Hutchinson shuts down suggestion about dropping out of GOP race 

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Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) pushed back against the suggestion that he might end his 2024 GOP presidential bid after failing to qualify for the third GOP primary debate.

Hutchinson was asked by CNN’s Jim Acosta about arguments made that the GOP needs to coalesce around an “anti-Trump or non-Trump candidate” and asked if it was “time” for Hutchinson to drop out of the race to “make that possible.” The former Arkansas governor responded that he doesn’t believe that to be the case.

“I think most people that make the case, ‘We need to narrow the field,’ they’re talking about… after the first four states, that’s the case that Mitt Romney made,” Hutchinson said. 

“And there’ll be a time down the road that consolidation will happen, but the voters… have to have an opportunity to express themselves, and you’re gonna see a lot of changes,” he continued.

Hutchinson, along with North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, failed to meet the Republican National Committee’s debate qualifications, which included fundraising and polling requirements.

Hutchinson is currently polling at an average of 0.6 percent, according to FiveThirtyEight. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, another anti-Trump 2024 Republican presidential candidate is polling at an average of 3.1 percent. 

The highest-polling non-Trump Republican presidential candidate, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), still appears to be an ocean away from former president Trump. DeSantis is polling at an average of 14.1 percent, according to FiveThirtyEight, miles behind Trump, at 56.6 percent.

Hutchinson was recently booed at the Florida Republican Party’s annual Freedom Summit last week. 

“Next March not only brings us March Madness, it will also… we will witness our justice system at work and on trial, in federal and state courtrooms,” Hutchinson said.

“As someone who’s been in the courtroom for over 25 years, as a federal prosecutor, and also in defending some of the most serious federal criminal cases, I can say that there is a significant likelihood that Donald Trump will be found guilty by a jury on a felony offense next year,” he added.

His comments sparked loud boos and groans from the largely pro-Trump crowd.

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