The City Wire interviewed Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson Thursday in Fort Smith about, among others, the private option version of Obamacare approved by the Arkansas legislature in 2013.

They didn’t ask enough questions.


Hutchinson repeated what he’s said before. An Arkansas led by Gov. Asa Hutchinson wouldn’t have had private option legislation to consider. Would he have signed the bill approved by the 2013 legislature?

“Oh, I did say and that is my position, that you know we have a Republican majority legislature and if there had been a consensus on legislation coming out that was not going to be dealt with in a special session, then I would have signed the legislation rather than vetoing it. But then again, that legislation would not have come forward to me at that point because I would have addressed it in a special session.”

The followup question was missing. What now? Does he support the private option as it now exists in law? Would he favor continued funding for it in 2014, a question of some interest based on Republican legislative candidate expressions of negativity. Would he try to repeal it as governor? Would he try to roll back the Medicaid expansion?


On the past, Hutchinson caters to the bomb-throwing ‘baggers by saying it never would have come to this under Hutchinson leadership. But of course, he adds, he’d support something supported by the majority of Arkansans good and true. It’s the essence of the old cliche: “Some of my friends were for it. Some of my friends were against it. I support my friends.”

Hutchinson and his campaign have repeatedly refused to answer the question of whether he supports private option NOW. His two Republican opponents are clear: No.


There’s more in the interview, including his talking point on why Mike Ross is outraising him (Democratic focus on a single candidate) and blaming President Obama for the government shutdown. The usual.