And so, we have to go a different direction for our country, for my party. And so, I want to be a voice for common-sense conservatism. We’ll see how that resonates, but let’s get through 2022.

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Hours after the U.S. Supreme Court announced its bombshell decision to overturn its landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling on abortion rights, Arkansas and other states swiftly banned abortions.

Arkansas’ trigger law was signed in 2019 by Hutchinson. That state’s law has no exceptions for minors or in cases of rape or incest. The only exception is if the mother’s life is at risk. Hutchison said the the state has given $1 million to pregnancy agencies and expects to give more money now with the abortion ban in place. 

“Last year we had about 3,000 abortions in Arkansas. And so, under the new law that the Supreme Court allowed to take effect, that means that a significant number of those will be reduced, some of those moms will put the child up for adoption. We’re going to have to increase our adoption services,” he said. “Others will go out of state, which I think will be a small minority. But there will be many that will carry that child to term and to keep that child. We want to make sure that we have the wrap-around services for that mom, both during the pregnancy but also afterward.” 

At least two Republican Arkansas state senators have said they want to introduce a bill that would stop women from crossing state lines for abortions. This is something that has been supported by anti-abortion groups. But Hutchinson said that he would not sign any law that would ban women from traveling out of state to get an abortion. 

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“The challenge there is that that would be in violation of interstate commerce. Obviously, we want to discourage that because the public policy in Arkansas is to limit abortions and to carry out the will of the people. So, we recognize that that is something that even the United States Supreme Court addressed in one of the concurring opinions, that this is not intended to restrict interstate commerce,” said Hutchinson. 

He added that the Supreme Court decision said each state’s going to make its own decisions in this and “Arkansas has made its decision.”

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