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Hutchinson Campaign Press Release - ICYMI and WTAS About Governor Hutchinson's Debate Performance

August 25, 2023

See what others are saying about Governor Hutchinson's debate performance

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Governor Asa Hutchinson, a Republican presidential candidate, demonstrated steadfast, consistent leadership on the debate stage in Milwaukee this past Wednesday evening. Finding himself on a stage amid an out-of-control and, at times, unintelligible scrum, Governor Asa Hutchinson stood apart through his demeanor, preparation, adherence to standards and experience that showed the American people he was ready to serve as commander-in-chief. Governor Hutchinson wasted no time in demonstrating leadership during Wednesday night's debate. After recent comments regarding Israel by another candidate in the race, Governor Hutchinson believed it to be vitally important to signal to Israel, the Jewish people, and the rest of the world that, in a Hutchinson administration, the United States of America would remain Israel's longest and most loyal ally. Additionally, Governor Hutchinson differentiated himself from the rest of the field by being the only one to acknowledge the dangers of climate change, indicate that he would not support Donald Trump if he was convicted of serious felonies, and highlight a record of conservative accomplishments demonstrating his ability to produce results for the American people.

Here are what others had to say about Governor Hutchinson's debate performance on Wednesday night:

"Hutchinson barely met the criteria to make the stage in Milwaukee — but once there, he used the evening to establish himself as a figure one could actually imagine as president of the United States. Mature, measured, and thoughtful, Hutchinson highlighted an Arkansas record that should appeal to results-oriented conservatives. He spoke positively and optimistically about bringing out the best in the country...Hutchinson was, in short, who most fit with the mold of a modern Ronald Reagan." —Scot Lehigh, The Boston Globe

"My God. He is going to run as Asa Hutchinson. Asa Hutchinson took the stage Wednesday night at the Fox News debate and showed the nation who he is: the adult in the room...Asa Hutchinson answered the questions put to him, showed off his extensive resume, and gave people an eight-year history lesson of Arkansas during his administration. He might have said, 'Now wait a minute,' when one of the other candidates said all of the others on stage were bought and paid for, but he didn't exactly jump out of his shoes. Asa Hutchinson doesn't jump out of his shoes. Now we wait to see if that kind of adulting will do the trick...if folks want Mike Pence's resume, Ron DeSantis' administrative record, Chris Christie's move-on crusade, and Nikki Haley's (mostly) soothing demeanor, Asa Hutchinson would be the man. He's not going to insult anybody, change his principles to meet the moment, or develop another personality on the fly." The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Editorial Board

"Even though he didn't get much air time at the Republican presidential debate Wednesday, he accomplished what he needed to do: He made it to the stage, and he differentiated himself from other candidates...Hutchinson distinguished himself in two ways. His big moment came when the Fox News moderators asked who would still support former President Trump, who was not at the debate, if he were convicted in court. Debate participants were required to sign a pledge that they will support the nominee whoever that is. Trump did not sign it...When the candidates had to make a spur-of-the-moment decision, Hutchinson was the one who stood the strongest on his convictions. Maybe some of the party's anti-Trump activists and donors took note. The other way Hutchinson distinguished himself was by not getting involved in a lot of the squabbling back and forth among the other candidates. It meant he didn't get as much air time, but it reinforced his selling point as the drama-free adult in the room." — Steve Brawner, Independent Arkansas

"Governor Hutchinson cut through with competence and clarity at the debate. He isn't looking over his shoulder, he isn't following the pack—he's a leader, and he knows why he's in this race. It is critical that Republican voters hear his message—and he has the conservative record and experience to actually put runs on the board if he wins." — Heath Mayo, Founder of Principles First

"Governor Hutchinson demonstrated his dedication to the Constitution that has been the foundation of his public service for years. With zero hesitation, he stood unwaveringly alone and ramrod straight when the topic of potentially supporting a convicted felon and constitutionally ineligible candidate came up. It was not lost on me his subtle acknowledgment of Israel by donning a U.S./Israel flag lapel pin, which starkly contradicts the ill-conceived policies of Donald Trump's favorite surrogate, Vivek Ramaswamy. If the GOP is serious about winning elections rather than catering to the extremes, then Asa Hutchinson is one of the better candidates and a serious contender for the Republican nomination." — Olivia Troye, former Bush and Trump administrations national security official and current national security consultant

"Governor Hutchison used the debate as an opportunity to introduce himself to a national audience and draw attention to his substantial background at the highest level of government. His extensive background in law enforcement and border security is particularly timely. He is offering experience and integrity and running as a Reagan conservative. Voters learned more about him on debate night than ever before." — Matt Mackowiak, Texas-based GOP consultant

"In Iowa, Governor Hutchinson is receiving very high praise for his conduct at the first debate. His demeanor was a welcome relief from the screaming match the debate devolved into. If you are looking for soundbites and shrill voices, look downstage. If you want to restore dignity to the office of the Presidency and for clear-eyed, pragmatic solutions to the complex issues facing America, look no further than Governor Hutchinson. I would expect the same at the next debate. If the winner of these debates is determined by who shouts the loudest and talks the longest rather than the individual who is truly prepared to lead our country, then thankfully that is not the contest Governor Hutchinson is interested in winning." — Tim Coonan, Asa for America Iowa State Chair

"Governor Hutchinson offered up specific policy solutions and demonstrated an unwavering respect for the rule of law. Hutchinson provides our best opportunity to build a broad coalition of voters in the general election and bring conservative leadership back to the White House." — Timothy Gilliam, Asa for America Kentucky State Chair

"Americans tuned into the first RNC Presidential Primary debate looking for a leader ready to do the job on day one. By remaining above the fray, Governor Hutchinson demonstrated to the American people that he has the temperament, resolve, and resume to serve as President of the United States of America. The Republican presidential primary is serious and should be treated as such. The American people are interviewing individuals to be the next leader of the free world, not a contestant on a reality show. Governor Hutchinson showed the American people that he takes this job seriously and is prepared to offer serious answers to questions. He will not disrespect voters or the highest office in our nation by participating in a shouting contest. When choosing who to support for president, the American people will appreciate that." — Rob Burgess, Asa for America Campaign Manager

Asa Hutchinson, Hutchinson Campaign Press Release - ICYMI and WTAS About Governor Hutchinson's Debate Performance Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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