The violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, "disqualifies" former President Donald Trump from winning the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, Arkansas GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who has been hinting heavily about mounting a campaign, said Sunday.
"I do not believe that Donald Trump should be the next president of the United States," Hutchinson, who is leaving his seat in Arkansas because of term limits, told ABC "This Week." "I think he's had his opportunity there. I think Jan. 6 really disqualifies him for the future. So, we move beyond that, and that's what I want to be focused on."
However, Hutchinson told show co-host Jonathan Karl that it's "premature" to say if he'll support Trump should the former president win the nomination, as he wants to "see what the alternatives are."
Hutchinson say he will do "everything I can do to make sure there is the alternative and that Donald Trump is not the nominee of the party."
"That's the first thing, and let's figure out how to do that," Hutchinson added.
He acknowledged that Trump, the only GOP candidate to formally announce intentions for the 2024 race, is the "front runner," considering his name recognition and his time in the White House, but he said he doesn't agree with a proposed rule for the 2024 primary dates requiring candidates to support the party's eventual nominee.
"I think it would be a mistake to do that," Hutchinson said. "It's obvious that you've got a divided party in the sense that you've got a base of loyal Trump supporters, but you've got what to me is even a larger majority of those that say, 'We want to go a different direction.'"
In addition, Trump continues to be popular with Republicans but no longer is "new" on the political scene, and his style of "chaos" and "anger" may cause voters to reject him.
"That's not a new thing anymore, so I think people move away from it rather than embrace it," said Hutchinson. "You need to have simply a message that's authentic to yourself, a message that is problem-solving and say, 'This is what we need to do as a country.' And that, to me, is the right contrast."
The governor also on Sunday said it's too soon to announce his own campaign plans.
"I'm going to Iowa later this month," he said. "I'm excited about that. But no decision has been made now, and we can't make a decision until a little bit later. But I want to be a part of the solutions for America."
Still, he said that Trump "does not define the Republican Party" and that the 2024 election is an opportunity for "problem-solving commonsense conservatives" to step forward to shape the future and to provide the "right counterbalance" to President Joe Biden's "failed policies."
In other news Sunday, Hutchinson called for "accountability" for Rep.-elect George Santos, R-N.Y., concerning revelations that he fabricated parts of his resume and details on his personal life.
"I don't know whether you can go so far as to not seat him but certainly the Ethics Committee should deal with this, and he has to be held accountable for that," Hutchinson, who served four years in the House, commented. "That's unacceptable in politics. It breaches the trust between the electorate and their elected official."
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