Is Asa Hutchinson the only Republican governor who’ll appear on Sunday talk shows? You’d think so from the frequency of his appearances.
He danced his usual dance around the tough questions.
On coronavirus, he said Arkansas has done a good job rolling out the vaccination, using private pharmacies and the National Guard at West Virginia has done in leading the nation in vaccine distribution. Martha Raddatz called him on part of this: She noted the Guard is not administering vaccines in Arkansas, just participating in distribution. He again defended a lower percentage distribution of vaccine because the state had chosen not to stage mass clinics in population centers. It’s fairer to be sure some vaccine goes to rural areas. (But, I wondered, does this mean, as a percentage of population, the rural areas get a better shot at it than urban dwellers?) He again emphasized that the supply was the real current problem, which is no doubt true.
What about the impeachment proceeding against Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s general lack of criticism of Trump?
Hutchinson: Well, I think there’s a lot of different voices and the Republican leadership has said very clearly, including Kevin Mccarthy, that president Trump bears responsibility for what he brought the people to the capitol, he brought them to Washington, they went to the capitol, he bears responsibility there.
Raddatz: Yet he [McCarthy] goes to visit him in a smiling photo opportunity.
Hutchinson: The Senate trial is going to re-focus what happened on the attack on the capitol and it’s going to call all Republicans to take a position more clearly. President Trump has helped build the party in the last four years, I hope he does not help to destroy the party in the coming four years, and we need to have a level of accountability. We also need to make sure that we don’t tear ourselves apart as we go into the midterm elections next year and beyond that.
Is U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene fit to serve given the crazy things she’s uttered (QAnon, Jewish laser beams setting wildfires, execution of Nancy Pelosi)?
Hutchinson: I’m not going to answer that question as to whether she’s fit to serve because she believes in something that everybody else does not accept, I reject that, but she’s going to stand for re-election. I don’t think we ought to punish people from a disciplinary standpoint, a party standpoint, because they think something a little bit different. We got to make sure that we don’t divide our party. I’m more troubled by someone going in and opposing Liz Cheney because she took a different position than many others in the party, that’s the kind of thing that tears our party apart. We need to not start primarying everyone because we don’t like how they handle things post-election.
Raddatz: But governor, you say you shouldn’t go after someone because they think of something a little bit different, she believes in conspiracy theories, that there are pedophiles running Washington.
Hutchinson: I reject that. I would not vote for her. I would not vote for her. The second question is, should the house of representatives make a disciplinary call on her? I’m not going to get in the middle of that. They’re going to have to make that judgment. But when you have a broad diversity of a party, you reject the extreme elements, it’s not mainstream GOP, and that’s what we’ve got to get back to, we’ve got to have a regard for those people who supported Donald Trump.
So Asa seems to say the Republican Party shouldn’t get divided merely because a sitting member of Congress endorsed a Facebook comment about putting a bullet through the head of the House speaker. “A little bit different”? Really?