HEADING TO CHINA: Gov. Hutchinson and MIke Preston, the state economic development director.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he and state development officials will spend $45,000 in state money on a six-day, five-city trip to China that will include a visit with the Sun Paper officials who’ll be getting state assistance to build a pulp mill near Arkadelphia.

It’s about “building relationships,” said Hutchinson and AEDC Director Mike Preston.



* TRUMP ASSAULTS OF WOMEN: The first question: More women have alleged assaults by Donald Trump. Are they believable? Is it OK to have a sexual predator in WH?


Hutchinson danced the Hillary pivot, as Sen. John Boozman and Rep. French Hill did in televised debates yesterday.

“I’m troubled by all the rhetoric. I’m troubled by the statements made by Donald Trump about women in past decades. I’m not following current discussions closely. As I have said, we have two candidates who are both flawed and American public has to evaluate it. My evaluation on big picture items — where the economy goes; in terms of fighting ISIS, and in terms of the Supreme Court.”

Is there any point where reported conduct would be a “deal-breaker?”


You don’t know what future holds so I’m not going to comment on that….. There could be deal-breakers on both sides.

The questioning kept returning to Trump. He wouldn’t answer a question on whether what Trump said on the tape amounted to sexual assault. He said what Trump said was not necessarily what he had done.

Should women who made the latest complaints be believed?

I have not looked into that. I don’t know the details of that. Some of these are multiple decades old. That doesn’t necessarily make a difference.

Then Hutchinson noted there are women making allegations on “both sides of the fence” He referred apparently to complaints about conduct of Bill Clinton, who is not a candidate for president. Hutchinson mentioned Juanita Broadrick. And then he cut off questioning.

UPDATE: Lance Turner of Arkansas Business has a full transcript of the governor on Trump.


* COURT RULINGS TODAY Before the resumption of Trump questions, he was asked about Supreme Court rulings today removing a casino and tort reform amendment from the ballot. “I respect the court’s review of this,” he said. He noted he’d opposed the casino amendment and was “neutral” on the tort reform amendment. He has no change in opposition to medical marijuana proposals.