Hutchinson ‘surprised’ so many GOP candidates said they’d support Trump if convicted

Republican 2024 presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said on Sunday he was surprised more GOP candidates did not raise their hands when Fox News moderators asked candidates on stage at the GOP debate whether they would support former President Trump’s presidential bid if he were convicted of felonies.

“Well, I was surprised. It was a very clear question as to whether we would support Donald Trump if he’s convicted of serious felonies. And I was the only one that … said very clearly that I would not support him,” Hutchinson said in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I was surprised at that. That didn’t seem to be a difficult question to me.”

At the Republican debate this past week, candidates were asked whether they would still support Trump as the party’s choice of nominee if Trump were convicted of felonies. Of the eight candidates on stage, five immediately raised their hands, Former Vice President Mike Pence followed and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie hesitated, turning a half-raised hand into a finger wag. Christie reportedly later said that he was raising his hand to try to get the moderators’ attention, which he did, before chastising Trump on the debate stage. 

Hutchinson, however, kept his hands at his sides when the candidates were surveyed. 

In the interview Sunday, Hutchinson dismissed concerns about booing from the audience, apparently for taking a critical position of Trump. 

“I stood out at that moment,” Hutchinson said in the interview Sunday. “And whether I get booed in the audience is not really the relevant factor. The relevant factor is our country. It’s our party. It’s about standing on the principles that you believe in, and I stood out at that moment.”

“I’m proud of that decision and it was the right call, and I hope more people identify with what I said,” Hutchinson added. 

Tags 2024 presidential election Asa Hutchinson Chris Christie Donald Trump Mike Pence