Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says Trump's continued focus on the 2020 election is 'a recipe for disaster' in the midterms

Asa Hutchinson
Asa Hutchinson  
  • Gov. Hutchinson said that "relitigating" the 2020 election would be "a recipe for disaster in 2022."

  • On NBC's "Meet the Press," the Ark. governor dismissed Trump's calls to sit out upcoming elections.

  • "It's about the future. It's not about the last election," the Republican governor said.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Sunday said that former President Donald Trump's continued attempts to discredit the 2020 election results could be a "disaster" for GOP candidates running for office next year.

During an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," the Arkansas Republican told host Chuck Todd that the party would be better served by focusing on issues that are pertinent to the future and not revisit last year's hotly-contested presidential election that saw now-President Joe Biden oust Trump.

"Relitigating 2020 is a recipe for disaster in 2022," he said. "Let's talk about the future. The election is past. It's been certified. The states made decisions on the integrity of each of their elections and made improvements where need be."

Trump, who pushed for a "forensic" audit in Arizona that failed to disprove Biden's statewide victory and who called for additional audits in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, has questioned the veracity of the election results and continues to assert that the election was "stolen" from him without providing any evidence to support his claims.

Last Wednesday, the former president suggested that GOP voters will not come out to vote in 2022 and 2024 if the Republican Party doesn't fully back his debunked allegations regarding the election.

"If we don't solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020 (which we have thoroughly and conclusively documented), Republicans will not be voting in '22 or '24," Trump said in a statement emailed to his supporters.

"It is the single most important thing for Republicans to do," he added.

Hutchinson, a two-term governor who was one of the first GOP governors to publicly push Trump to start a transition process with Biden after the election last year, said that Trump's remarks weren't helpful for the party.

"It's about the future. It's not about the last election. And those kinds of comments are not constructive," he said. "We can win in 2022, and we're going to, but let's focus on the important issues of our supply chain, of getting over this pandemic, about freedom, and not the last election."

While Democrats are hoping that Trump's continued dominance of the GOP will keep independents and suburban voters on their side, the party is currently embroiled in an intraparty stalemate over a multitrillion-dollar reconciliation package, and the House has yet to send the Senate-approved $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill to Biden's desk.

Also, the president's approval ratings have declined after a summer marked by the hasty withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan and setbacks in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, which the GOP has sought to guide their campaign messaging.

Trump is being counted on by Republican power brokers to play a major role in the 2022 midterm elections and the former president continues to tout his own potential 2024 presidential bid.


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