Asa Hutchinson | New NY 23rd

I think it will be a narrower field than 2016 (when 17 Republicans fought it out). It will be more like eight. Trump is not the standard bearer. He’s out of office, and I don’t consider him the leader of our party. We’re fighting for new leadership.–Asa Hutchinson

I was born in the old Bentonville Hospital; my first law office was across the square from where we stand today; I tried jury trials in this courthouse; I built Bentonville’s first FM radio station; I served as Bentonville’s City Attorney; and this is where Susan and I started our family and spent some of our happiest years living on 15 acres of rocks and hills west of town in a double-wide mobile home.

It was here on these steps, over 30 years ago, that I announced my run for the United States Senate. At that time Arkansas was a blue state and the Republican Party was pretty much non-existent. I stepped up to take on runaway federal spending; to fight for a strong national defense; to support the life of unborn children; and to unleash the private sector of our economy.

In other words, I ran as a conservative Republican when being a Republican was like having a career-ending handicap.

I continued to fight the establishment and over time . . . we won.

That was the beginning and since then I have been a consistent conservative through my time as leader of the party; in the U.S. Congress and as Governor.

As a former Undersecretary of Homeland Security during the George W. Bush administration, I see what is happening along our southern border and recognize the severe lapse in leadership from the Biden-Harris administration. This administration is showing weakness every day, which jeopardizes the safety of our ranchers and families along the border and signals to the world that the United States is no longer interested in protecting our nation.

A strong national defense is the bedrock of our democracy. I have served at the highest levels when it comes to ensuring America remains strong in our national defense and that Americans are protected. Our men and women in uniform deserve our best and I will never stop fighting for those who selflessly serve our nation.

For too long, America has been dependent upon China for the stabilization of our economy. We can continue a trade partnership with China, but it must be one that protects American interests and promotes American ideals.

Russia is a threat to our national security and a threat that must be taken seriously. As Undersecretary of Homeland Security, I have firsthand experience dealing with world leaders to keep America safe.

In our democracy, the rule of law is foundational. The law undergirds liberty when the law is applied equally, with restraint and for the greater good. Yes, we must keep violent offenders off our streets and behind bars, but we must also address unfairness in sentencing. We can — and should — do both.

Every American feels the strain of an overburdensome tax code. We must reform our tax code nationally and lower taxes just as I did in Arkansas.

It is long past time for a nationally robust infrastructure package. Highways, roads, and bridges across this country are in desperate need of repair. Additionally, access to high-speed broadband — for all Americans — is imperative to our future success as a nation. Republicans on Capitol Hill support this endeavor, but they do not — nor should they — support the out-of-control and unnecessary spending promoted by national Democrats.

The federal government should never be the sole provider of healthcare to Americans. If that happens, quality of care will decline. We must instead return to the power of consumer choice. These are the virtues that improve quality and lower costs. States must also be given the freedom and flexibility to innovate in order to meet the unique challenges at home.

Our nation’s founders understood that rights are not given by man, but rather bestowed upon us by our Creator. This worldview is foundational to good governance and the success of the United States of America.

The success of any democracy is dependent upon agreement on a set of values. For America, we are all in this great land because we or our ancestors left other shores in search of freedom and greater opportunity. The freedoms that unite us are enshrined in our Bill of Rights. And, it is our Constitution which limits the power and role of government therefore proscribing how different parts of government act as a restraint against the cumulative power of the whole of government. Today, we have a nation divided and we must return to what brings us together and not what pulls us apart. That is why it is so important that we seek out leaders that bring out the best in America rather than those that give in to our worst instincts. I believe that we must respect dissent and stand together on the common ground of freedom, equality, and fairness.

Our nation is blessed with tremendous energy potential and leaders in Washington, D.C. should implement policies to unleash it. Unfortunately, the Biden-Harris administration has done the opposite by imposing a federal ban on oil and gas leases. Americans deserve plentiful, affordable energy options, and we should not be beholden to the threats and whims of foreign adversaries for our energy needs. As president, I will pursue policies to make our great nation energy independent.

I find Gov. Hutchinson’s positions long on generalities and short on specifics. He says: I will pursue policies to make our great nation energy independent, but doesn’t say what those policies are or why they are in the public interest. He assumes that conservative is good, which begs the question.

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