The Republican National Committee (RNC) told former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s campaign Thursday they would not be amending debate requirements in light of his concerns over the indictment of former President Donald Trump, according to Politico.
Hutchinson’s team asked Wednesday to speak with the RNC about changing the loyalty pledge, which would require the former governor to support Trump if he becomes the nominee, according to Politico. RNC officials told a Hutchinson staffer Thursday they are “not dealing with hypotheticals” like the former president’s potential convictions, and declined to amend their debate requirements.
“Individuals who are seeking the Republican nomination for President are being asked to respect the decision of Republican Primary voters and support the eventual nominee they pick to beat Biden,” RNC senior advisor Richard Walters told the DCNF in a statement. “Candidates who are complaining about this to the press should seriously reconsider their priorities and whether they should even be running.” (RELATED: Asa Hutchinson Tells Trump To Drop Out Due To Investigation)
Hutchinson has been outspoken on both of Trump’s indictments, and has criticized the RNC’s loyalty pledge for potentially requiring him to support a convicted felon as the nominee. The former governor also called for Trump to withdraw from the race in light of his legal entanglements.
“The [GOP] should clarify that there is no pledge to support a nominee if they are found guilty of espionage or a serious felony,” Hutchinson wrote in a tweet on June 7. “Donald Trump is the target of an ongoing criminal investigation and he should step aside & put the good of the country above his candidacy.”
Trump pleaded not guilty to the 37 charges on Tuesday at a federal courthouse in Miami, Florida, for allegedly mishandling classified documents. The former president was indicted in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s documents probe, where he was charged with 31 counts of alleged violation of the Espionage Act, as well as several others including obstruction and making false statements.
“I’m not going to vote for him if he’s a convicted felon,” Hutchinson told Politico. “‘I’m not going to vote for him if he’s convicted of espionage, and I’m not going to vote for him if he’s [convicted of] other serious crimes. And I’m not going to support him.”
The Real Clear Politics (RCP) average for a 2024 national Republican primary, based on polls conducted between May 19 to June 16, indicates that Hutchinson has 0.7% support.
Hutchinson did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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